Lopez v Commissioner of Customs 68 SCRA 320 1975 FACTS MV Jolo Lema skippered

Lopez v commissioner of customs 68 scra 320 1975

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Lopez v. Commissioner of Customs, 68 SCRA 320 (1975) FACTS: M/V Jolo Lema, skippered by Capt. Aquilino Pantinople and chartered by Mr. Tomas Velasco.had been under strict surveillance by the of agents of the NBI, PC, RASAC, and City Police of Davao prior to its apprehension at a private wharf in Batjak, Sasa, Davao City. Sometime in the latter part of August to September 18, 1966, the said vessel was in Indonesian waters where it loaded copra and coffee beans. In its trip to Indonesia it brought various merchandise from the Philippines which were exchanged and/or bartered for copra and coffee beans and subsequently taken to Davao City. On 19 September 1966 on its a way to Tahuna, Indonesia before proceeding to Davao City it was apprehended. On the same day, the vessel was searched and after Captain Pantinople informed the team that Velasco, the charterer of the vessel, had other documents showing
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that vessel came from Indonesia carrying smuggled copra and coffee, a combined team of Constabulary and Regional Anti-Smuggling Center operatives proceeded to the Velasco's room at the Skyroom Hotel in Davao City, to ask for said document but Velasco was not inside the hotel room when they entered the room. There are different claims whether the manicurist Teofila Ibañez or whether Velasco's wife, who was allegedly inside the room at that time, voluntarily allowed the police officers to enter; and whether the police officers "forcibly opened luggages and boxes from which only several documents and papers were found, then seized, confiscated and took away the same," or whether Mrs. Velasco volunteered to open the suitcases and baggages of Velasco and delivered the documents and things contained therein to Reynolds. The Collector of Customs of Davao seized 1,480 sacks of copra and 86 sacks of coffee from the M/V motor vessel Jolo Lema. The seizure was declared lawful by the Court of Tax Appeals. ISSUE : WON whether the search conducted without the search warrant for the hotel room of Velasco is violative of such constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure HELD: NO. Without the proper search warrant, no public official has the right to enter the premises of another without his consent for the purpose of search and seizure. It does not admit of doubt therefore that a search or seizure cannot be stigmatized as unreasonable and thus offensive to the Constitution if consent be shown. This immunity from unwarranted intrusion is a personal right which may be waived either expressly or impliedly. There was an attempt on the part of petitioners to counteract the force of the above recital by an affidavit of one Corazon Y. Velasco, 21 who stated that she is the legal wife of petitioner Tomas Velasco, and another by such petitioner himself 22 reiterating such a fact and that the person who was present at his hotel room was one Teofila Ibañez, "a manicurist by occupation ." 23 Their effort appurtenant thereto is doomed to failure. If such indeed were the case, then it is much more easily understandable
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  • criminal law, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Arrest

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