People v. Huang Zhen Hua
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People v. Huang Zhen Hua (Callejo, Sr. September 29, 2004) Rule 113 Sec. 11 An officer, in order to make an arrest either by virtue of a warrant, or without a warrant as provided by Section 5, may break into any building or enclosure where the person to be arrested is or is reasonably believed to be, if he refused admittance thereto, after announcing his authority and purpose. FACTS: 1. Based on the tip from a confidential informant that Peter Chan, Henry Lao, and appellants Jogy Lee and Juang Zhen Hua were engaged in illegal drug trafficking, police operatives of the Public Assistance and Reaction Against Crime (PARAC) conducted surveillance operations. 2. October 25, 1996 they (police) secured 2 Search Warrants: a. for violation of PD 1866 (illegal passion of firearms and explosives) b. violations of Sections 12, 14, and 16 of RA 6425 (Dangerous Drugs Act) 3. October 25, 1996 at 11:00 pm, The police, accompanied by a Cantonese interpreter, enforced the warrant for violation of PD 1866 at the Cityland Condominium. No persons were found inside however, the police found 2 kilos of shabu, paraphernalia for its production, and machines and tools used for the production of fake credit cards. 4. Based on information that Lao and Chan would be delivering Shabu at the Furama Laser Karaoke Restaurant, Manila, police operatives rushed to the area. 5. October 26, 1996 at 2:00 am, as Chan and Lao alighted from the Lao’s Honda Civic car, one of the policemen approached them and introduced himself, but Chan and Lao fired shots resulting in a shoot-out and death of the two suspects. The policemen found 2 plastic bags of shabu. 6. On the same day, the policemen proceeded to the residence of Lao at No. 19 Atlantic Drive, Pacific Grand Villa, to enforce the other warrant. When they arrived at the place, they coordinated with Antonio Pangan, the officer in charge of security in the building. 7. One of the policemen (Anciro, Jr.) repeatedly knocked on the front door for 5 minutes but no one responded. Pangan likewise knocked on the door. Lee, who is the girlfriend of Lao, peeped through the window beside the front door and the policemen introduced themselves and even asked Pangan to communicate to Lee by sign language, who then pointed their uniforms to her (Lee) to show that they were policemen. 8. Lee then opened the door and allowed the policemen, Pangan and the security guards into the condominium unit. 9. The policemen brought Lee to the 2nd floor and asked where Lao slept. Lee pointed to the master’s bedroom and the policemen proceeded to search the premise. The other policemen went to the other room where Huang Zhen Hua was sleeping. 10.The policemen found 2 plastic bags, a feeding bottle, and a plastic canister inside a cabinet in the master’s bedroom all containing shabu. Shabu was also found on the bed in the master’s bedroom.
11.Anciro, Jr. then asked Lee to bring some of her clothes because they were bringing her to the PARAC headquarters. Lee then took some clothes from the cabinet in the master’s bedroom where the shabu was found. 12.The police officers then executed an affidavit of arrest and Pangan and the 2 security guards signed a certification stating that nothing was destroyed in the unit and the search was orderly and peaceful. 13.Lee alleged failed in their duty to show to her the warrant, inform her of their authority and explain their presence in the condominium. She further alleged that the policemen gained entry into the condominium by force while she was sleeping and that the shabu was planted. 14.RTC: found both appellants guilty ISSUE: WON the implementation of the search warrant was irregular? NO RATIO 1. Lee failed to prove that the policemen broke open the door to gain entry into the condominium. 2. Lee failed to inform her counsel of the alleged planting of evidence by the policemen and she failed to charge the policemen with planting of evidence before or after she was charge. 3. A lawful entry is the indispensible predicate of a reasonable search. 4. General Rule “knock and announce” principle: officers implementing a search warrant must announce their presence, identify themselves to the accused and to the persons who rightfully have possession of the premises to be searched, and show to them the search warrant to be implemented by them and explain to them said warrant in a language or dialect known to and understood by them. The requirement is not a mere procedural formality but is of essence of the substantial provision which safeguards individual liberty. No precise for of words is required. It is sufficient that the accused has noticed of the officers, their authority and the purpose of the search and the object to be seized. 5. Exception “no-knock” entry: Unannounced intrusion into the premises is permissible when: a. A party whose premises or is entitled to the possession thereof refuses, upon demand to open; b. When such person in the premises already knew of the identity of the officers and of their authority and persons; c. When the officers are justified in the honest belief that there is an imminent peril to life or limb; and d. When those in the premises, aware of the presence of someone outside (because, for example, there has been a knock at the door), are then engaged in activity which justifies the officers to believe that an escape or the destruction of evidence is being attempted.
6. In determining the lawfulness of an unallowed entry and the existence of probable cause, the courts are concerned only with what the officers had reason to believe and the time of the entry. 7. In Richards v. Wisconsin, In order to justify a “no-knock” entry, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing their presence, under the particular circumstances, would be dangerous or futile, or that it would inhibit the effective investigation of the crime by, for example, allowing destruction of evidence. DISPOSITIVE: Affirmed conviction of Lee; Acquitted Huang Zhen Hua