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Karapatan exec gets served with recalled arrest warrant by cops not dressed in uniform

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 06:50 PM July 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The secretary-general of human rights group Karapatan on Thursday cried foul with the alleged irregular manner by which an arrest warrant for a revived perjury case had been served on her by agents of the Quezon City Police District.

In her Facebook post, Karapatan secretary general Cristina “Tinay” Palabay said the two men allegedly went to the Karapatan Alliance Philippines Office on Tuesday afternoon to serve the arrest warrant issued by the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 139.

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I was served a warrant of arrest this afternoon by a guy who introduced himself as an LBC courier (he was wearing the…

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Posted by Tinay Palabay on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The case had to do with the perjury complaint filed against her and two other organizations by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Palabay explained.

“This was initially dismissed by a Quezon City prosecutor, and then revived and filed in court by another prosecutor, after Esperon’s motion for reconsideration,” Palabay said in her post.

Palabay said that she had already posted bail on April 29, but the police members then told her that they had only received the arrest warrant, dated March 3, just recently.

“I got back in April after I got stuck there because of flight cancellations and travel restrictions. I posted bail and presented myself to an executive judge via online channels. And I got the order for the recall of the warrant since April,” she said.

“Para sa mga pulis, sa NBI at sa kung sino pa man, pinost ko na itong recall order ha. Baka sabihin nyo, wala na naman kayong alam. Alangan namang ako pa ang magpadala sa inyo nito, eh hindi ko naman trabaho yan. Kami na nga ang inaagrabyado sa malisyosong kasong ito eh. Ito talagang mga pulis na ito, mga alituntunin na sinulat nila, sila ang unang lumalabag. So sila ang magpapatupad ng anti-terror law ngayon?” she added.

Not in proper uniform

But what also raised the hackles of Palabay was the fact that while both of the men identified themselves as members of the QCPD, none of them was in their proper uniform — one had on the uniform of a courier service, while the other was in plainclothes.

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“I asked for their IDs. The guy in plainclothes easily gave his and said, after I badgered the ‘LBC guy’ for his ID that the LBC guy is also a cop. I told him, ‘Sir, that is not what is written in the PNP manual when you’re serving warrants of arrests. You should introduce yourself as policemen/arresting officers. You should be in uniform. In fact, you should have read to me my Miranda rights. They said, after saying sorry, that they wouldn’t be able to arrest anyone that way, and that people being arrested might escape,'” she said.

According to her, the “courier guy” told Palabay that his ID was in their car.

“I told him to get it and I’ll wait for it. He then got it from his wallet at the back of his pants. They left after I xeroxed copies of their IDs and the documents they gave,” she said.

Recalled warrant

Palabay’s lawyers from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) sent a letter on Wednesday to QCPD chief Brid. Gen. Ronnie Montejo to report about the incident.

In the letter, the lawyers then raised that the incident was in violation of a provision of the Philippine National Police’s Handbook, stating that arresting officers must be in the prescribed uniform.

“This is a clear violation of the above-mentioned rule of your very own operations manual that merits sanction from your office,” the NUPL said in the letter.

“In any event, any further service of the recalled warrant under any guise or excuse shall be considered as continuing harassment and a deliberate illegal act which shall be subject to criminal, civil and administrative liabilities,” the letter further read.

INQUIRER.net has reached out to Montejo for comment on the matter but has yet to receive a response as of writing.

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TAGS: arrest warrant, Cristina Palabay, Karapatan, National Union of People's Lawyers, Quezon City Police District
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