WHAT IS A WARRANT OF ARREST?
> Legal process issued by a competent authority, directing the arrest of a person or persons upon grounds stated therein
WHEN MAY A WARRANT OF ARREST BE ISSUED?
> If issued by the RTC,
1. Within ten (10) days from the filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence.
2. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on record clearly fails to establish probable cause.
3. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order if the accused has already been arrested pursuant to a warrant issued by the MTC judge who conducted the preliminary investigation or when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 7 of this Rule.
o Pangay v. Ganay modified this rule by providing that investigating judges’ power to order the arrest of the accused is limited to instances where there is necessity for placing him in custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice
4. In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days from the filing of the complaint of information.
5. If the warrant of arrest is issued by the MTC and if the preliminary investigation was conducted by the prosecutor, the same procedure as above is followed
WHEN IS A WARRANT OF ARREST NOT NECESSARY?
> A warrant of arrest is not necessary in the following instances:
1. When the accused is already in detention issued by the MTC
2. When the accused was arrested by virtue of a lawful arrest without warrant
3. When the penalty is of a fine only
4. Those covered by a summary procedure
WHAT ARE THE PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE FINDING OF PROBABLE CAUSE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A WARRANT OF ARREST?
> There is a distinction between the objective of determining probable cause as done by the prosecutor and that done by the judge—the prosecutor determines it for the purpose of filing the complaint or information; while the judge determines it for the purpose of issuing a warrant of arrest to determine whether there is a necessity of placing the accused under immediate custody in
order not to frustrate the ends of justice
> Since the objectives are different, the judge shouldn't rely solely on the report of the prosecutor in finding probable cause to justify the issuance of warrant of arrest
> He must decide independently and must have supporting evidence other than the prosecutor’s bare report