(Eagle News)—The Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 17, reminded judges nationwide to be “very circumspect” in acting on applications for search warrants during election period.
SC administrator Jose Midas Marquez issued the reminder in circular no. 64-2019, following reports the courts were being used by unscrupulous politicians to obtain search warrants against their rivals.
According to Marquez, all judges should remain “impartial and non-partial,” and their courts should ensure jurisdiction before entertaining such applications, and should conduct the “proper proceedings” before the warrants are issued.
“Nothing can justify the issuance of a search warrant unless all legal requisites are fulfilled,” Marquez said, noting that the SC itself, in Rodriguez vs. Villamiel, recognized that “of all the rights of a citizen, few are of greater importance or more essential to his peace and happiness than the right of personal security..”
“At the very least, the disregard by a judge of the requirements for the issuance of a search warrant constitutes grave abuse of discretion,” he added.