Villania: Search warrants in cybercrimes

Reynold Villania is a Facebook celebrity known for his mission of empowering the police force and the citizenry through legal education. He posted the following on Facebook. For more of Villania's posts, please follow him at https://www.facebook.com/reynoldvillania/.

[QUOTE STARTS HERE] Tanong: Sir, sabi mo hindi kailangan ang court order para buksan ang cellphone, USB, computer at iba pang storage device kapag sila ay nakuha sa pamamagitan ng "warrantless arrest and seizures" AT "may urgency and emergency reason para sila ay buksan" para mahuli ang iba pang suspek o maresolba ang krimen.Ngayon, paano kung sila ay nakuha sa pamamagitan ng search warrant? Kailangan pa ba ang court order para sila ay mabuksan ? [Is a separate search warrant needed to access a mobile phone confiscated by authorities through a prior search warrant?]

Sagot: Depende po. [It depends.]

1. Pag ang search warrant ay para sa Cybercrimes (ICT- Enabled Crime )- Hindi na kailangan ang court order para sila ay mabuksan. Subalit, tandaan na pinapahintulutan lamang silang mabuksan sa loob ng sampung araw matapos na makuha ang search warrant. Ibig sabihin, hanggat epektibo ang search warrant, pwedeng silang saliksikin. Pag malapit ng matapos ang buhay ng search warrant at hindi pa tapos ang pulis, kailangan niyang pumunta sa korte para hingin ang pahintulot nito "for extention of time to conduct further digital forensic examination". [If the search warrant issued is cybercrime-related, there is no need to apply for a second warrant. If the search warrant was issued in relation to a traditional crime, a non-cyber offense, there is a need to ask for court intervention.]

2. Pag ang search warrant ay para sa iba pang krimen ( Traditional Crime) - hindi puwedeng buksan ng walang court order. [QUOTE ENDS HERE] Reynold Villania on Facebook; May 29, 2018 at 4:43PM; https://www.facebook.com/reynoldvillania
RELEVANT LAWS:

The 1987 Constitution's Article III, Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause 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 persons or things to be seized.

Section 1. Search warrant defined. — A search warrant is an order in writing issued in the name of the People of the Philippines, signed by a judge and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for personal property described therein and bring it before the court. (Rule 126 of the rules of Court)

Section 4. Requisites for issuing search warrant. — A search warrant shall not issue except 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 which may be anywhere in the Philippines. (Rule 126 of the Rules of Court)

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