Distinguish between a search warrant and a warrant of arrest
The issuance of search warrants is altogether different from the issuance of warrants of arrest. It is generally assumed that the same quantum of evidence is required whether one is concerned with probable cause to arrest or probable cause to search. But each requires a showing of probabilities as to somewhat different facts and circumstances, and thus one can exist without the other.
In search cases, two conclusions must be supported by substantial evidence: that the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity, and that the items will be found in the place to be searched. It is not also necessary that a particular person be implicated. By comparison, in arrest cases there must be probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person to be arrested committed it, which of course can exist without any showing that evidence of the crime will be found at premises under that person's control.
Worthy to note, our Rules of Court do not provide for a similar procedure to be followed in the issuance of warrants of arrest and search warrants. With respect to warrants of arrest, section 6 of Rule 112 simply provides that "upon filing of an information, the Regional Trial Court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused. In satisfying himself of the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest, the judge is not required to personally examine the complainant and his witnesses. The judge is merely called upon to examine and evaluate the report of the fiscal and the evidence in support of the report. Following established doctrine and procedure, he shall: (1) personally evaluate the report and the documents submitted by the fiscal regarding the existence of probable cause and, on the basis thereof, issue a warrant; or (2) if on the basis thereof he finds no probable cause, he may disregard the fiscal's report and require the submission of supporting affidavits of witnesses to aid him in arriving at a conclusions as to the existence of probable cause.
In contrast, the procedure to be followed in issuing search warrants is more defined. Thus, Sections 3, 4 and 5 of Rule 126 provide:
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Sec. 3. Requisites for issuing search warrant. — A search warrant shall not issue but upon probable cause in connection with one specific offense to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the things to be seized.
Sec. 4. Examination of complainant; record. — The judge must, before issuing the warrant, personally examine in the form of searching questions and answers, in writing and under oath the complainant and any witnesses he may produce on facts personally known to them and attach to the record their sworn statements together with any affidavits submitted.
Sec. 5. Issuance and form of search warrant. — If the judge is thereupon satisfied of the facts upon which the application is based, or that there is probable cause to believe that they exist, he must issue the warrant, which must be substantially in the form prescribed by these Rules. (Webb vs De Leon, G.R. No. 121234, August 23, 1995)
WARRANT OF ARREST
The applicant must show:
1. that the items sought are in fact seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity; and
2. that the items will be found in the place to be searched.
The applicant must show:
1. probable cause that an offense has been committed; and
2. that the person to be arrested committed it
The judge must conduct a personal, searching examination of the applicant and his witnesses
The judge need not conduct a personal examination of the applicant and his witnesses. He may rely on the affidavits of the witnesses and the recommendation of the prosecutor.
Why are the requirements for the issuance of a search warrant more stringent than the requirements for the issuance of a warrant of arrest?
The violation of the right to privacy produces a humiliating effect which cannot be rectified anymore. This is why there is no other justification for a search, except a warrant. On the other hand, in a warrant of arrest, the person to be arrested can always post bail to prevent the deprivation of liberty.