What is a Motion to Quash a Search Warrant?
"I was arrested by police officers for violating quarantine protocols. Then, they brought me to the barangay (village) hall where I was interviewed by our barangay officials. During the interview, I accidentally but falsely bragged that I have firearms in my apartment. On the basis of my admission, the police officers applied for search warrant, which was granted. They served it and recovered from my room undetermined number of illegal drugs. The public attorney who represented me told me that he filed a motion to quash the search warrant. What is this motion?Marc
Dear Marc,After a search warrant is served and the accused wants to challenge the very legality of its issuance or obtention, his remedy is to file a motion to quash such search warrant or to suppress evidence. Under the Revised Guidelines for Continuous Trial of Criminal Cases (AM 15-06-10-SC), the motion to quash a search warrant is a meritorious motion provided it alleges plausible grounds, and is supported by relevant documents and/or competent evidence.
In Padua and Pimentel vs People (GR 220913, Feb. 4, 2019), the high court, through Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, expounded, thus:“A motion to quash a warrant is a consequence of the fact that it is the very legality of the court process forcing the submission of the person of the accused that is the very issue. Its prayer is precisely for the avoidance of the jurisdiction of the court which is also an exception to the rules that filing pleading seeking affirmative relief constitutes voluntary appearance, and the consequent submission of one’s person to the jurisdiction of the court.”
A search warrant issued sans compliance with the requisites set forth in the Rules of Court is quashable. Sections 4 and 5, Rule 126 of the Rules of Court laid down the requisites for the issuance of a search warrant, to wit:“Section 4. 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 complaint 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.
“Section 5. Examination of complainant record — The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examined in the form of searching question and answers, in writing and under oath, the complaint and the witnesses he may produce on facts personally know to them and attached to the record their sworn statements, together with the affidavits submitted.”Consequently, once a motion to quash a search warrant is granted, any evidence obtained by virtue of said warrant is inadmissible in evidence. In People vs Maderazo (GR 235348, Dec. 10, 2018), penned by now Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, the Court explained:“Settled is the rule that where entry into the premises to be searched was gained by virtue of a void search warrant, prohibited articles seized in the course of the search are inadmissible against the accused. x x x It is as if they entered Maderazo’s house without a warrant, making their entry therein illegal, and the items seized, inadmissible.”We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org"
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"What is a Motion to Quash a Search Warrant?"
was written by Mary
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and updated on 15 September 2021