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Jose Burgos vs.

Chief of Staff
G.R. No L-64261
December 26, 1984
Facts:
Respondent Judge Ernani Cruz-Pano issued 2 search warrants to search the premises of
of the Metropolitan Mail and We Forum. Various equipment, paraphernalia and
written documents were searched. Written literature alleged to be in the possession and
control of petitioner Jose Burgos, Jr., publisher-editor of We Forum newspaper were
seized.
The validity of these warrants were questioned through a petition for certiorari and so that
the articles and equipment may be returned to the petitioners.
Issue:
Whether or not the warrant of arrest is valid to justify the seizure of the items.
Supreme Court Ruling:
The law provides that no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined by the judge, or such other responsible officer as may be
authorized by law, 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
persons or things to be seized.
Probable cause for a search is defined as such facts and circumstances which would lead
a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that an offense has been committed and
that the objects sought in connection with the offense are in the place sought to be
searched. In the case, the reason for the seizure must be well stated, as well as the
specifications and the particularities of the alleged subversive material that the petitioner
has published or is intending to publish. Mere generalization will not suffice. Thus, the
broad statement in Col. Abadillas application is a mere conclusion of law and does not
satisfy the requirements of probable cause. The warrant is constitutionally objectionable
because they are in the nature of general warrants.
The search warrants were declared null and void.