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Roque: ‘Overzealous’ lawyers in Makati bar raid need to take refresher courses

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 03:35 PM August 20, 2018
harry roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. INQUIRER file photo / JOAN BONDOC

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has advised the three lawyers, who were detained after a bar in Makati City was inspected, to take refresher courses.

Likewise, Roque said that law professors should use the controversy to teach their students “what they can and cannot do in the course of an ongoing police investigation.”

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Three lawyers from the Desierto and Deserto law firm were arrested by policemen for obstruction of justice after they monitored the drug search at the “Time in Manila” bar.

Diane Desierto, a partner in the law firm, slammed the arrests, saying that the lawyers were “intimidated and verbally harassed.”

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But Roque said that a video that had gone viral shows otherwise.

“There are videos available on the Internet on what happened. If you ask me as a law professor, those three lawyers need a refresher course on criminal procedure,” Roque said in a press briefing on Monday.

“You do not acquire a right to be in a police investigation just because you claim to be representing a client that you don’t want to divulge,” he stressed.

‘Ridiculous’

Roque said that the lawyers, as shown in the video, did not disclose to the police who their client was when they tried to monitor the search.

“What business did they have of being in the area? A search warrant was being served, without even identifying who their client was. That’s ridiculous,” the presidential spokesman said.

“Paano pa ito? Positive na nakakuha ng shabu at kung anu ano na droga. Natural, material kung sino ang may-ari ng bar, and they were concealing kung sino ‘yung kliyente na diumano one of the owners of the bar,” he also said.

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(How was that? It was positive that shabu and drugs were at the place. Naturally, the owner of the bar is material, and they were concealing their client who is allegedly one of the owners of the bar.)

Roque also backed the police’s charge of obstruction of justice against the lawyers.

“When you prevent a police from effecting the service of a search warrant, in my mind, that’s really obstruction of justice. Ibang usapin kung walang search warrant, eh may search warrant eh (It’s a different thing if there’s no search warrant, but in this case, there was one),” he said.

The lawyers were released from police custody on Friday, August 17, after prosecutors issued an order to the custodians of the Makati City police station.

A preliminary investigation on the charges, however, would be conducted by the Makati City prosecutor’s office.

Patience for ‘overzealous’ lawyers

Meanwhile, Roque advised the arresting policemen to show “extreme patience” for the young and “overzealous” lawyers.

“Masyado kasing mga bata, so ako naman, I’m appealing to the policemen: Please show extreme patience dahil mga bata (They’re still very young, so I’m appealing to the policemen: Please show extreme patience because they’re young). They’re overzealous too,” Roque said.

“They still have to learn the ropes. I understand one of them had just passed the bar, so come on. Habaan sana ang pasensya. Huwag nang palakihin (Just be patient with them. Let’s not make the issue bigger),” he said. /je

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TAGS: Drugs, Lawyer, Makati bar raid, News, Roque, Time
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