Judges told to exercise prudence in issuing search warrants during election period
The Office of the Court Administrator on Wednesday came up with a resolution reminding lower court judges to exercise prudence in issuing search warrants during election season.
In OCA Circular No. 64-2019, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez stressed this was to avoid courts to be used by unscrupulous politicians to obtain search warrants against their rivals.
“… all judges are hereby reminded and advised to remain impartial and non-partisan, and be very circumspect on acting on applications for search warrants’, to preclude the courts from being used for election purposes,” the order read.
Furthermore, the order said that courts must ensure their jurisdiction before entertaining applications for search warrants, and conduct the proper proceedings before the same are issued.
“While the power to search and seize is necessary to the public welfare, still it must be exercised and the law enforced without transgressing the constitutional rights of the citizens, for the enforcement of no statute is of sufficient importance to justify indifference to the basic principles of government,” the order said as it cited Rodriguez v. Villamiel.