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Republic of the Philippines

First Judicial Region


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Branch XVII
Batac City, Ilocos Norte

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES


Plaintiff, Case No. 12122019
-for-
-versus- Violation of Sec. 28(a)
Art. V of RA 10591
(Illegal Possession of Firearm)
PARK SEO JOON
Defendant.

X--------------------------------------------------------X

MOTION TO QUASH
and to SUPPRESS ILLEGALLY SEIZED EVIDENCE

Defendant PARK SEO JOON, by undersigned counsel, unto this


Honorable Court, respectfully states that:

1. Search Warrant No. 100 was applied for and issued by the Honorable
Presiding Judge Song Hye-Kyo of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC)
situated in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur dated January 22, 2019 (“Search
Warrant”) after finding probable cause that a crime subject of the said
warrant was committed.

2. In light of procedural rules anchored on well-settled constitutional


pronouncements, defendant respectfully moves for the quashal of the
Search Warrant and for the suppression of illegally seized evidence on
the following grounds:

A. The Honorable Court has no territorial


jurisdiction over the place where the
alleged offense was committed.

3. Well-settled is the rule that venue in search warrant applications


involves a question territorial jurisdiction. Section 2, Rule 126 of the
Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure distinctly provides that:
“An application for search warrant shall be filed with the
following:

a) Any court within whose territorial jurisdiction a crime


was committed.

b) For compelling reasons stated in the application, any


court within the judicial region where the crime was
committed if the place of the commission of the crime is
known, or any court within the judicial region where the
warrant shall be enforced.”

4. The Rules clearly provide that the issuance of a search warrant is


exclusively and primarily vested in the trial courts which has territorial
jurisdiction over the place where the crime was committed.

5. The Rules only provide for an exception in cases where there are
compelling reasons to seek the issuance of such search warrant beyond
such courts.

6. The Supreme Court in its decision in the case of Malaloan v. Court of


Appeals laid down policy guidelines for the issuance of search warrants
which states in part that:

“1. The court wherein the criminal case is pending shall


have primary jurisdiction to issue search warrants
necessitated by and for purposes of said case. An
application for a search warrant may be filed with another
court only under extreme and compelling circumstances
that the applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the
latter court which may or may not give due course to the
application depending on the validity of the justification
offered for not filing the same in the court with primary
jurisdiction thereover.”

7. Where the crime is alleged to have taken place in Tabug, Batac City,
the application for search warrant should be have been properly made
at the Municipal and Regional Trial Courts of Batac City. The Regional
Trial Court of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, therefore has no jurisdiction or
proper authority to entertain the application for the issuance of a search
warrant in the subject case.

B. There are no compelling reasons that


would warrant deviation from the rule.
8. Where there are reasons alleged that would prompt the applicant to seek
the issuance of the search warrant from a court which has no territorial
jurisdiction over the alleged crime, such reasons must be extreme and
compelling to warrant the deviation from the established rule.

9. The word “compelling”, as used in its ordinary signification, means,


according to Merriam-Webster, as something that is persuasive, strong,
satisfying or convincing. Such reasons must then be of such a nature as
to preclude or impede the application for the issuance of search
warrants in courts having territorial jurisdiction and merit the grant of
the said search warrant sought for by other courts.

10. As aforementioned, the case of Malaloan v. Court of Appeals has


further qualified the term “compelling reasons” with the word
“extreme” as to confine such exception to be made in situations
characterized as “exceptional” or “extraordinary.”

11.In claiming any compelling reason to apply for a search warrant in


another court, the applicant has not expressly stated the specific reasons
in the application and that such has not been adequately elucidated
during the searching interview as to prove the fact to the satisfaction of
the court.

12.The allegation of a possible leakage on the other hand, is clearly


unfounded. No explanation or evidence was presented during the ex
parte hearing to substantiate such claims and may thus be considered as
mere baseless assumptions.

13.Clearly, the above reasons could hardly be considered tenable, much


less compelling enough to allow the application of a search warrant in
the Municipal Trial Court of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.

C. Even assuming that the Honorable


Court has jurisdiction to issue the search
warrant, the same should be quashed for
lack of probable cause.

14.The rules require the presence of probable cause for the issuance of a
search warrant. Section 4, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure provides that:
“A search warrant shall not issue except upon probable
cause in connection with one specific offense 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 things to be seized which may
be anywhere in the Philippines.”

15.Probable cause was described by Justice Escolin in Burgos v. Chief of


Staff as referring to “such facts and circumstances which would lead a
reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been
committed and that the objects sought in connection with the offense
are in the place sought to be searched.” (Roan vs. Gonzales, 145 SCRA
687, No. L-71410 November 25, 1986)

16.The case of Yao, Sr. vs. People, 525 SCRA 108, G.R. No. 168306 June
19, 2007 states therein that probable cause must be based on the
applicant’s and the witnesses’ personal knowledge.

“The facts and circumstances being referred thereto


pertain to facts, data or information personally known to
the applicant and the witnesses he may present. The
applicant or his witnesses must have personal knowledge
of the circumstances surrounding the commission of the
offense being complained of. “Reliable information” is
insufficient. Mere affidavits are not enough, and the judge
must depose in writing the complainant and his
witnesses.”

D. The applicant/ complainant has no


personal knowledge to support a finding
of probable cause for the issuance of a
search warrant.

