Arrest1
Criminal Cases and Procedure

Warrant of Arrest in the Philippines

 

 

Requisites of a valid warrant of arrest

(1) Requisites for arrest warrant issued by a RTC judge under Sec. 5, Rule 112: 
(a) Within 10 days from the filing of the complaint or information 
(b) The judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. 
(c) If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest 
(d) In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause 
1)The judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within 5 days from notice; and 
2)The issue must be resolved by the court within 30 days from the filing of the complaint of information. 
(2) Requisites for issuing search warrant under Sec. 4, Rule 126: 
(a)It must be issued upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense; 
(b)The probable cause must be determined by the judge himself and not by the applicant or any other person; 
(c)In the determination of probable cause, the judge must examine under oath or affirmation, the complainant and the witness he may produce; and 
(d)The warrant issued must particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized which may be anywhere in the Philippines.

 

 

 

 

When warrant of arrest may issue

(1)(a) By the Regional Trial Court. – Within ten (10) days from the filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order if the accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the judge who conducted the preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 6 of this Rule. In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days from the filing of the complaint or information.
(b) By the Municipal Trial Court. – When required pursuant to the second paragraph of section 1 of this Rule, the preliminary investigation of cases falling under the original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court, or Municipal Circuit Trial Court shall be conducted by the prosecutor. The procedure for the issuance of a warrant of arrest by the judge shall be governed by paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) When warrant of arrest not necessary. – A warrant of arrest shall not issue if the accused is already under detention pursuant to a warrant issued by the Municipal Trial Court in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, or if the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 6 of this Rule or is for an offense penalized by fine only. The court shall then proceed in the exercise of its original jurisdiction (Sec. 5, as amended by AM 05-8-26-SC).

Cases not requiring a preliminary investigation

(1) No preliminary investigation is required in the following cases:
(a) If filed with the prosecutor. – If the complaint is filed directly with the prosecutor involving an offense punishable by imprisonment of less than four (4) years, two (2) months and one (1) day, the procedure outlined in section 3(a) of this Rule shall be observed. The prosecutor shall act on the complaint based on the affidavits and other supporting documents submitted by the complainant within (10) days from its filing.
(b) If filed with the Municipal Trial Court. – If the complaint or information is filed with the Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Court, for an offense covered by this section, the procedure in section 3(a) of this Rule shall be observed. If within ten (10) days after the filing of the complaint or information, the judge finds no probable cause after personally evaluating the evidence or after personally examining in writing and under oath the complainant and his witnesses in the form of searching questions and answers, he shall dismiss the same. He may, however, require the submission of additional evidence, within ten (10) days from notice, to determine further the existence of probable cause. If the judge still finds no probable cause despite the additional evidence, he shall, within ten (10) days from its submission or expiration of the said period, dismiss the case. When he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order if the accused had already been arrested, and hold him for trial. However, if the judge is satisfied that there is no necessity for placing the accused under custody, he may issue summons instead of a warrant of arrest (Sec. 8).

Remedies of accused if there was no preliminary investigation

(1) One remedy if there was no preliminary investigation is to hold in abeyance the proceedings and order the prosecutor to hold preliminary investigation (Pilapil vs. Sandiganbayan, April 7, 1993).
(2) Section 7, last paragraph thereof, provides that if the case has been conducted, the accused may within five (5) days from the time he learns of its filing ask for a preliminary investigation. The five-day period to file the motion for preliminary investigation is mandatory, and an accused is entitled to ask for preliminary investigation by filing the motion within the said period. The failure to file the motion within the five-day period amounts to a waiver of the right to ask for preliminary investigation. Apart from such waiver, posting bail without previously or simultaneously demanding for a preliminary investigation justifies denial of the motion for investigation (People vs. CA, 242 SCRA 645).
Arrest (Rule 113)
(1) Arrest is the taking of a person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense (Sec 1).
Arrest, how made
(1)An arrest is made by an actual restraint of a person to be arrested, or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. No violence or unnecessary force shall he used in making an arrest. The person arrested shall not be subject to a greater restraint than is necessary for his detention (Sec. 2).
Arrest without warrant, when lawful
(1) A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person:
(a)When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
(b)When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c)When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
In cases falling under paragraphs (a) and (b) above, the person arrested without a warrant shall be forthwith delivered to the nearest police station or jail and shall be proceeded against in accordance with Section 7 of Rule 112 (Sec. 5).
Method of arrest
(1) Method of arrest by officer by virtue of warrant. – When making an arrest by virtue of a warrant, the officer shall inform the person to be arrested of the cause of the arrest and the fact that a warrant has been issued for his arrest, except when he flees or forcibly resists before the officer has opportunity to so inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest. The officer need not have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest but after the arrest, if the person arrested so requires, the warrant shall be shown to him as soon as practicable (Sec. 7).
(2) Method of arrest by officer without warrant. – When making an arrest without a warrant, the officer shall inform the person to be arrested of his authority and the cause of the arrest, unless the latter is either engaged in the commission of an offense, is pursued immediately after its commission, has escaped, flees or forcibly resists before the officer has opportunity to so inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest (Sec. 8).
(3) Method of arrest by private person. – When making an arrest, a private person shall inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest him and cause of the arrest, unless the latter is either engaged in the commission of an offense, is pursued immediately after its commission, or has escaped, flees or forcibly resists before the person making the arrest has opportunity to so inform him, or when the giving of such information will imperil the arrest (Sec. 9).

Determination of Probable Cause for issuance of warrant of arrest

(1) It is the judge alone who determines the probable cause for the issuance of warrant of arrest. It is not for the provincial fiscal or prosecutor to ascertain (People vs. Inting, 187 SCRA 788).
Distinguish probable cause of fiscal from that of a judge
(1) The determination by the prosecutor of probable cause is for the purpose of either filing an information in court or dismissing the charges against the respondent, which is an executive function. The determination by the judge of probable cause begins only after the prosecutor has filed the information in court and the latter‘s determination of probable cause is for the purpose of issuing an arrest warrant against the accused, which is judicial function (People vs. CA, 301 SCRA 475).
(2)Probable cause to hold a person for trial refers to the finding of the investigating prosecutor after the conduct of a preliminary investigation, that there is sufficient ground to hold a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the respondent is probably guilty thereof and should be held for trial. Based on such finding, the investigating prosecutor files the corresponding complaint or information in the competent court against the accused. The determination of probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest is a judicial function. A judge cannot be compelled to issue a warrant of arrest if he or she believes honestly that there is no probable cause for doing so (People vs. CA, 102 SCAD 375, Jan. 21, 1999).

 

 

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