The Philippine National Police (PNP) wants a full accounting of cases that have been dismissed due to technicality on the issuance of arrest or search warrants.
The directive by PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar to the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) came after the Tanauan City Regional Trial Court Branch 6 in Batangas province voided the search warrant issued against Erlindo Baez, whose house was among those raided by law enforcers during simultaneous operations in the Calabarzon Region in March.
The court decision on October 25 said the arrest warrant merely stated Barangay San Vicente, Sto. Tomas, Batangas and did not specify Baez’s home.
The court also declared as quashed the information against Baez and ordered the dismissal of the illegal possession of firearms and explosives case.
Baez, reportedly a coordinator of progressive group Bayan in Batangas, was ordered released from police custody.
Eleazar said for the PNP to improve its anti-criminality operations, measures should be imposed to prevent further dismissal of cases due to technicalities.
“I have already directed our DIDM through its Case Monitoring Division to account for all cases that were dismissed on the basis of technicality in the issuance of search and arrest warrants in order to come up with corrective measures to prevent similar situations in the future,” Eleazar said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Every police operation requires use of resources and entails hard work, aside from the fact that the lives of our operatives are put at risk. We won’t let the resources and sacrifices of our cops go to waste because of legal technicalities,” he added partly in Filipino.
Eleazar said the PNP fully respects the wisdom and independence of the court and they will wait for the official copy of the decision so they can study and abide by the ruling.
Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra previously said the national government’s inter-agency committee on extrajudicial killings have already finished its investigation on the March 7, 2021 simultaneous police operations that claimed the lives of nine activists.
Six others were arrested while explosives and several firearms were recovered.