A motion to quash the search warrant used by the police for the raid on the house of the late parents of former Board Member Angelito Colmenares in Hinigaran, was filed by his counsel, Reynaldo Depasucat, before the Himamaylan Regional Trial Court recently.
Depasucat said the evidence shows that the SW No. 41-10-047 is a general warrant, and is a violation of Section 2, Article 3 of the Philippine Constitution, and Section 4 of the Rules of Court.
He also said Senior Inspector Arnold Mesias, his witnesses and their evidence to support for the issuance of the search warrant, failed to establish probable cause.
In applying for the search warrant, Mesias said, he received information on July 1, 2010, about a person in Brgy. Tuguis, Hinigaran carrying assorted firearms and harassing a person, prompting him to issue an order to conduct intelligence work in the area.
Depasucat said this connotes that Mesias has no personal knowledge about the firearms illegally possessed allegedly by his client who has licenses for two shotguns, a .38 Colt pistol and a 45 caliber Colt pistol.
He also said the search warrant fails to satisfy constitutional requirements, and is issued on a “loose, vague and without sufficient definiteness,” of the place to be searched.
He also said that the house, searched is owned by the parents of his client, so his client could not be held accountable for the firearms seized.
The Firearms and Explosives Office of the Philippine National Police had earlier revoked the gun licenses it had issued to Colmenares, who has also been charged in court for illegal possession of firearms.
PNP records show that Colmenares had licenses for his .38 caliber Colt with serial number 275415, .45 caliber Colt pistol with serial number 7oSC11981, a Shotgun Mossberg 12 gauge with serial number L231943 and 12 gauge Akkar shotgun with serial number 9552502.
In his memorandum, Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, FEO chief, said the revocation of the gun license issued to Colmenares stemmed from the filing of charges against him for illegal possession of firearms.
This was after Chief Supt. Cipriano Querol, regional police director of Western Visayas, also recommended the revocation of the firearm licenses of Colmenares when they found out that the 7.62 caliber HPRFL(high-powered rifle) with serial number 1544272 and the .22 caliber LPFRL (low-powered rifle), that was among the firearms recovered during a raid in Brgy. Tuguis, Hinigaran, in July 13, 2010, had been tagged as “lost/wanted firearms”.
In his counter-affidavit, Colmenares said that the other firearms and ammunition, allegedly seized, had not been recovered or found in his possession, but in a house, where he no longer resides, or owns in Brgy. Tuguis, Hinigaran.
Colmenares also issued an appeal on the cancellation of his gun licenses by the PNP where he said, “The subject firearms have not been used by me and/or intended by me to be used in the commission of an offense”.
As a licensed gun holder, he said he has never been charged for using those firearms for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code.
Colmenares said the firearms with revoked licenses, are used to protect his life and property.
He said that to cancel his license because of the pendency of an “unfounded and unwarranted” case is tantamount to the imposition of the penalty against him for the charge, of which he has not yet been proven guilty.*GPB