Mata v Bayona; G.R. No. L-50720; 26 Mar 1984; 128 SCRA 388

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Respondent judge issued a search warrant against petitioner after an information was filed accusing the latter under Presidential Decree 810, as amended by Presidential Decree 1306. During the hearing of the case, petitioner discovered that the search warrant and other pertinent papers connected to the issuance of the same were not attached to the records.

Whether or not the search warrant was valid.

NO. Section 4 of Rule 126 which provides that the judge must before issuing the warrant personally examine on oath or affirmation the complainant and any witnesses he may produce and take their depositions in writing, and attach them to the record, in addition to any affidavits presented to him. Mere affidavits of the complainant and his witnesses are thus not sufficient. The examining Judge has to take depositions in writing of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and to attach them to the record. Such written deposition is necessary in order that the Judge may be able to properly determine the existence or non-existence of the probable cause, to hold liable for perjury the person giving it if it will be found later that his declarations are false. The failure of respondent judge to conform with the essential requisites of taking the depositions in writing and attaching them to the record thus rendered the search warrant invalid.

The writ of certiorari is GRANTED and the assailed orders are REVERSED.

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