by land, water or air in the commission of the offense and to dispose of the same in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter. Sec. 89. Arrest; Institution of criminal actions. -- A forest officer or employee of the Bureau [Department] or any personnel of the Philippine Constabulary/Philippine National Police shall arrest even without warrant any person who has committed or is committing in his presence any of the offenses defined in this Chapter. He shall also seize and confiscate, in favor of the Government, the tools and equipment used in committing the offense... [Emphasis supplied.] Note that DENR Administrative Order No. 59, series of 1990, implements Sections 78-A and 89 of the Forestry Code, as follows: Sec. 2. Conveyances Subject to Confiscation and Forfeiture. -- All conveyances used in the transport of any forest product obtained or gathered illegally whether or not covered with transport documents, found spurious or irregular in accordance with Sec. 68-A [78-A] of P.D. No. 705, shall be confiscated in favor of the government or disposed of in accordance with pertinent laws, regulations or policies on the matter. Sec. 4. Who are Authorized to Seize Conveyance. -- The Secretary or his duly authorized representative such as the forest officers and/or natural resources officers, or deputized officers of the DENR are authorized to seize said conveyances subject to policies and guidelines pertinent thereto. Deputized military personnel and officials of other agencies apprehending illegal logs and other forest products and their conveyances shall notify the nearest DENR field offices, and turn over said forest products and conveyances for proper action and disposition. In case where the apprehension is made by DENR field officer, the conveyance shall be deposited with the nearest CENRO/PENRO/RED Office as the case may be, for safekeeping wherever it is most convenient and secured. [Emphasis supplied.] Upon apprehension of the illegally-cut timber while being transported without pertinent documents that
could evidence title to or right to possession of said timber, a warrantless seizure of the involved vehicles and their load was allowed under Section 78 and 89 of the Revised Forestry Code. Note further that petitioners' failure to observe the procedure outlined in DENR Administrative Order No. 59, series of 1990 was justifiably explained. Petitioners did not submit a report of the seizure to the Secretary nor give a written notice to the owner of the vehicle because on the 3rd day following the seizure, Gabon and Abuganda, drivers of the seized vehicles, forcibly took the impounded vehicles from the custody of the DENR. Then again, when one of the motor vehicles was apprehended and impounded for the second time, the petitioners, again were not able to report the seizure to the DENR Secretary nor give a written notice to the owner of the vehicle because private respondents immediately went to court and applied for a writ of replevin. The seizure of the vehicles and their load was done upon their apprehension for a violation of the Revised Forestry Code. It would be absurd to require a confiscation
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- Fall '19
- Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court, DENR