Castro v Pabalan; G.R. No. L-28642; 30 Apr 1976; 70 SCRA 477

FACTS:
Upon application before the respondent court, a search warrant was issued against the petitioners. The said warrant merely mentioned illegal traffic of narcotics and contraband inside the warehouse and premises of petitioners. No specific offense had been alleged. The particular description of the things to be seized was not averred, neither the premises to be searched.

ISSUE(S):
Whether or not the search warrant issued was valid.

RULING:
NO. The basic procedural requisite that a search warrant “shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense,” was not complied where in an application for a search warrant reference was made to “an illegal traffic of narcotics and contraband.” The latter is a generic term covering all goods exported from or imported into the country contrary to applicable statutes. Necessarily then more than one offense could arise from the activity designated as illegal traffic of narcotics and contraband.

Writ of certiorari is GRANTED.

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Category: Legal Chyme

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