Prudente v. Judge Dayrit, 180 SCRA 69 (1989
Whether the issuance of the search warrant against Prudente is proper.
While it is true that in his application for search warrant, applicant P/Major Dimagmaliw stated that he verified the information he had earlier received that petitioner had in his possession and custody the firearms and explosives described in the application, and that he found it to be a fact, yet there is nothing in the record to show or indicate how and when said applicant verified the earlier information acquired by him as to justify his conclusion that he found such information to be a fact.
In Alvarez, it was held that, “The true test of sufficiency of a deposition or affidavit to warrant issuance of a search warrant is whether it has been drawn in a manner that perjury could be charged thereon and the affiant be held liable for damage caused. The oath required must refer to the truth of the facts within the personal knowledge of the applicant for search warrant, and/or his witnesses, not of the facts merely reported by a person whom one considers to be reliable.” Tested by the above standard, the allegations of the witness, P/Lt. Angeles, in his deposition, do not come up to the level of facts of his personal knowledge so much so that he cannot be held liable for perjury for such allegations in causing the issuance of the questioned search warrant.
Additionally, Respondent Judge did not examine him “in the form of searching questions and answers.” On the contrary, the questions asked were leading as they called for a simple “yes” or “no” answer. As held in Quintero vs. NBI, “the questions propounded by respondent Executive Judge to the applicant’s witness are not sufficiently searching to establish probable cause. Asking of leading questions to the deponent in an application for search warrant, and conducting of examination in a general manner, would not satisfy the requirements for issuance of a valid search warrant.
The designation of the places to be searched sufficiently complied with the constitutional injunction that a search warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched since there was a particular description of the location of PUP and referred to ground floor and second floor rooms.
Failing to allege under oath that the issuance of the search warrant on a Saturday was urgent provides for a guideline, departure from which would not necessarily affect the validity of an otherwise valid search warrant.