NUPL questions ruling that warrantless arrest of teacher was ‘cured’ by ‘confession’
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) is questioning the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ruling that the warrantless arrest against Ronnel Mas, a teacher who offered a P50-million bounty to whoever would kill President Rodrigo Duterte, was “cured” by his confession before members of media.
Mas was arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last May 11 posting the bounty offer on Facebook. Mas admitted posting the bounty offer on Facebook to the NBI and repeated his confession and apology to the members of the media as the NBI questioned him.
The DOJ ruling, released on Friday, said the arrest did not fall within the ambit of a warrantless arrest.
Its ruling said, however, that because of the extrajudicial admission the “defect of the warrantless arrest was ultimately cured.”
But NUPL President Edre Olalia pointed out that the “so-called confession or admission” should not be legally used or taken against an arrested or “invited” person “suspected, accused or charged with a supposed crime” under the following conditions:
- “under physical custody or within the complete control or coercive power especially of burly, armed, aggressive and intimidating police or military,
- “while in a hostile and stressful situation or environment,
- “unaware, mistaken or does not fully understand the legal consequences of anything he/she says, with or without media presence,
- “when asked or solicited by or ‘volunteered’ to anybody, whether police, military or media,
- “more so without the presence and correct advice of a competent, trustworthy and independent lawyer preferably of one’s choice or option”
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