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Illegal detention rap vs cop chief, 5 others

By Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:55:00 07/18/2009

Filed Under: Police, Justice & Rights, Crime

MANILA, Philippines ? A police station commander and five others are facing illegal detention charges before the Quezon City prosecutors office filed by three women who claimed their husbands were not released on time.

Named respondents in a three-page complaint affidavit dated July 13, 2009, were Superintendent Carlito Feliciano of the La Loma police station, Inspector Mario Pascual, and four other police officers.

The charges were filed by Maricris Santos, Emily Roxas, and Joymie Valenzuela, whose husbands were rounded up in a saturation drive early this month.

In their complaint affidavit, the three women said their husbands Elmer Valenzuela, Edmar Roxas, and Fernando Valenzuela were picked up by policemen from the La Loma station in a roundup on July 6.

The three men faced inquest proceedings for drug possession the following day, after which assistant city prosecutor Raul Desembrana ordered their release.

Desembrana also ordered that the case against the three men be further investigated because of conflicting versions of how the men were taken into police custody.

In his resolution, Desembrana noted that while the arrest affidavit claimed that the men were nabbed in a buy-bust operation, a certification from the police station showed they were rounded up in a saturation drive.

The release order was reportedly received by the police station on July 9 at 10:25 a.m.

?But from July 9 to 11, the three men were not released along with the other arrested men despite the order,? the complaint affidavit read.

The complainants said they even hired a lawyer to follow up the release of their husbands, but the lawyer was supposedly told by Feliciano that the police have filed a motion for reconsideration.

The three women argued that the arresting police officers should have released their husbands immediately; it was unclear in their complaint-affidavit if their husbands were already released.

Feliciano, meanwhile, clarified that the husbands were apprehended during a saturation drive.

He said the suspects were charged with possession of illegal drugs in a buy-bust operation in coordination with agents from Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency.

?The arrest was legal as they were found in possession of illegal substance,? Feliciano insisted.

He added that the certification issued to the three men and which became the basis of the complaint filed by their wives was ?a wrong certification.?

With report from Nancy Carvajal


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