United States vs. Ong Siu Hong G.R. No. L-12778, August 3, 1917 36 Phil. 735 (1917)

Facts: The contention is that this was the result of forcing the accused to discharge the morphine from his mouth.


Issue: Whether prohibited objects obtained from the accused cannot be used as evidence to incriminated him in the said crime as it violates section 5 of the Philippine Bill.


Held: No, the accused was not compelled to be a witness against himself. No case exactly in point can be found. But, by analogy, the decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands in U. S. vs. Tan Tan ([1912] 23 Phil.. 145), following leading authorities, and the persuasive decisions of other courts of last resort, are conclusive. To force a prohibited drug from the person of an accused is along the same line as requiring him to exhibit himself before the court; or putting in evidence papers and other articles taken from the room of an accused in his absence; or, as in the Tan Teng case, taking a substance from the body of the accused to be used in proving his guilt. It would be a forced construction of the paragraph of the Philippine Bill of Rights in question to hold that any article, substance, or thing taken from a person accused of crime could not be given in evidence. The main purpose of this constitutional provision is to prohibit testimonial compulsion by oral examination in order to extort unwilling confessions from prisoners implicating them in the commission of a crime.


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