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From ABS-CBN News: Bacolod court (presided by the Honorable Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad) voids more search warrants issued by a QC judge
by Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Mar 09 2021 04:57 PM | Updated as of Mar 09 2021 05:49 PM
From ABS-CBN News “A Bacolod City court has quashed more search warrants issued by a Quezon City judge against trade unionists, this time, against members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno who were arrested in Bacolod City in 2019.
“Bacolod City Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Judge Ana Celeste Bernad voided the search warrants issued by Quezon City Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert in October 2019 against John Milton Lozande for failure to particularly describe the place to be searched.
(From Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad as quoted by ABS-CBN News) : “ “Search warrant No. 5951(19) failed to describe the place with particularity. It simply authorizes a search of No. 222 Ilang Ilang Street, Barangay Bata, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental,” the court said, after conducting an ocular inspection of the site of the search.
Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad expounded thus: “The said address, however, upon entry is made up of three (3) structures that can be seen inside the compound containing a lot area of three hundred seventy five (375) square meters or more or less. It would seem that the warrant gives the raiding team unbridled and thus illegal authority to search all the structures found inside the above-stated address.”
ABS-CBN News continues: “The court stressed the need to “particularly describ[e] the place to be searched” under section 2 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, reflected in the Rules of Court provision for service of a search warrant.
“The intention, according to the court, is clear: “that the search be confined strictly to the place so described.”
From Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad as quoted by ABS-CBN News: : “ “In view of the manifest objective of the constitutional safeguard against unreasonable search, the Constitution and the Rules limit the place to be searched only to those described in the warrant.”
Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad stressed (as quoted by ABS-CBN) :
“This constitutional right is the embodiment of a spiritual concept: the belief that to value the privacy of home and person and to afford its constitutional protection against the long reach of government is no less than to value human dignity, and that his privacy must not be disturbed except in case of overriding social need, and then only under stringent procedural safeguards.”
The court added requiring particular descriptions in search warrants would also support the finding of probable cause.
Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad pointed out: “[T]he lack of a more specific description will make it apparent that there has not been a sufficient showing to the magistrate that the described items are to be found in a particular place.”
ABS-CBN News continues: “The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-Panay (NUPL-Panay), which serves as Lozande’s lawyer, said similar resolutions were issued against 5 more trade unionists — Karina Mae De La Cerna, Cherryl Catalogo, Proseso Quiatchon, Albert De La Cerna, and Noli Rosales.
“Among the six, only Lozande was allowed to post bail as he was accused only of illegal possession of firearms while the rest faced additional charges of illegal possession of explosives.
“Illegal possession of firearms is bailable while illegal possession of explosives is not.
“NUPL-Panay is set to file a motion seeking the release of the 5 accused in detention.
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“This is the second time that search warrants issued by Judge Burgos-Villavert were overturned by fellow regional trial court judges.” Reported and written by Mike Navallo of ABS-CBN News at: