cdn mobile

Palompon mayor’s petition dismissed: Court upholds SW validity

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 09,2024 - 08:03 PM


The court dismissed Palompon Mayor Ramon Oñate’s petition to invalidate the search warrant against DBSN Farms Agriventures Corp. for lack of merit. / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ORMOC CITY, Leyte — The Regional Trial Court Branch 45 of Tacloban City dismissed the petition filed by Palompon Mayor Ramon Oñate seeking to invalidate the search warrant issued earlier by the court on the site where the DBSN Farms Agriventures Corp. is located, citing lack of merit.

Oñate’s petition to suppress the evidence obtained by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to support allegations of environmental law violations against the chicken breeder farms was also dismissed by the court.

“Both the Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence Illegally Obtained filed on January 19, 2024, and the Supplemental Motion to Quash Search Warrant and to Suppress Evidence filed on January 25, 2024, are denied for lack of merit,” Executive Judge Georgina Uy Perez said in her 16-page decision issued on February 2 this year.

DBSN Farm Agriventures Corporation is owned by the family of Mayor Oñate.

In its ruling, the court rejected Oñate’s argument that the Palompon Watershed Forest Reserve (PWFR) is not a protected area.

“The argument of the respondent that an act of Congress is necessary for the PWFR to be considered as a protected area fails to impress this court,” it said.

The court also dismissed Oñate’s claim that his right against unreasonable searches and seizures was violated when the court issued the 10-day search warrant on January 16, allowing the DENR to excavate 30 sites inside the PWFR where chicken and other solid wastes have reportedly been dumped by DBSN.

“The issuance of the search warrant was made after a finding of probable cause for violation of Section 18 of RA 11038, otherwise known as the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018,” the court added.

The court noted that Oñate did not dispute, and even acknowledged, that Lot 5150, where the DBSN poultry farms are located, is within the PWFR, where the dumping, throwing, and use of any toxic chemical, noxious or poisonous substance or non-biodegradable material, untreated sewage or animal waste or products whether in liquid, solid or gas state, including pesticides and other hazardous substances detrimental to the protected area or the plants and animals or inhabitants are prohibited under existing laws.

“Witnesses (were) able to establish that there were dumping and throwing of chicken parts, chicken droppings, intestines, feathers, dead chickens, large blue plastic drums, medicine bottles, plastic bags with contents and even expired canned goods on certain identified portions of Lot 5150, which is within the PWFR, a protected area,” the court pointed out.

The court reiterated that “there is no factual and legal basis” for it to invalidate or quash the search warrant it issued.

It also dismissed Oñate’s argument that the search warrant was irregularly implemented as it noted that the areas that were excavated were among those identified in the warrant and that the DENR teams that implemented the court order submitted an itemized list of the evidence that was obtained from the excavations.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that there is no sufficient evidence supporting the respondent’s claim that Search Warrant No. 2023-12-06 was illegally and/or irregularly implemented. Hence, there is no basis to suppress the evidence obtained during the implementation of the said search warrant,” it said.


Expired canned goods, poultry wastes unearthed in the farm of Palompon mayor

Charges vs Leyte poultry farm ‘false and misleading’ — lawyer

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.


We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.