Legally Yours,  Political Law

Alih v. Castro

Constitutional Law. Political Law. Fundamental Principles and State Policies. Article II, Section 3. Civilian Supremacy.
ALIH v. CASTRO
151 SCRA 279FACTS:
The respondents raided the compound occupied by the petitioners in Zamboanga City in search of loose firearms, ammunition and other explosives. Petitioners pray to recover the articles seized from them and respondents be enjoined from using the same against them since they did not have a warrant to search the compound when they seized said articles, thus constituting an illegal search.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the acts done by the respondents are violative of the Bill of Rights and thus the evidence obtained therein inadmissible in court

HELD:
The precarious state of lawlessness in Zamboanga at the time in question did not excuse the non-observance of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. At the time of the “zona”, the petitioners were merely suspected of the mayor’s slaying and had not been in fact investigated. Every person is entitled due process. The respondents defied the precept that “civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military” so clearly proclaimed in the Constitution. The respondents simply by-passed civil courts which had the authority to determine whether or not there was probable cause to search the petitioners’ premises. It follows that as the search of the petitioners’ premises was violative of the Constitution, all the firearms and the ammunition taken from the raided compound are inadmissible as evidence in any of the proceedings against the petitioners.

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