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Central bank v Morfe and First Mutual Saving and Loan Organization

FACTS: The respondent, First Mutual Savings and Loan Org Inc, is a non-stock corporation whose main
purpose is to encourage and implement savings and extend financial assistance in the form of loans
to its members. The Central Bank declared in a newspaper that associations of that nature have
never been authorized by the monetary board of the Central Bank to accept deposit funds from the
public nor to engage in banking activity in the Philippines as such institutions are in violation of
Section 2 of RA 337, The General Banking Act. A member of the intelligence of the Central Bank
filed for a search warrant against the organization. Hon. Judge Cancino issued the warrant. The
organization filed a civil case for certiorari and preliminary injunction to annul the warrant. Judge
Morfe granted the injunction. The Central Bank moved for reconsideration but was denied. The
Central Bank then filed an action against Judge Morde and the first mutual saving and loan org,
alleging that the judge had acted with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of his jurisdiction in
issuing the order in question.

ISSUE: Whether or not the search warrant Judge Morfe annulled permits an unreasonable search and
seizure of documents which have no relation to a specific criminal act


RATIO: Morfe’s order seems to assume that an illegal banking transaction, of the kind contemplated in
the contested action of the officers of the Bank must always connote the existence of a “victim”-a term
used to denote a party whose interests have been actually injured. That assumption is not justified as the
law requiring compliance with certain requirements before anybody can engage in banking obviously
seeks to protect the public against actual as well as potential injury.

Failure of the witness (Manila Police detective) to mention the particular individuals does not disprove
his knowledge of the specific acts of the Organization. The records clearly suggest that the illegal
transactions constitute the general pattern of business of the Organization.

G. Columbia Pictures v Court of Appeals

FACTS: Alfredo Ramos, intelligence officer of the Videogram Regulatory Board received information
that private respondent Jose Jinco had in his possession pirated videotapes and other materials intended to
be used for the purpose of sale, lease etc. After the hearing, a search warrant was issued. Respondent’s
motion to quash search warrant was denied. Respondent filed an urgent motion to lift the search warrant
and return the seized article alleging that the search warrant is a general warrant and was issued without
probable cause. The motion to quash warrant and return the seized articles was granted.
Hence, this petition.
The trial court relied on the Court’s ruling in 20th Century Fox v CA which involved violation of
PD 49 (Decree on the Protection of Intellectual Property) In said case, video outlets were raided pursuant
to search warrants issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati. However, the search warrants were later
lifted by the same court on the ground of lack of probable cause because the master tapes of the alleged
pirated tapes were never shown to the lower court. The Court affirmed the lifting of the search warrants
holding that the presentation of the master tapes was necessary for the validity of the search warrants
against those who have the pirated films in their possession.

ISSUE: W/N the seizure of the pirated tapes were unconstitutional on the basis of lack of probable cause


RATIO: Based on the 20th Century Fox case, what is required for the issuance of a warrant is merely the
presence of a probable cause. The 3 warrants were lifted because the NBI agents who acted as witnesses
did not have personal knowledge of the subject matter of their testimony which was the alleged
commission of the offense by the private respondents. Only the petitioner’s counsel stated that he had
personal knowledge that the pirated tapes were taken from the master tapes belonging to the petitioner.
But the lower court did not give much credence to his testimony because the master tapes of the allegedly
pirated tapes were not shown to the court during the application. There was no reason not to present the
master tapes.

**search and seizure cases are given in favour of the individual

**a core requisite before a warrant is validly issued: existence of probable cause- the existence of 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 to
be searched.

**testimony on patent hearsay with no evidentiary weight or probative value would alone not suffice
under the law on the existence of probable cause.

Note: according to darvin’s digest: However, this rule is no longer applicable – the master tapes are no
longer absolutely necessary to determine the existence of probable cause. They are only needed if
there is doubt as to the true nexus of the infringed material in comparison w/ the original. The 20th
Century Fox Case, in this regard, has already been superseded.