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Jun 23, 2008

61 SCRA 238 (1974)

  • Findings of fact by the Commissioner are entitled to the greatest respect


Petitioners purchased 1,408 sacks of copra and 86 sacks of coffee in Kiamba, Lumatin and Lumasal, all in the province of Cotabato, from a certain Osmena Juanday. The said goods were later subjected to seizure and forfeiture.

According to petitioners, inasmuch as the said goods were not imported and of foreign origin, they are not subject to seizure and forfeiture. They likewise contend that the forfeiture made was invalid because it was based on documents and papers which were illegally seized by agents of the Government through violence and intimidation.


  • W/N seizure and forfeiture was proper


The Supreme Court upheld the answer by the Solicitor General in that the petitioners had no personality to contest the searches and seizures complained of, since at the time the searches and seizures were allegedly conducted, the vessel belonged to Jose G. Lopez and was chartered by Tomas Velasco, and the hotel room was occupied by said Velasco and his wife. And so, petitioners not being parties-in-interest over the so-called Indonesian documents and effects, they may not invoke the Constitutional right against unlawful search and seizure.

The Supreme Court also held that the findings of facts by the Commissioner of Customs is entitled to respect. It has been the constantly holding of this Court that in the absence of a showing of an abuse or improvident exercise of the authority of respondent Court, the facts as determined by it must be accorded deference. They are well-nigh conclusive.


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