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Rule 126 Search and Seizure A warrant, such as a warrant of arrest or a search warrant, merely

constitutes process and not a criminal action to be entertained by a


Case 1. Malalaloan v CA. May 6, 1994 court pursuant to its original jurisdiction.
Facts: A search warrant is merely a judicial process designed by the Rules
1st Lt. Absalon V. Salboro of the CAPCOM Northern Sector (now to respond only to an incident in the main case, if one has already
Central Sector) filed with the RTC Kalookan an application for search been instituted, or in anticipation thereof. In the latter contingency, as
warrant. The search warrant was sought for in connection with an in the case at bar, it would involve some judicial clairvoyance to
alleged violation of P.D. 1866 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and require observance of the rules as to where a criminal case may
Ammunitions) perpetrated at No. 25 Newport St., corner Marlboro eventually be filed where, in the first place, no such action having as
St., Fairview, Quezon City. Respondent RTC Judge Fineza of yet been instituted, it may ultimately be filed in a territorial jurisdiction
Kalookan issued a search warrant. other than that wherein the illegal articles sought to be seized are
then located. This is aside from the consideration that a criminal
Members of the CAPCOM, armed with subject search warrant, action may be filed in different venues under the rules for delitos
proceeded to the situs of the offense alluded to, where a labor continuados or in those instances where different trial courts have
seminar of the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and concurrent original jurisdiction over the same criminal offense.
Research (EILER) was then taking place. According to CAPCOM's
"Inventory of Property Seized," firearms, explosive materials and It would be an exacting imposition upon the law enforcement
subversive documents, among others, were seized and taken during authorities or the prosecutorial agencies to unerringly determine
the search. And all the sixty-one (61) persons found within the where they should apply for a search warrant in view of the
premises searched were brought to Camp Karingal, Quezon City but uncertainties and possibilities as to the ultimate venue of a case.
most of them were later released, with the exception of the herein In case where a criminal action has already been filed, the court
petitioners, EILER Instructors, who were indicated for violation of trying the criminal case may properly issue the warrant. The
P.D. 1866. jurisdictional problem would resurrect, however, where such articles
Petitioners presented a "Motion for Consolidation, Quashal of Search are outside its territorial jurisdiction.
Warrant and For the Suppression of All Illegally Acquired Evidence" No law or rule imposes such a limitation on search warrants, in the
before the RTC of QC. RTC QC consolidated the cases but upheld same manner that no such restriction is provided for warrants of
the validity of the warrant. arrest. No legal provision, statutory or reglementary, expressly or
Issue: impliedly provides a jurisdictional or territorial limit on its area of
enforceability.
Whether or not a court may take cognizance of an application for a
search warrant in connection with an offense allegedly committed On the contrary, the above-quoted provision of the interim
outside its territorial jurisdiction and to issue a warrant to conduct a Rules expressly authorizes its enforcement anywhere in the country,
search on a place likewise outside its territorial jurisdiction since it is not among the processes specified in paragraph (a) and
there is no distinction or exception made regarding the processes
Held: contemplated in
paragraph (b).
Furthermore, the constitutional mandate is translated into specifically 3. Where no motion to quash the search warrant was filed in or
enumerated safeguards in Rule 126 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal resolved by the issuing court, the interested party may move in the
Procedure for the issuance of a search warrant, and all these have to court where the criminal case is pending for the suppression as
be observed regardless of whatever court in whichever region is evidence of the personal property seized under the warrant if the
importuned for or actually issues a search warrant. Said same is offered therein for said purpose. Since two separate courts
requirements, together with the ten-day lifetime of the warrant would with different participations are involved in this situation, a motion to
discourage resort to a court in another judicial region, not only quash a search warrant and a motion to suppress evidence are
because of the distance but also the contingencies of travel and the alternative and not cumulative remedies. In order to prevent forum
danger involved, unless there are really compelling reasons for the shopping, a motion to quash shall consequently be governed by the
authorities to do so. omnibus motion rule, provided, however, that objections not
available, existent or known during the proceedings for the quashal
This court is of the further belief that the possible leakage of of the warrant may be raised in the hearing of the motion to
information which is of utmost importance in the issuance of a search suppress. The resolution of the court on the motion to suppress shall
warrant is secured (against) where the issuing magistrate within the likewise be subject to any proper remedy in the appropriate higher
region does not hold court sessions in the city or municipality, within court.
the region, where the place to be searched is located.

