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Republic of the Philippines

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT


Judicial Region
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,


Plaintiff,
Sections 11
12, R. A. No. 9165

Case No.
For: Violation of
and

-versusVICENTE C. SALON,
Accused.
x---------------------------------------x

MOTION TO QUASH
SEARCH WARRANT

COMES NOW, the ACCUSED, through the undersigned Public


Attorney, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully moves for the
quashal of Search Warrant No. 2015-05 issued by the 5th Municipal
Circuit Trial Court, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur on and dated 24
September 2015 based on the following considerations:
1. Search warrant no. 2015-05 was applied for and issued by
Honorable Presiding Judge Cashmere Jo-an Augustia D.
Zayas-Cruiz of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC)
situated in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur after finding probable
cause that a crime subject of the said search warrant was
committed;
The search warrant is seriously
defective for being insufficient
in form and substance.
2. The search warrant is seriously defective for the reason that
the abovenamed judge issued the said search warrant
without examining personally through searching questions
and answers the applicant Police Inspector Amos L. Moreno
and his unidentified witness;
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3. From the wordings of the search warrant, it cannot be


determined how the judge profounded the questions in order
to determine personally from the applicant and his witness, if
any, the probable cause of the alleged commission of the
crime.
The first paragraph of the search warrant merely
states: IT APPEARING to the satisfaction of the undersigned
after examining under oath the applicant Police Inspector
Amos L. Moreno and his witness, that there is probable cause
to believe that possession of illegal drugs xxx, has been
committed xxx.;
4. The insufficiency of the statement required by law in a
search warrant casts serious doubt as to the personal
determination by the judge of the probable cause that the
alleged crime has been committed and how the applicant
and his witness, if any, were examined. Section 4, Rule 126
of the Revised Rules of Court states:
A search warrant
shall not issue except upon probable cause in connection
with one specific offense to be determined personally by
the judge xxx. (Emphasis ours). The omission of the word
personally as well as the nature of examination by the
judge is very serious and fatal to the issuance of the search
warrant. It must be stated clearly in the search warrant how
the judge examined the applicant and his witness;
5. In the case at bar, there is no clear showing that the
examination was done personally and whether it was in a
form of searching questions and answers.
Thus, such
ambiguity must be strictly construed against the state
authorities who would be enforcing the search warrant and
be resolved in favor of the accused;
The MCTC, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur
that issued the search warrant has no
territorial jurisdiction over the place
where the alleged crime was
committed.
6.

While the Judge who issued the subject search warrant is


appointed or designated in the MCTC of Marihatag, Surigao
del Sur, the alleged crime subject of the said search warrant
was committed in Purok 1, Barangay Zone III, Municipality of
Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. This is evidenced by a copy of
search warrant no. 2015-05 that is already part of the
records of the case;

7. Section 2, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides


thus:
SEC. 2. Court where applications for search
warrant
shall be filed. An application for search warrant
shall be filed with the following:
(a)

Any court within whose territorial


jurisdiction
a
crime
was
committed.

(b) For compelling reasons stated in the


application, any court within the judicial
region
where the crime was committed if
the place of
the commission of the crime
is
known, or any
court within the judicial region
where
the warrant
shall be enforced.

made in
pending.

However, if the criminal action has already


been filed, the application shall only be
the court where the criminal action is

8. As can be gleaned from the above-stated provision of the


Rule, the application of search warrant no. 2015-05 is
misplaced and the MCTC Court of Marihatag, Surigao del Sur
issued the said search warrant
beyond its territorial
jurisdiction;
9. This is boost by the Supervisory Circular No. 14, October 22,
1985, issued by the Supreme Court which says:
2. Territorial jurisdiction of courts. (a)
Metropolitan
Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts
and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise
their jurisdiction
in
the city, municipality or
circuit for which the
judge thereof is appointed or
designated. (Emphasis supplied);
The authority to issue search warrant must necessarily
be co-extensive with the court's territorial jurisdiction. The
territorial jurisdiction of the courts is determined by law, and
a reading of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 discloses that the
territorial jurisdiction of regional trial courts, metropolitan
trial courts, municipal trial courts and municipal circuit trial

10.

courts are confined to specific territories. (Malaloan v. CA,


G.R. No. 104879, May 6, 1994, Justice Davides opinion);

