25 February 2006

Arrests under state of emergency defended


SATURDAY's arrests following President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's declaration of a state of national emergency are not without basis and has "sped up" the resolution of pending cases against some personalities, two government lawyers said.
"There was speeding up of the resolution [of the cases] on the part of the investigators," Chief Presidential Legal Adviser Eduardo Antonio Nachura told INQ7.net when asked how the arrests against partylist Representatives Crispin Beltran (AKBAYAN) and Satur Ocampo (BAYAN) were related to Arroyo's issuance of Proclamation of 1017.

Beltran was arrested in Bulacan early Saturday but Ocampo managed to elude his captors when they tried to detain him during an opposition-sponsored forum at the Sulo restaurant in Quezon City. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said the arrests were based on intelligence reports although he admitted that he was not consulted when these were carried out. Gonzalez also said that the list of those who would be arrested was with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA). "We [the Department of Justice] will only enter the picture once a complaint is filed," he told INQ7.net in a separate interview.
Nachura said that based on information that he had gathered Beltran and Ocampo had pending warrants of arrest but at the same time admitted that the timing by which these arrests were made were “suspicious.”
Nonetheless, Nachura said the arrests could have been done with or without Proclamation 1017 “as long as there was already a warrant of arrest issued by the judge on the case.”
Beltran was arrested for an inciting to sedition charge that was filed against him in 1985, according to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which arrested the lawmaker.
It was not clear however what case had been filed against Ocampo and when a warrant had been issued against him.
Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor said Friday that following the President's declaration of a state of emergency in the country, warrantless arrest could now be effected.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Proclamation 1017 did not authorize warrantless arrests, “except as provided for in the Rules of Court.”
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2 comments:

AL Bjørnstad said...

I feel really sad about the things that are happening in the Philippines these days. I can only pray that things would get better...

ZELMARQ said...

To Al bjornstad: thank u very much for your prayers, its what we really need in these times...