Nonetheless, to put such presentiments to rest, we lay down the 4. Where the court which issued the search warrant denies the
following policy guidelines: motion to quash the same and is not otherwise prevented from
further proceeding thereon, all personal property seized under the
1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall have primary warrant shall forthwith be transmitted by it to the court wherein the
jurisdiction to issue search warrants necessitated by and for criminal case is pending, with the necessary safeguards and
purposes of said case. An application for a search warrant may be documentation therefor.
filed with another court only under extreme and compelling
circumstances that the applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the 5. These guidelines shall likewise be observed where the same
latter court which may or may not give due course to the application criminal offense is charged in different informations or complaints
depending on the validity of the justification offered for not filing the and filed in two or more courts with concurrent original jurisdiction
same in the court with primary jurisdiction thereover. over the criminal action. Where the issue of which court will try the
case shall have been resolved, such court shall be considered as
2. When the latter court issues the search warrant, a motion to quash vested with primary jurisdiction to act on applications for search
the same may be filed in and shall be resolved by said court, without warrants incident to the criminal case.
prejudice to any proper recourse to the appropriate higher court by
the party aggrieved by the resolution of the issuing court. All grounds
and objections then available, existent or known shall be raised in
the original or subsequent proceedings for the quashal of the
warrant, otherwise they shall be deemed waived.
Case 2. Worldwide Web Corp v People. Jan 13, 2014 During the hearing, the trial court required the identification of the
office premises/units to be searched, as well as their floor plans
Facts: showing the location of particular computers and servers that would
Police Chief Inspector Napoleon Villegas of the Regional Intelligence be taken.
Special Operations Office (RISOO) of the PNP filed applications for RTC granted the application for search warrants. Accordingly, the
warrants before RTC QC to search the office of petitioner WWC as following warrants were issued against the office premises of
well as the office of petitioner Planet Internet Corporation. The petitioners, authorizing police officers to seize various items:
applications allege that petitioners were conducting illegal toll bypass
operations, which amounted to theft and violation of PD401 1. xxx for violation of Art 308 (theft) of RPC against WWC xxx 11/F
(Penalizing the Unauthorized Installation of Water, Electrical or IBM Plaza Building, No. 188 Eastwood City, Cyberpark Libis, Quezon
Telephone Connections, the Use of Tampered Water or Electrical City:
Meters and Other Acts), to the damage and prejudice of PLDT.
a) Computers or any equipment or device capable of accepting
Petitioners were able to provide international long distance call information, applying the process of the information and supplying
services to any part of the world by using PLDTs telephone lines, but the results of this process;
bypassing its International Gateway Facilities (IGF).
b) Software, Diskettes, Tapes or equipment or device used for
Gali of PLDT claimed that a phone number serviced by PLDT and
recording or storing information; and c) Manuals, application forms,
registered to WWC was used to provide a service called GlobalTalk,
access codes, billing statements, receipts, contracts,
"an internet-based international call service, which can be availed of
communications and documents relating to securing and using
via prepaid or billed/post-paid accounts. He demonstrated a test call.
telephone lines and/or equipment.
The call was completed to a phone number in Taiwan. However,
when he checked the records, it showed that the call was only
directed to the local number 6891135. This indicated that the 2. xxx violation of PD401 against Planet Internet xxx 1/F Orient
international test call using GlobalTalk bypassed PLDTs IGF. Square Building, Emerald Avenue, Barangay San Antonio, Pasig
City:
Telephone number was traced to the address of Planet Internet.
a) Modems or Routers or any equipment or device that enables data
Gali further alleged that because PLDT lines and equipment had terminal equipment such as computers to communicate with other
been illegally connected by petitioners to a piece of equipment that data terminal equipment via a telephone line;
routed the international calls and bypassed PLDTs IGF, they violated
Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 401 as amended, on unauthorized b) Computers or any equipment or device capable of accepting
installation of telephone connections. information applying the prescribed process of the information and
supplying the results of this process;
PLDT computed a monthly revenue loss of P764,718.09.
c) Lines, Cables and Antennas or equipment or device capable of
transmitting air waves or frequency, such as an IPL and telephone
lines and equipment;
d) Multiplexers or any equipment or device that enables two or more The RTC granted the motions to quash on the ground that the
signals from different sources to pass through a common cable or warrants issued were in the nature of general warrants. Thus, the
transmission line; properties seized under the said warrants were ordered released to
petitioners.
e) PABX or Switching Equipment, Tapes or equipment or device
CA reversed RTC decision. CA declared that warrants were valid.
capable of connecting telephone lines;
Issue:
f) Software, Diskettes, Tapes or equipment or device used for
recording or storing information; and 1. Whether the CA erred in giving due course to PLDTs appeal
despite the following procedural infirmities: - NO
g) Manuals, application forms, access codes, billing statement,
receipts, contracts, checks, orders, communications and documents, 1. PLDT, without the conformity of the public prosecutor, had
lease and/or subscription agreements or contracts, communications no personality to question the quashal of the search
and documents relating to securing and using telephone lines and/or warrants;
equipment.
