Placer v Villanueva; G.R. Nos. L-60349-62; 29 Dec 1983; 126 SCRA 463

in Legal Chyme by

The City Fiscal of Butuan City and his assistants filed several informations, all of which were certified to by the respective investigating fiscals. Following receipt of said informations, respondent judge issued an order setting the hearing of said criminal cases for the purpose of determining the propriety of issuing the corresponding warrants of arrest. After said hearing, respondent judge issued orders requiring petitioners to submit to the court the affidavits of the prosecution witnesses and other documentary evidence in support of the informations to aid him in the exercise of his power of judicial review of the finding of probable cause by petitioners.

Whether or not the findings of the investigating fiscal obligate the judge to issue a warrant of arrest.

NO. There is no dispute that the judge may rely upon the fiscal’s certification of the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant of arrest. But such certification does not bind the judge to come out with the warrant. The issuance of a warrant is not a mere ministerial function; it calls for the exercise of judicial discretion on the part of the issuing magistrate.

Petition is DISMISSED.

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