Judge voids search warrants against 2 activists
A judge in Mandaluyong City voided the warrants that were used to search the houses of Lady Ann Salem and Rodrigo Esparago last December 10, 2020. The judge also said that the evidences of firearms and explosives which were allegedly seized from the victims are inadmissible. Thus, the cases filed by the Philippine National Police against the two are effectively dismissed. This is an important victory for all those who have been arrested using defective search warrants and slapped with trumped-up charges.
The voided warrants were issued by Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of Quezon City, who is dubbed the “search warrant factory queen.”
Salem and Esparago are among the seven actvists who were illegaly arrested by the police during the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day last year. The victims, called the Human Rights Day 7, also include Dennise Velasco; Mark Ryan Cruz, Romina Raiselle Astudillo, Jaymie Gregorio and Joel Demate. Salem is an editor of the online news outfit Manila Today, while the six others are trade union organizers.