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                            I. WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE VALIDLY ARRESTED WITHOUT A WARRANT.
II. WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE LAWFULLY ARRESTED WHEN THEY WERE MERELY INVITED TO THE POLICE PRECINCT.
III. WHETHER OR NOT THE ORDER DENYING THE MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION IS VOID FOR FAILURE TO STATE THE FACTS AND THE LAW UPON WHICH IT WAS BASED.
Ruling:
We find the petition unmeritorious and thus uphold the RTC Order.
First Issue:
From a review of the records, we conclude that the police officers had personal knowledge of facts or circumstances upon which they had properly determined probable cause in effecting a warrantless arrest against the petitioners.
The arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the complaint of Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police officers responded to the scene of the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged mauling; the alleged crime transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners reside; Atty. Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible for his mauling and, notably, the petitioners and Atty. Generoso lived almost in the same neighborhood; more importantly, when the petitioners were confronted by the arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in the incident with Atty. Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired.
Personal knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the above-cited provision, does not require actual presence at the scene while a crime was being committed; it is enough that evidence of the recent commission of the crime is patent (as in this case) and the police officer has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested has recently committed the crime.
Second Issue:
The term “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest is construed to mean as an authoritative command.
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

G.R. No. 182601

Pestilos vs. Generoso

Facts:

On February 20, 2005, at around 3: 15 in the morning, an altercation ensued
between the petitioners and Atty. Moreno Generoso. Atty. Generoso called the Central
Police District, Station to report the incident. Acting on this report, the Desk Officer
dispatched policemen to go to the scene of the crime and to render assistance. The
policemen arrived at the scene of the crime less than one hour after the alleged
altercation and they saw Atty. Generoso badly beaten. Atty. Generoso then pointed to
the petitioners as those who mauled him. This prompted the police officers to "invite"
the petitioners to go to the Police Station for investigation. The petitioners went with
the police officers. At the inquest proceeding, the City Prosecutor found that the
petitioners stabbed Atty. Generoso with a bladed weapon. Atty. Generoso fortunately
survived the attack. The petitioners were indicted for attempted murder.

The petitioners filed an Urgent Motion for Regular Preliminary Investigation on
the ground that they had not been lawfully arrested. They alleged that no valid
warrantless arrest took place since the police officers had no personal knowledge
that they were the perpetrators of the crime. They also claimed that they were just
"invited" to the police station. Thus, the inquest proceeding was improper, and a
regular procedure for preliminary investigation should have been performed pursuant
to Rule 112 of the Rules of Court.

RTC denied the motion. The court likewise denied the petitioners' motion for
reconsideration.

The petitioners challenged the lower court's ruling before the CA on a Rule 65
petition for certiorari. They attributed grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction, on the RTC for the denial of their motion for preliminary
investigation.

CA dismissed the petition.

Issues:

I. WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE VALIDLY ARRESTED WITHOUT A
WARRANT.

II. WHETHER OR NOT THE PETITIONERS WERE LAWFULLY ARRESTED WHEN THEY
WERE MERELY INVITED TO THE POLICE PRECINCT.

III. WHETHER OR NOT THE ORDER DENYING THE MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY
INVESTIGATION IS VOID FOR FAILURE TO STATE THE FACTS AND THE LAW UPON
WHICH IT WAS BASED.

Ruling:

We find the petition unmeritorious and thus uphold the RTC Order.

First Issue:

Page 2

For purposes of resolving the issue on the validity of the warrantless arrest of
the present petitioners, the question to be resolved is whether the requirements for a
valid warrantless arrest under Section 5(b), Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure were complied with, namely: 1) has the crime just been committed when
they were arrested? 2) did the arresting officer have personal knowledge of facts and
circumstances that the petitioners committed the crime? and 3) based on these facts
and circumstances that the arresting officer possessed at the time of the petitioners'
arrest, would a reasonably discreet and prudent person believe that the attempted
murder of Atty. Generoso was committed by the petitioners?

From a review of the records, we conclude that the police officers had personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances upon which they had properly determined
probable cause in effecting a warrantless arrest against the petitioners.

The arresting officers went to the scene of the crime upon the complaint of
Atty. Generoso of his alleged mauling; the police officers responded to the scene of
the crime less than one (1) hour after the alleged mauling; the alleged crime
transpired in a community where Atty. Generoso and the petitioners reside; Atty.
Generoso positively identified the petitioners as those responsible for his mauling
and, notably, the petitioners and Atty. Generoso lived almost in the same
neighborhood; more importantly, when the petitioners were confronted by the
arresting officers, they did not deny their participation in the incident with Atty.
Generoso, although they narrated a different version of what transpired.

With these facts and circumstances that the police officers gathered and
which they have personally observed less than one hour from the time that they have
arrived at the scene of the crime until the time of the arrest of the petitioners, we
deem it reasonable to conclude that the police officers had personal knowledge of
facts or circumstances justifying the petitioners' warrantless arrests. These
circumstances were well within the police officers' observation, perception and
evaluation at the time of the arrest. These circumstances qualify as the police
officers' personal observation, which are within their personal knowledge, prompting
them to make the warrantless arrests.

Personal knowledge of a crime just committed under the terms of the above-
cited provision, does not require actual presence at the scene while a crime was
being committed; it is enough that evidence of the recent commission of the crime is
patent (as in this case) and the police officer has probable cause to believe based on
personal knowledge of facts or circumstances, that the person to be arrested has
recently committed the crime.

Second Issue:

The term “invited” in the Affidavit of Arrest is construed to mean as an authoritative
command.

Third Issue:

The RTC, in its Order dismissing the motion, clearly states that the Court is not
persuaded by the evidentiary nature of the allegations in the said motion of the
accused. Aside from lack of clear and convincing proof, the Court, in the exercise of
its sound discretion on the matter, is legally bound to pursue and hereby gives
preference to the speedy disposition of the case."

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