7 solons want probe on warrantless search, arrests of Muslim traders by Manila cops | Inquirer News

7 solons want probe on warrantless search, arrests of Muslim traders by Manila cops

/ 10:19 AM June 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Seven lawmakers in the House of Representatives are calling for an investigation on the alleged “unreasonable” search and seizure as well as the illegal warrantless arrest of two Muslim jewelry traders in Manila.

The seven lawmakers who initiated the probe through House Resolution No. 981 are Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adding, Sulu 2nd District Rep. Munir Arbison, Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Esmael Mangudadatu, Lanao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Yasser Alonto Balindong, Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Datu Roonie Sinsuat Sr., and Anak Mindanao Partylist Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan.

In the resolution, the lawmakers cited the incident involving Abdullah Palawan Maute and Saadudin Alawiya who were allegedly the subjects of the seizure and arrest by the Philippine National Police (PNP) last June 12.


Citing reports, the lawmakers said six members of the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 5, led by Police Supt. Ariel Cabarle Caramoan, went to the house of the jewelry traders in San Andres Bukid in Manila and “without properly identifying themselves and absent any search warrant or warrant of arrest, allegedly broke the main door of the house where Mr. Maute and Mr. Alawiya are residing.”


“It was also reported that there were anomalies in the said police operation such as the use of falsely marked vehicles with tampered plate numbers; failure of the police officers to properly identify themselves to the occupants of the house when requested to so several times; failure to call representatives of the barangay, media, and DOJ (Department of Justice) to witness the proper marking of evidence on site, if any; and conduct of prior search before any arrest was made,” the lawmakers noted.

The lawmakers further said that the jewelry traders claimed that the police officers were looking for money and jewelry, with the search lasting for several hours.

The jewelry traders were eventually arrested and detained, alleging that illegal drugs were found in the premises of the traders’ residence, said the lawmakers.

“The PNP is mandated to serve and protect the rights of the people and ensure their safety. However, reports of illegal activities allegedly committed by some PNP personnel contribute to the people’s loss of trust in the PNP and other law enforcement agencies of our country,” the lawmakers said.

“The recurrence of reports of alleged illegal practices committees by law enforcement agencies especially affecting the Muslim population has become alarming and leads the people to believe that these are systematic and institutional failures, requiring a comprehensive review of the existing criminal justice system and law enforcement procedures and protocols, they added.

The alleged “nefarious activities” involving the PNP such as the unreasonable search and seizures as well as warrantless arrests should never be condoned, the lawmakers said.


“Hence, an investigation is necessary to determine the circumstances leading to these illegal activities in order for Congress to legislate remedial measures to ensure that the Constitutional rights of the people are protected and that law offenders are prosecuted,” the lawmakers said.

In a statement, Hataman said that these alleged practices of the police are blaring given that the anti-terrorism bill is on its way to becoming a law.

“Madalas kasi mangyari ang pang-aabuso ng ilan sa ating mga kapulisan, lalo na sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim. At mas lalong nakababahala ito dahil sa napipintong pagsasabatas ng anti-terrorism bill na sa tingin ko ay open na open sa pang-aabuso ng mga magpapatupad nito,” Hataman, who voted against the controversial measure, said.

(There are frequent cases of abuse from some of our policemen, especially against our Muslim brothers. And what’s alarming here is the looming legislation of the Anti-Terrorism Bill which I think is open to abuse from its implementors.)

“Ito sana ang gusto nating maiwasan sa kahit na anong polisiya, ang pagmamalabis sa kapangyarihan ng mga nagpapatupad ng batas, lalo na sa mga kapatid nating Muslim na kadalasan ay biktima ng diskriminasyon at profiling,” he added.

(We want to avoid this in any policy, that implementors will abuse their power especially against our Muslim brothers who frequently fall victim to discrimination.)

Hataman said that instead of “disregarding police procedures,” the police should have built a strong case against the traders.

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“Had they done so, we wouldn’t be in this situation, na kailangang pa natin imbestigahan sa Kamara ang insidenteng ito. Good police work should have worked in this case, pero ang nangyari, mukhang gustong ishort-cut ang proseso at the expense of trampling on the human rights of the Muslim traders,” Hataman said.

TAGS: arrests, House of Representatives, Manila, Muslim, PNP‎, solons

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