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20th Century Fox Film v. Court of Appeals, G.R. Nos.

76649-51, August 19, 1988

(3rd Division)



Petitioner 20th Century Fox Film Corporation sought the assistance of the NBI in
conducting searches and seizures in connection with the NBI’s anti-film piracy
campaign. Petitioner alleged that certain videotape outlets all over Metro Manila are
engaged in the unauthorized sale and renting out of copyrighted films in violation of PD
No. 49 (the old Intellectual Property Law).

The NBI conducted surveillance and investigation of the outlets pinpointed by the
petitioner and subsequently filed three (3) applications for search warrants against the
video outlets owned by the private respondents. The lower court issued the desired
search warrants. The NBI, accompanied by the petitioner's agents, raided the video
outlets and seized the items described in the three warrants.

Private respondents later filed a motion to lift the search warrants and release the
seized properties, which was granted by the lower court. Petitioner’s motion for
reconsideration was denied by the lower court. The CA affirmed the trial court.


Did the judge properly lift the search warrants he issued earlier?


[The Court DISMISSED the petition and AFFIRMED the questioned decision and
resolution of the CA.]

YES, the judge properly lifted the search warrants he issued earlier.

The lower court lifted the three (3) questioned search warrants in the absence of
probable cause that the private respondents violated P.D. 49. NBI agents who acted as
witnesses during the application for search warrant did not have personal knowledge of
the subject matter of their testimony, which was the alleged commission of the offense
of piracy by the private respondents. Only the petitioner’s counsel who was also a
witness during the application stated that he had personal knowledge that the
confiscated tapes owned by the private respondents were pirated tapes taken from
master tapes belonging to the petitioner. The lower court lifted the warrants, declaring
that the testimony of petitioner’s counsel did not have much credence because the
master tapes of the allegedly pirated tapes were not shown to the court during the

The presentation of the master tapes of the copyrighted films, from which the
pirated films were allegedly copied, was necessary for the validity of search warrants
against those who have in their possession the pirated films. The petitioner's argument
to the effect that the presentation of the master tapes at the time of application may not
be necessary as these would be merely evidentiary in nature and not determinative of
whether or not a probable cause exists to justify the issuance of the search warrants is
not meritorious. The court cannot presume that duplicate or copied tapes were
necessarily reproduced from master tapes that it owns.

The essence of a copyright infringement is the similarity or at least substantial

similarity of the purported pirated works to the copyrighted work. Hence, the applicant
must present to the court the copyrighted films to compare them with the purchased
evidence of the video tapes allegedly pirated to determine whether the latter is an
unauthorized reproduction of the former. This linkage of the copyrighted films to the
pirated films must be established to satisfy the requirements of probable cause. Mere
allegations as to the existence of the copyrighted films cannot serve as basis for the
issuance of a search warrant.
Enrile vs Salazar (Judge RTC Q.C)
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Sps Panlilio and Gregorio Honasan where charged
with the crime of rebellion with murder and multiple frustrated murder allegedly committed
during failed coup d’etat from November 29- Dec 10, 1990. Enrile was arrested by the virtue of
warrant arrest issued by the respondent judge Salazar. He was taken and held overnight at the
NBI headquarters without bail. Enrile filed the petition for habeas corpus alleging that he was
deprived of his constitutional rights including the right to bail.
Whether or not petition for habeas corpus in SC the appropriate vehicle for asserting a right to
bail or vindicating its denial?
The original jurisdiction to grant bail rested with the trial court. The correct course was for
petitioner to invoke that jurisdiction by filing a petition to be admitted to bail, claiming a right to
bail per se by reason of the weakness of evidence against him. Only after that remedy was
denied by the trial court should the review jurisdiction of this court have been invoked, and even
then, not without first applying to the CA if appropriate relief is also available there. The
information against him should be considered as charging only the crime of simple rebellion,
which is bailable before conviction, that must now accepted as a correct proposition
December 20, 2016 ~ vbdiaz

G.R. No. 81510 March 14, 1990


HON. TOMAS D. ACHACOSO, in his capacity as Administrator of the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration, and FERDIE MARQUEZ, respondents.

FACTS: This concerns the validity of the power of the Secretary of Labor to issue warrants of
arrest and seizure under Article 38 of the Labor Code, prohibiting illegal recruitment.

On October 21, 1987, Rosalie Tesoro filed with the POEA a complaint against petitioner. Having
ascertained that the petitioner had no license to operate a recruitment agency, public respondent
Administrator Tomas D. Achacoso issued his challenged CLOSURE AND SEIZURE ORDER.

