CEBU City Executive Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul has assured that requests for search warrants are examined exhaustively before they are issued by the court.
His statement came after Mayor Tomas Osmeña appealed to Cebu City judges to consider some observations in their evaluation of the request for the issuance of search warrants.
“It is really required for a judge that before issuing or refusing to issue a search warrant, he has to examine the applicant and the witnesses that the applicant might produce. That examination is through searching questions. And through the answers of the applicants and his witnesses, the judge will evaluate if there is probable cause to issue the search warrant,” he told reporters.
He said it takes him three hours to examine the applicant and witnesses before issuing or denying a request.
In an undated advisory, Osmeña said reports of incidents involving the “irregularities in the enforcement of search warrants” have been brought to his attention.
Osmeña alleged that law enforcers ignored procedure when they served the warrants, as validated by video footage and witnesses.
There are remedies that the subject of the search warrants can avail himself of if there are irregularities in its implementation.
Hadjirasul said the questions and answers to the applicant of the search warrants and the witnesses are also recorded through the transcript of stenographic notes.
“The subject of the warrant can ask for the transcript, evaluate it, and if the rules are not followed, then he can file a motion to quash,” he said. (RVC)