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CA denies gunrunning suspect’s petition to void search warrant

MANILA – The Court of Appeals has turned down a petition questioning the lower court’s warrants filed by a man who figured in a Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) sting operation on a gunrunning operation.

The appellate court’s Ninth Division dismissed the petition filed by labor organizer Joel Demate, who challenged the validity of the search warrant against him issued in December 2020 by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Among the items found in Demate’s house were a pistol, an automatic rifle, magazines and ammunition. He claimed they were the same items allegedly seized from trade union leader Rodrigo Esparago and Lady Ann Salem, who belongs to an alternative media outfit.

Last month, the CA upheld the Mandaluyong RTC decision that junked the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges against Esparago and Salem after it noted the prosecution’s failure to provide clear and consistent testimonies.

Demate was not similarly fortunate with the CA ruling that finds “substantial basis for the lower court’s finding of probable cause in issuing the search warrant” against him, according to the decision dated March 29 and made public Friday. — Benjamin Pulta  (PNA) 

Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph

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