By: Roy Bersales
SENATOR Richard Gordon believed that the issuance of search warrants by some judges to the policemen that are intended for operations inside detention cells as alarming and highly questionable because they should not happen in the very first place.
Thus, Gordon on Thursday strongly urged the Supreme Court (SC) to find out the reason why some judges release search warrants that appeared to legalize “questionable” police operations.
Gordon said the Philippine National Police (PNP) operatives were able to conduct operations against accused individuals who are already detained at the detention cells being run by the government by using search warrants issued by the courts.
The senator was referring to the search warrants issued by
Judge Tarcelo Sabarre Jr. of Basey, Samar Regional Trial Court Branch 30, and Judge Janet Cabalona of Calbiga, Samar Regional Trial Court Branch 33.
Sabarre’s search warrant issued to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group – Region 8 that was used to conduct a search operation against Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. inside a Bureau of Jail and Management (BJMP) jail in Baybay City resulted to the killing of Espinosa and another inmate on November 5.
Cabalona issued search warrants to the PNP men on separate occasions for Francisco Balagbis and Edgar Allen Alvarez.
Balagbis, an inmate of BJMP – Baybay City, was killed during a raid conducted on October 28, 2016 by operatives of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force of the Police Regional Office – 8.
Alvarez, on the hand, was shot to death when police operatives raided the Leyte Regional Penitentiary in Abuyog, Leyte on August 11, 2016.
Police said Alvarez was shot to death after he attempted to put up a fight against CIDG, Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Group, Regional Public Safety Battalion, and the Regional Maritime Unit, all from PNP -Region 8.
Gordon was extremely alarmed because “it may have become a modus operandi for some unscrupulous PNP members to serve search warrants inside prison facilities to lend legitimate color to their nefarious operations.”
“Dapat talagang maimbestiga yung mga huwes na nag-iisyu ng search warrant para sa loob ng piitan, sa loob ng isang government agency. Dapat matapos agad ang imbestigasyon at gumawa ng aksyon ang Korte Suprema diyan. For me, I don’t think that’s ignorance of the law alone, I think that’s malicious,” he averred.
He pointed out that “Alam naman ng judge na hindi dapat mag-issue ng warrant sa loob ng piitan, sapagkat sa preso, pwedeng buksan ang selda mo at halungkatin ang buong aparador mo, ang kama mo. Lahat pwedeng halungkatin. Bakit ka pa mag-issue ng warrant?”