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SC: Executive judges of QC, Manila can issue search warrants effective nationwide

/ 02:11 PM November 03, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Executive judges of Manila and Quezon City are authorized to issue search warrants that may be implemented nationwide, the Supreme Court said Sunday.

Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka made the clarification following the raids on the offices of groups of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis, Gabriela, and National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros Occidental.

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Hosaka said Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta immediately ordered the Court Administrator to remind judges “to be deliberate, circumspect, and prudent” with the issuance of warrants after Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares asked the Supreme Court to review the action of the judge who issued the warrant.

The warrant was issued by Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89.

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READ: Negros raids: SC asked to review acts of QC judge

“The Court Administrator however was quick to note that the Executive Judges of Manila and Quezon City are really authorized to issue SWs which may be implemented nationwide in certain instances and provided that the legal requirements are met,” Hosaka said in a statement.

In a separate text message, Hosaka explained that the general rule is that search warrants are issued by trial courts within their jurisdiction.

However, executive judges of Quezon City and Manila can issue search warrants effective nationwide.

“If respondents feel aggrieved with the issuance, the proper remedy is to file a motion to quash either before the court that issued them, or before the court where the cases are eventually filed,” Hosaka said.

Joint teams from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army conducted the raids, which resulted in the arrest of at least 57 activists. /je

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