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“Bloody Sunday Calabarzon” The Issue of Search Warrant

The serving of search warrant had been in questioned especially after it had been served on two dozen activists leading to the so-called Bloody Sunday in Calabarzon with 9 progressive leaders killed and several others wounded.

The issuance of search warrants by judges is being questioned by left-leaning activists accused of being communist rebels because the search warrant to be served in its particularity is not being used instead makes a wild allegation to get a judge to sign it and then implement it to justify an arrest or the nanlaban excuse to justify extrajudicial killings.

The issuance of a search warrant requires a judge to personally determine the probable cause after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce. The law enforcers can directly apply for search warrants with courts without going through the prosecutors by providing the courts with probable cause to be determined by the judge.

There had been a lot of irregularity in the search warrant that been issued and the courts dismissed the case because of its lack of particularity. Sometimes the address is wrong or the place to be search is different from what the search warrant indicates. Sometimes the items to be seized are not indicated in the search warrant, which is where the dismissal of the case comes from.

Various groups had called the attention of the Supreme Court to end the brutal crackdown of the government on activists to prevent further bloodshed. “The judges who issued the search warrant are just as culpable for these deaths as the police who carried out the operations,” Reyes said. “When will the Supreme Court put an end to this abuse of the law? The pattern is already too glaring to ignore,” he added.

NUPL’s Josalee Deinla suggested for the high court to revisit its circular allowing executive judges of Manila and Quezon City RTC’s to issue search warrants enforceable anywhere in the Philippines.

This has been the result of the crackdown of the government against left-leaning groups that’s been the focal point in the speech of the President to go after those guerilla insurgents and kill them if they fight back. According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, this is allowed in International Humanitarian Law in times of war you have to kill rather than be killed by defending yourself in harm’s way.

Human Rights Professor Rommel Bagares said every single death during a police operation should trigger a probe, he added that “In fact, I’d like to make the case that rampant disregard of this requirement makes the responsible PNP officers liable for administrative charges of grave misconduct, given that these precisely are rules set in place to avoid abuse of authority.”

There had been many reports of human rights violation under the Duterte administration and some personality especially former senator Trillanes is eager to put President Duterte in trial after the end of his presidency for all the human rights violation he committed under his term.