CJ Peralta says QC judge followed rules in giving nod to raids on militant offices
MANILA – The Quezon City Judge who issued search warrants against progressive groups has “followed all the rules,” Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said Friday.
Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos Villavert has issued several search warrants against offices of left-leaning groups in Manila and Bacolod that yielded the arrest of over 60 activists.
Progressive leaders have been questioning the search warrants issued by Villavert.
But speaking to reporters, Peralta said: “What we have gathered, she [referring to Villavert] followed all the rules. She conducted the hearing to determine the existence of probable cause, conducted required searching questions – extensive questions and when she was satisfied with the existence of probable cause, she issued the search warrant.”
“When the search warrant was served, she required certain policemen or military men to report to the court within 10 days from receipt. Can we now take the initiative to investigate her? There is no basis,” he added.
Peralta added that Villavert is authorized under the rules to issue a search warrant. Under Administrative Circular No. 03-8-02-SC, the executive judges of Quezon City and Manila are allowed to issue search warrants outside their jurisdictions.
But the Chief Justice said if a complaint will be filed, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCAD) will conduct the investigation.
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