Malacañang appealed to the public to trust the Philippine justice system and be aware that judges are issuing search warrants based on evidence and after finding probable cause.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement following criticisms that search warrants have been weaponized to go after unarmed activists. The issue stemmed from the death of nine activists in simultaneous police operations in different areas of the Calabarzon region last week.
In his Monday presser, Roque asked the public to have faith in the country’s justice system and the judges.
“Let’s trust our justice system,” he said.
“We have to accord our judges the presumption of regularity in the discharge of their functions,” he added.
Roque said he believes that judges are following the constitutional requirement that a search warrant shall only be issued by a judge upon finding probable cause.
“I would like to presume na lahat po ng mga huwes natin ay dini-discharge po ang kanilang katungkulan (that all of our judges are discharging their functions well),” he said.
“Talagang (It is really) on the basis of affidavits and submissions, they are convinced na meron pong dahilan talaga para mag-issue ng search warrant (that there is probable cause to issue a search warrant),” he added.
The Palace official, however, said that if there are judges who are doing otherwise, the public should avail themselves of legal remedies.
“Kung meron naman po talagang basehan na ang ibang judges ay hindi nagde-determine ng probable cause, meron naman pong proseso diyan (If there is a basis that there are judges who are not determining probable cause, then there is a process for that),” Roque said.
“To those na ang feeling nila ay walang probable cause, eh i-avail po natin ang mga remedyo (who feel that there is no probable cause, you can avail of the remedies),” he added.
Malacañang vowed last week to get to the bottom of the incident, saying impunity has no place in the Duterte administration.