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2 solons seek probe of arrest of 3 lawyers in Makati ‘drug’ bar

/ 12:26 PM August 22, 2018
BAR FINE National Capital Region Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar and Southern Police District Chief Tomas Apolinario Jr. inspect drugs found at the premises of Time Bar in Makati City.—GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

National Capital Region Police Chief Guillermo Eleazar and Southern Police District Chief Tomas Apolinario Jr. inspect drugs allegedly found in the Time in Manila bar in Makati City. INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Two lawmakers have sought a House inquiry into the arrest of three lawyers amid an anti-drug operation at a bar in Makati City last week.

Assistant Majority Leader and 1-Ang Edukasyon Rep. Salvador Belaro, Jr. and Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Doy Leachon filed House Resolution 2086 on Wednesday, directing the House committees on justice and good government and public accountability to probe the incident.

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Last Thursday, three lawyers were detained by the police for allegedly interfering in the implementation of a search warrant at the Time in Manila bar, where the police earlier reportedly found illegal drugs.

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

The lawyers, who allegedly tried to interfere in the serving of a search warrant, were released after 24 hours.

Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde 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

In filing the resolution, the lawmakers said the arrest was “highly irregular considering that the ones arrested are lawyers who are officers of the court and who are only at the scene of the raid to perform their duties as counsel of the said establishment.”

Belaro and Leachon also said there might be a need for a new legislation, or amend an existing legislation, or come up with new administrative rules to prevent the recurrence of the same.

In a separate statement, Belaro advised the three lawyers to file charges before the National Police Commission (Napolcom), the Makati Regional Trial Court and the Bar Confidant.

“For administrative sanctions against those Makati City police officers, administrative cases can be filed before the National Police Commission or the People’s Law Enforcement Board. I believe the NAPOLCOM is the better option,” he said.

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He added that the three lawyers must cite, among others, the violations of specific provisions of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) own operations manual and standard operating procedures on crime scene investigations and criminal procedure.

“Lawyers are also deemed as persons in authority and thus, the possibility of a criminal charge for direct assault and other applicable crimes may also be explored plus suits for damages against the Makati City police. The aggrieved lawyers can file counter-charges before the Makati City regional trial court,” he also said.

If any of the involved Makati City PNP personnel are lawyers, Belaro said “suspension or disbarment cases could also be filed against them before the Office of the Bar Confidant.” /cbb

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TAGS: Doy Leachon, Drugs, House of Representatives, Makati Times Bar, news, Salvador Belaro Jr.
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