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People vs.

Joselito del Rosario GR 127755, April 14, 1999


FACTS
The accused-appellant was convicted of the robbery with homicide and sentenced to death. The
conviction of the accused was based on the testimony of a tricycle driver who claimed that the accused
was the one who drove the tricycle, which the suspects used as their get-away vehicle. The accused was
then invited by the police for questioning and he pointed to the location where he dropped off the
suspects. When the police arrived at the supposed hide-out, a shooting incident ensued, resulting to the
death of some of the suspects.
After the incident, the accused was taken back to the precint where his statement was taken on May 14,
1996. However, this was only subscribed on May 22, 1996 and the accused was made to execute a
waiver of detention in the presence of Ex-Judge Talavera. It was noted that the accused was handcuffed
through all this time upon orders of the fiscal and based on the authorities' belief that the accused might
attempt to escape otherwise.
ISSUES
(1) Whether the Miranda rights of the accused-appellant were violated.
(2) Whether the warrantless arrest of the accused-appellant was lawful.
HELD
(1) YES. It was established that the accused was not apprised of his rights to remain silent and to
have competent and independent counsel in the course of the investigation. The Court held that
the accused should always be apprised of his Miranda rights from the moment he is arrested by
the authorities as this is deemed the start of custodial investigation. In fact, the Court included
invitations by police officers in the scope of custodial investigations.
It is evident in this case that when the police invited the accused-appellant to the station, he was already
considered as the suspect in the case. Therefore, the questions asked of him were no longer general
inquiries into an unsolved crime, but were intended to elicit information about his participation in the
crime.
However, the Miranda rights may be waived, provided that the waiver is voluntary, express, in writing and
made in the presence of counsel. Unfortunately, the prosecution failed to establish that the accused made
such a waiver.
(2) NO. There are certain situations when authorities may conduct a lawful warrantless arrest: (a)
when the accused is caught in flagrante delicto; (b) when the arrest is made immediately after the
crime was committed; and when the one to be arrested is an escaped convict. The arrest of the
accused in this case did not fall in any of these exceptions. The arrest was not conducted
immediately after the consummation of the crime; rather, it was done a day after. The authorities
also did not have personal knowledge of the facts indicating that the person to be arrested had
committed the offense because they were not there when the crime was committed. They merely
relied on the account of one eyewitness.
Unfortunately, athough the warrantless arrest was not lawful, this did not affect the jurisdiction of the Court
in this case because the accused still submitted to arraignment despite the illegality of his arrest. In effect,
he waived his right to contest the legality of the warrantless arrest.