Can police arrest if you're seen holding plastic sachets with white stuff?

In order to constitute a valid in flagrante delicto arrest, two requisites must concur: (1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act indicating that he has just committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) such overt act is done in the presence or within the view of the arresting officer.

In the 2014 case of Dela Cruz v. People (G.R. No. 208968. January 15, 2014), PO3 Pagsolingan noticed from a distance of seven (7) meters the petitioner standing at a corner of an alley and examining small plastic sachets containing what seemed to be white crystals or granules. Considering that the police officers were deployed on 2nd, 3rd and 4th Avenues in Caloocan City, specifically to monitor illegal drug activities in these areas and on account of his experience as a member of the Caloocan City Station Anti-Illegal Drugs-Special Operations Unit, PO3 Pagsolingan had probable cause to suspect that the petitioner had in his possession illegal drugs.It also bears noting that the petitioner struggled and tried to run when PO3 Pagsolingan held his arm and introduced himself as a policeman. Under these circumstances, the arrest of the petitioner was valid, and the 21 plastic sachets seized as an incident to this lawful arrest were admissible in evidence. At any rate, the petitioner is deemed to have waived his objections to his arrest for not raising the issue before entering his plea.

In People v. Ng Yik Bun (G.R. No. 180452. January 10, 2011), the Supreme Court held that when a police officer sees the offense, although at a distance, and proceeds at once to the scene, he may effect an arrest without a warrant as the offense is deemed committed in his presence or within his view.

READ MORE: People v. Pantallano (G.R. No. 233800, March 06, 2019).

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