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Peralta defends QC judge for issuing search warrants for Bacolod raid: Baka magkatunog ‘pag malapit!

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Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Friday (Nov. 8) defended the decision of Quezon City Judge Ceculyn Burgos-Villavert to issue search warrants which led to the arrests of 62 activists in Bacolod.

Several groups have already criticized the issuance of the search warrants which was used outside Quezon City and was released after Villavert met police officials which conducted the operations.

The 62 persons were charged with illegal possession of firearms following raids in the offices of Bayan Muna, Gabriela and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW).

“She is authorized to issue search warrants even if it is outside her jurisdiction,” Peralta told reporters.

The chief justice explained the rationale for granting specific courts in issuing search warrants that can be served nationwide is to prevent leaks of law enforcement operations.

“Now if you applied for a search warrant in the area where the house or the building is located, the possibility of leakage is very high,” he explained.

“So by the time that you issue the search warrant, pagdating mo doon sa lugar, wala na yung tao, wala na lahat,” he pointed out.

Those opposed against the issuance of the search warrants, Peralta advised them to go to court and question the issuance of the search warrant.

“What he should do is to go to the court and question the issuance of search warrant or file a motion to quash the search warrant before the judge that issued,” he said.

“If you’re not satisfied with Judge Villavert, file a motion to quash before her court, or file a motion to quash before the information are filed,” he reiterated.

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