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Lacson defends policemen who arrested lawyers

/ 08:53 AM August 21, 2018

Sen. Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER FILE

Senator Panfilo Lacson defended the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday over the arrest of three lawyers following an anti-drug operation at a bar in Makati City last week, saying the public should not be “too hasty or harsh in condemning” the policemen.

“Let us not be too hasty or harsh in condemning the NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office), without getting their side of the story. There is such a thing as presumption of regularity,” Lacson, who headed the PNP from 1999 to 2001, said in a statement.

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Last Thursday, three lawyers were detained by the police for allegedly interfering in the implementation of a search warrant at a bar.

READ: Lawyers monitoring drug search held; IBP up in arms | 3 Makati bar lawyers slapped with obstruction of justice rap

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They were released after 24 hours.

Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde also defended the arrest, saying the police would not spare anyone who violates the law.

READ: Lawyers of Makati bar released after 24-hour detention | Albayalde on arrest of lawyers: No one is above the law

The senator noted that videos taken during the raid showed that the NCRPO officers asked the lawyers who they were representing, and arrested them after they could not give clear answers.

The videos, Lacson added, also showed one of the police officers explaining to the lawyers that they’re entering the scene and taking videos without prior authorization and this constituted obstruction of justice.

The lawyers said they were representing one of the establishment’s owners but did not provide names, he added.

Lacson further noted that the NCRPO team’s report indicated the three lawyers roamed inside the premises, took pictures on every floor and touched items “as if doing their own search without authority,” which may have contaminated the evidence.

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In taking the cudgels for the PNP in this case, Lacson pointed out the PNP leadership has shown it is sincere in cleansing its ranks of rogue members and deserves at least a chance to have its side on the issue heard. /cbb

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TAGS: Drugs, Makati City, News, Panfilo Lacson, Times Bar
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