The POEA brought a team to the premises of Salazar to implement the order. There it was found
that petitioner was operating Hannalie Dance Studio. Before entering the place, the team served
said Closure and Seizure order on a certain Mrs. Flora Salazar who voluntarily allowed them
entry into the premises. Mrs. Flora Salazar informed the team that Hannalie Dance Studio was
accredited with Moreman Development (Phil.). However, when required to show credentials, she
was unable to produce any. Inside the studio, the team chanced upon twelve talent performers —
practicing a dance number and saw about twenty more waiting outside, The team confiscated
assorted costumes which were duly receipted for by Mrs. Asuncion Maguelan and witnessed by
Mrs. Flora Salazar.

A few days after, petitioner filed a letter with the POEA demanding the return of the confiscated
properties. They alleged lack of hearing and due process, and that since the house the POEA
raided was a private residence, it was robbery.

On February 2, 1988, the petitioner filed this suit for prohibition. Although the acts sought to be
barred are already fait accompli, thereby making prohibition too late, we consider the petition as
one for certiorari in view of the grave public interest involved.

ISSUE: May the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (or the Secretary of Labor)
validly issue warrants of search and seizure (or arrest) under Article 38 of the Labor Code?

HELD: PETITION GRANTED. it is only a judge who may issue warrants of search and
arrest. Neither may it be done by a mere prosecuting body.
We reiterate that the Secretary of Labor, not being a judge, may no longer issue search or arrest
warrants. Hence, the authorities must go through the judicial process. To that extent, we declare
Article 38, paragraph (c), of the Labor Code, unconstitutional and of no force and effect.

Moreover, the search and seizure order in question, assuming, ex gratia argumenti, that it was
validly issued, is clearly in the nature of a general warrant. We have held that a warrant must
identify clearly the things to be seized, otherwise, it is null and void

For the guidance of the bench and the bar, we reaffirm the following principles:

1. Under Article III, Section 2, of the l987 Constitution, it is only judges, and no other, who may
issue warrants of arrest and search:
2. The exception is in cases of deportation of illegal and undesirable aliens, whom the President or
the Commissioner of Immigration may order arrested, following a final order of deportation, for
the purpose of deportation.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes

Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Petitioners filed informations in the city court and they certified that
Preliminary Investigation and Examination had been conducted and that
prima facie cases have been found. Upon receipt of said informations,
respondent judge set the hearing of the criminal cases to determine
propriety of issuance of warrants of arrest. After the hearing, respondent
issued an order requiring petitioners to submit to the court affidavits of
prosecution witnesses and other documentary evidence in support of the
informations to aid him in the exercise of his power of judicial review of the
findings of probable cause by petitioners. Petitioners petitioned for certiorari
and mandamus to compel respondent to issue warrants of arrest. They
contended that the fiscal’s certification in the informations of the existence
of probable cause constitutes sufficient justification for the judge to issue
warrants of arrest.

Issue: Whether or Not respondent city judge may, for the purpose of
issuing warrants of arrest, compel the fiscal to submit to the court the
supporting affidavits and other documentary evidence presented during the
preliminary investigation.

Held: Judge may rely upon the fiscal’s certification for the existence of
probable cause and on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest. But, such
certification does not bind the judge to come out with the warrant. The
issuance of a warrant is not a mere ministerial function; it calls for the
exercise of judicial discretion on the part of issuing magistrate. Under
Section 6 Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, the judge must satisfy himself of
the existence of probable cause before issuing a warrant of arrest. If on the
face of the information, the judge finds no probable cause, he may disregard
the fiscal’s certification and require submission of the affidavits of witnesses
to aid him in arriving at the conclusion as to existence of probable cause.

Petition dismissed
Soliven vs. Makasiar

G.R. No. 82585, November 14, 1988 [167 SCRA 394]


The case at bar is a petition raised by one of the petitioners, Beltran, who wants to
call for an interpretation of the constitutional provision on the issuance of warrants of

The petitioner assailed that his constitutional right was violated when respondent RTC
judge issued a warrant for his arrest without personally examining the complainant
and the witnesses, if any, to determine probable cause.

Beltran's interpretation of the words "determined personally" convinced him that the
judge is solely responsible to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses in
his determination of probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest.


Whether or not respondent committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack

or excess of jurisdiction when the warrant of arrest was issued.



The Court did not find any grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction on the part of the respondent judge.

Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose
shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except
upon probable cause 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 persons or things to be
What the Constitution requires is that the issuing judge must satisfy himself first with
the criteria in finding probable cause. And to satisfy himself doesn't mean to he is
required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. The
Constitution mandates that he shall:
(1) personally evaluate the report and the supporting documents submitted by the
fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a
warrant of arrest; or(2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may
disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of
witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusion as to the existence of probable cause.
Wherefore, the petition is dismissed.
G.R. No. 83988 September 29, 1989
PEOPLE'S RIGHTS (ULAP), petitioners,



COMMAND, respondents.
Ricardo C. Valmonte for himself and his co-petitioners.

On 20 January 1987, the National Capital Region District Command (NCRDC) was
activated pursuant to Letter of Instruction 02/87 of the Philippine General Headquarters, AFP,
with the mission of conducting security operations within its area of responsibility and peripheral
areas, for the purpose of establishing an effective territorial defense, maintaining peace and
order, and providing an atmosphere conducive to the social, economic and political development
of the National Capital Region. 1 As part of its duty to maintain peace and order, the NCRDC
installed checkpoints in various parts of Valenzuela, Metro Manila.
Petitioners aver that, because of the installation of said checkpoints, the residents of
Valenzuela are worried of being harassed and of their safety being placed at the arbitrary,
capricious and whimsical disposition of the military manning the checkpoints, considering that
their cars and vehicles are being subjected to regular searches and check-ups, especially at night
or at dawn, without the benefit of a search warrant and/or court order. Their alleged fear for their
safety increased when, at dawn of 9 July 1988, Benjamin Parpon, a supply officer of the
Municipality of Valenzuela, Bulacan, was gunned down allegedly in cold blood by the members
of the NCRDC manning the checkpoint along McArthur Highway at Malinta, Valenzuela, for
ignoring and/or refusing to submit himself to the checkpoint and for continuing to speed off
inspire of warning shots fired in the air. Petitioner Valmonte also claims that, on several
occasions, he had gone thru these checkpoints where he was stopped and his car subjected to
search/check-up without a court order or search warrant.
Whether or not the installation of checkpoints violates the right of the people against
unreasonable searches and seizures?
The setting up of the questioned checkpoints in Valenzuela (and probably in other areas)
may be considered as a security measure to enable the NCRDC to pursue its mission of
establishing effective territorial defense and maintaining peace and order for the benefit of the
public. Checkpoints may also be regarded as measures to thwart plots to destabilize the
government, in the interest of public security. In this connection, the Court may take judicial
notice of the shift to urban centers and their suburbs of the insurgency movement, so clearly
reflected in the increased killings in cities of police and military men by NPA "sparrow units,"
not to mention the abundance of unlicensed firearms and the alarming rise in lawlessness and
violence in such urban centers, not all of which are reported in media, most likely brought about
by deteriorating economic conditions — which all sum up to what one can rightly consider, at
the very least, as abnormal times. Between the inherent right of the state to protect its existence
and promote public welfare and an individual's right against a warrantless search which is
however reasonably conducted, the former should prevail.
True, the manning of checkpoints by the military is susceptible of abuse by the men in
uniform, in the same manner that all governmental power is susceptible of abuse. But, at the cost
of occasional inconvenience, discomfort and even irritation to the citizen, the checkpoints during
these abnormal times, when conducted within reasonable limits, are part of the price we pay for
an orderly society and a peaceful community.
Hilario Moncado v. People’s Court case brief summary

Hilario Moncado v. People’s Court

G.R. No. L-824, January 14, 1948

FACTS: In an ejectment case filed before the justice of the peace court of Guijulngan, Negros Oriental, after trial
in the absence of the defendants, rendered judgment in favor of plaintiff. The Court of First Instance then
sent notice by registered mail posted on September 8, 1939 the notice of receipt of appealed case and
the period for pleading. Defendants were informed of such mail by the postmaster but the same was not
claimed, CFI of Negros Oriental, upon motion of plaintiff, ordered defendants to vacate the land and to
pay, jointly and severally, the plaintiff the sum of PHP 18 as damages, plus costs. Defendant’s appealed
the decision claiming that their failure to get notice from post office was due to ignorance and that they
were not served with copy of plaintiff’s motion for default.
CFI denied defendant’s motion on June 19, 1940.

ISSUE: Was defendant’s failure to get notice valid and excusable?

RULING: No, the Court ruled that in the first place, defendant’s are not entitled to a service of copy of the motion
that they are in default except when they file a motion to set aside the order of default, in which event they
are entitled to notice of all further proceedings (Rule 27, Section 9, Rules of Court). Second, failure to get
notice was not excusable neglect as claimed by defendants. Indeed, a notice, is deemed served if
delivered by registered mail and claimed within 5 days from first notice of postmaster (Rule 27, Section 8,
Rules of Court).
Appealed order affirmed.