2. PLDT assailed the quashal orders via an appeal rather
3. xxx violation of RPC (theft) against Planet Internet xxx 21/F Orient than a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Square Building, Emerald Avenue, Barangay San Antonio, Pasig Court.
City:
2. Whether the assailed search warrants were issued upon probable
Same as #2 cause, considering that the acts complained of allegedly do not
constitute theft - NO
Over a hundred items were seized, including 15 CPUs, 10 monitors,
numerous wires, cables, diskettes and files, and a laptop computer.
Planet Internet notes that even personal diskettes of its employees 3. Whether the CA seriously erred in holding that the assailed search
were confiscated; and areas not devoted to the transmission of warrants were not general warrants.
international calls, such as the Presidents Office and the Information
Desk, were searched. Voltage regulators, as well as reserve and Held:
broken computers, were also seized.
1. An application for a search warrant is not a criminal
Petitioners filed their respective motions to quash the search action; conformity of the public prosecutor is not necessary to
warrants, citing: (1) the search warrants were issued without give the aggrieved party personality to question an order
probable cause, since the acts complained of did not constitute theft; quashing search warrants.
(2) toll bypass, the act complained of, was not a crime; (3) the search
2. In the issuance of a search warrant, probable cause requires
warrants were general warrants; and (4) the objects seized pursuant
"such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably prudent
thereto were "fruits of the poisonous tree."
man to believe that an offense has been committed and the objects
sought in connection with that offense are in the place to be
searched." It is a matter wholly dependent on the finding of trial if the person against whom the warrant is issued presents clear and
judges in the process of exercising their judicial function. convincing evidence that when the police officers and witnesses
testified, they committed a deliberate falsehood or reckless disregard
When a finding of probable cause for the issuance of a search for the truth on matters that are essential or necessary to a showing
warrant is made by a trial judge, the finding is accorded respect by of probable cause.
reviewing courts. It is presumed that a judicial function has been
regularly performed, absent a showing to the contrary. Innocent and negligent omissions or misrepresentation of witnesses
will not cause the quashal of a search warrant. In this case, the
Petitioners argue that there is no law punishing toll bypass, the act testimonies of Rivera and Gali that the test calls they conducted did
complained of by PLDT. Thus, no offense was committed that would not pass through PLDTs IGF are true. They neglected, however, to
justify the issuance of the search warrants. look into the possibility that the test calls may have passed through
In Laurel v. Abrogar, we have already held that the use of PLDTs other IGFs in the Philippines, which was exactly what happened.
communications facilities without its consent constitutes theft of its Nevertheless, the witnesses did not commit a deliberate falsehood.
telephone services and business. Even Planet Internet stated that the conclusion that the test calls
bypassed all IGFs in the country was made "carelessly and
The business of providing telecommunication and the telephone haphazardly."
service are personal property under Article 308 of the Revised Penal
Code, and the act of engaging in ISR (international simple resale) is 3. A general warrant is defined as "(a) search or arrest warrant that is
an act of "subtraction" penalized under said article. However, the not particular as to the person to be arrested or the property to be
Amended Information describes the thing taken as, "international seized." It is one that allows the "seizure of one thing under a warrant
long distance calls," and only later mentions "stealing the business describing another" and gives the officer executing the warrant the
from PLDT" as the manner by which the gain was derived by the discretion over which items to take.
accused. In order to correct this inaccuracy of description, this case The Court has been mindful of the difficulty faced by law
must be remanded to the trial court and the prosecution directed to enforcement officers in describing the items to be searched,
amend the Amended Information, to clearly state that the property especially when these items are technical in nature, and when the
subject of the theft are the services and business of respondent extent of the illegal operation is largely unknown to them.
PLDT.
Indeed, the law does not require that the things to be seized must be
Furthermore, toll bypass operations could not have been described in precise and minute detail as to leave no room for doubt
accomplished without the installation of telecommunications on the part of the searching authorities. Any description of the place
equipment to the PLDT telephone lines. Thus, petitioners may also or thing to be searched that will enable the officer making the search
be held liable for violation of P.D. 401 (use of telephone connections with reasonable certainty to locate such place or thing is sufficient.
w/o authority of PLDT).
To our mind, PLDT was able to establish the connection between the
A trial judges finding of probable cause may be set aside and the items to be searched as identified in the warrants and the crime of
search warrant issued by him based on his finding may be quashed theft of its telephone services and business.