Stonehill v. Diokno G.R. No. L-19550, June 19, 1967 20 SCRA 383 (1967)

Fact: Upon application of the officers Respondents-Prosecutors, Respondents-Judges issued, a total of 42 search warrants against petitioners herein and/or the corporations of which they were officers, directed to the any peace officer, to search the persons above-named and/or the premises of their offices, warehouses and/or residences, and to seize and take possession of the following personal property to wit:

Books of accounts, financial records, vouchers, correspondence, receipts, ledgers, journals, portfolios, credit journals, typewriters, and other documents and/or papers showing all business transactions including disbursements receipts, balance sheets and profit and loss statements and Bobbins (cigarette wrappers). as “the subject of the offense; stolen or embezzled and proceeds or fruits of the offense,” or “used or intended to be used as the means of committing the offense,” which is described in the applications adverted to above as “violation of Central Bank Laws, Tariff and Customs Laws, Internal Revenue (Code) and the Revised Penal Code.”

Petitioners that the aforementioned search warrants are null and void, as contravening the Constitution and the Rules of Court — because, inter alia: (1) they do not describe with particularity the documents, books and things to be seized; (2) cash money, not mentioned in the warrants, were actually seized; (3) the warrants were issued to fish evidence against the aforementioned petitioners in deportation cases filed against them; (4) the searches and seizures were made in an illegal manner; and (5) the documents, papers and cash money seized were not delivered to the courts that issued the warrants, to be disposed of in accordance with law — said petitioners filed with the Supreme Court this original action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and injunction, and prayed that, pending final disposition of the present case, a writ of preliminary injunction be issued restraining Respondents-Prosecutors, their agents and /or representatives from using the effects seized as aforementioned or any copies thereof, in the deportation cases already adverted to, and that, in due course, thereafter, decision be rendered quashing the contested search warrants and declaring the same null and void, and commanding the respondents, their agents or representatives to return to petitioners herein, in accordance with Section 3, Rule 67, of the Rules of Court, the documents, papers, things and cash moneys seized or confiscated under the search warrants in question.

Issue: Whether the documents, papers, and things seized in the residences of petitioners may be used in evidence against the petitioners, corporation.

Held: No, documents, papers and things seized in the residences of petitioners is not covered with the search warrant and are inadmissible evidence against petitioners herein. Two points must be stressed in connection with this constitutional mandate, namely: (1) that no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, to be determined by the judge in the manner set forth in said provision; and (2) that the warrant shall particularly describe the things to be seized. The court were not satisfied that the allegations of said petitions said motion for reconsideration, and the contents of the aforementioned affidavits and other papers submitted in support of said motion, have sufficiently established the facts or conditions contemplated in the cases relied upon by the petitioners; to warrant application of the views therein expressed, should we agree thereto.

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