17.As shown in the transcript of stenographic notes taken during the


conduct of searching questions and answers on the applicant and his
witnesses in the issuance of Search Warrant No. 100, the applicant,
Police Chief Inspector Choi Siwon merely relies on the information
provided to him by their Confidential Informant (CI). There is no
showing that he participated personally in validating the information
supplied by their CI. The applicant, therefore, did not have personal
knowledge as to facts that would justify the issuance of a search
warrant.
E. The time of the application is far
removed in time as to make the probable
cause of doubtful veracity and the
warrant vitally defective.

18.The report by the CI on the alleged presence of unlicensed firearms in


the possession of the accused was made on September 12, 2018 and
was said to be validated on September 14, 2018.

19.PCI Si Won reasons that the application for search warrant was not
immediately filed as they were waiting for the feedback from the
firearms and explosives unit in Camp Crame, Quezon City that the
accused is not a licensed holder of any kind of caliber and that such
report was only emailed to them on November 23, 2018.

20.This however, does not explain the period of time intervening between
November 23, 2018, when they received confirmatory information, and
January 22, 2019 when the search warrant was finally issued.

21.Much less can their claim of compelling reasons be made to justify their
belated filing, as earlier discussed in paragraphs 11 to 13 of this motion.

22.No further explanation was offered, nor that there was a need to conduct
a more thorough investigation in the interim to account for the delay.
The delay could only mean that there was no probable cause that would
support their application for a search warrant.

F. The testimony of the applicant and the


witnesses are likewise doubtful and do
not deserve to be given credence.

23.The applicant affirms the presence of photographs of the firearms


validated to have been in the accused’s possession. However the
applicant and his witnesses did not identify such photographs during
the conduct of the searching interview.

24.Moreover, neither the applicant’s testimony, nor that of the witnesses


presented show a plausible explanation as to how the photographs were
taken considering that both witnesses testified as to the secrecy that the
accused was said to have exercised over the alleged firearms and
ammunitions in saying that “the police may not know this.”
25.Logic also militates against the fact that with such secrecy, the accused
could have allowed a stranger to have see the alleged firearms.

26.The witnesses also do not possess any personal knowledge as to the


presence of any ammunition in the accused’s possession considering
that neither saw any being brought out from a sack alleged to have
contained the illegal firearms. There is therefore no probable cause for
ammunitions to be included among the items to be seized under the
search warrant.

27.As to the alleged discharge of firearm made at the back of accused’s


residence, the confidential informant has no personal knowledge
regarding such report not having witnessed the particular occurrence
and having caught wind only of such news at the cockfighting house.

G. The search warrant is quashable for the


abrasiveness of the official intrusions
against respondent’s property

28.Sec. 9, Rule 126 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure provides


that:

“The warrant must direct that it be served in the day time,


unless the affidavit asserts that the property is on the
person or in the place ordered to be searched, in which case
a direction may be inserted that it be served at any time of
the day or night.”

29.Although the police operatives were then equipped with a search


warrant, they are not justified in interfering with the peace of the
accused and in unjustly intruding on his privacy.

30.The search was conducted at 6:00 in the morning. Considering the late
application and issuance of the search warrant almost two to three
months after the validation and the confirmatory feedback, no benefit
nor advantage can be gained from executing the search warrant at
ungodly hours of the morning.

31.All the foregoing considered, it becomes clear that the issuance of the
Search Warrant, being invalid, arbitrary, and unwarranted as it is, is not
only grossly violative of the rules promulgated by the Supreme Court
for the proper administration of justice, but is likewise unduly
repugnant to the accused’s basic constitutional rights.
PRAYER

WHEREFORE, considering the manifest invalidity of the Search


Warrant No. 100 issued against the accused, it is respectfully prayed that the
same be quashed and that any evidence obtained thereby be suppressed for
being inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.

We, likewise pray for such just and equitable relief under the premises.

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, December 10, 2019.

ATTY. CZARINA MAE F. CID


Defense Counsel
CID LAW OFFICE
Brgy. 16, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
Roll of Attorneys No. 123456
PTR No. 123456, 01/05/19, Laoag City
IBP No. 123456, 01/05/19, Laoag City
MCLE Compliance No. 87654321, 02/02/2019
NOTICE OF HEARING

THE BRANCH CLERK OF COURT


OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE JUDGE
Regional Trial Court
First Judicial Region
City of Batac, Branch 17

OFFICE OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR


Bulwagan ng Katarungan, City of Batac

Greetings:

Please take note that the undersigned counsel will submit the foregoing
Motion to Quash (Re: Search Warrant No. 100 dated January 22, 2019) for
the consideration and approval of the Honorable Court on December 14, 2019
at 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon or as soon thereafter as matter and counsel
may be heard.

ATTY. CZARINA MAE F. CID


Defense Counsel
CID LAW OFFICE
Brgy. 16, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
Roll of Attorneys No. 123456
PTR No. 123456, 01/05/19, Laoag City
IBP No. 123456, 01/05/19, Laoag City
MCLE Compliance No. 87654321, 02/02/2019

COPY FURNISHED:

THE BRANCH CLERK OF COURT


OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE JUDGE
Regional Trial Court
First Judicial Region
City of Batac, Branch 17

OFFICE OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR


Bulwagan ng Katarungan, City of Batac