11.
In the instant case, it is very clear that the search
warrant was issued by the court without jurisdiction over the
place where the alleged crime was committed. Hence, said
search warrant was null and void;
12.
And, even to say that paragraph (b) of Section 2, Rule
126, Revised Rules of Court is the one applicable in this case,
still the application for the issuance of the search warrant is
insufficient for the reason that the application did not state
the compelling reasons why the search warrant was applied
for in MCTC of Marihatag, Surigao del Sur having no
jurisdiction of the place or territory where the alleged crime
has been committed, as it does not appear in the search
warrant;
13.
If the application for the search warrant was founded on
paragraph (b), Section 2 of the Rule above, the Rule
explicitly requires a compelling reason to be stated therein
why the search warrant is applied in that court within the
judicial region where the crime was committed, and, hence,
it must appear in the search warrant as legal basis thereof.
Where compliance therewith cannot be determined from the
records of the application of the search warrant, as in this
case, the search warrant is seriously defective, hence, null
and void;
14.
The wordings of the provision is of a mandatory nature,
requiring a statement of compelling reasons if the
application is filed in a court which does not have territorial
jurisdiction over the place of commission of the crime.
Since Section 2, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
guarantees the right of persons to be free from
unreasonable searches and seizures, and search
warrants constitute a limitation on this right, then
Section 2, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure should be construed strictly against state
authorities who would be enforcing the search
warrants. On this point, then, petitioners application for a
search warrant was indeed insufficient for failing to comply
with the requirement to state therein the compelling reasons
why they had to file the application in a court that did not
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have territorial jurisdiction over the place where the alleged


crime was committed.
(PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM
CORPORATION AND PETRON CORPORATION VS. ROMARS
INTERNATIONAL GASES CORPORATION, G.R. No. 189669,
February 16, 2015) (Emphasis supplied);
15.
Therefore, the search warrant being void ab initio must
be quashed;
A search warrant shall be issued in
connection with one specific offense.
The search warrant here is a scattershot warrant which is unconstitutional.
16.
The subject search warrant commanded any peace
officer
to make an immediate search and take
possession of undetermined quantities of illegal
drugs locally known as shabu, and illegal drugs
paraphernalia.. This search warrant was issued for two
offenses punishable under Republic Act (R. A.) No. 9165,
namely: (a) possession of undetermined quantities of illegal
drugs locally known as shabu penalized under Section 11,
R. A. No. 9165; and,
(b) possession of illegal drugs
paraphernalia penalized under Section 12 of the same law.
These two offenses being punishable under two different
provisions of R. A. No. 9165 have penalties different and
distinct from each other;
17.
In Section 4, Rules 126 of the Revised Rules of Court,
it is stated that:
A search warrant shall not issue except upon
probable cause in connection with one specific offense to
be determined personally by the judge after examination
under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the
witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the
place to be searched and the things to be seized which may
be anywhere in the Philippines.
18.
As stated above, a search warrant must be issued
in connection with one specific offense. On the contrary, the
search warrant, in the case at bar, was issued for two
offenses having different penalties which violates Sec. 4,
Rule 126 above. The said search warrant is a scatter-shot
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warrant that is proscribed and unconstitutional, and, thus,


null and void;
19.
The things and objects allegedly seized from the
house of herein accused Vicente C. Salon located in Purok I,
Brgy. Zone III, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur on September 30,
2015 by virtue of a general search warrant dated September
24, 2015 issued by the MCTC of Marihatag, Surigao del Sur
having no territorial jurisdiction over the place where the
alleged crime had been committed were seized in violation
of the accuseds right against unreasonable search and
seizure, and are, thus, fruits of a poisonous tree which are
inadmissible as evidence against accused Vicente C. Salon.
Hence, under the law, the search warrant is void ab initio
and must be quashed.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that Search Warrant
No. 2015-05 be QUASHED and all objects seized under its
purported authority be declared INADMISSIBLE under the
exclusionary rule in Article III, Section 3(2) in relation to section
2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. 05 Novemebr 2015.

Atty. JO YECYEC
Counsel for Accused
(Pls. supply the missing details. Thanks.)

Notice of Hearing
THE CLERK OF COURT
RTC, Cantilan Surigao del Sur
THE PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur
Please set the foregoing Motion to Quash Search
Warrant for hearing before this Honorable Court on
November 18, 2015 at 8:30 in the morning.

ATTY. JO
YECYEC
Copy furnished: (by personal service)
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur