‘Warrantless arrest’ of filmmaker, pals in Quezon bus torching hit

‘Warrantless arrest’ of filmmaker, pals in Quezon bus torching hit

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 04:35 AM February 06, 2024

LUCENA CITY—Artist communities in the country have condemned the “warrantless arrest” of filmmaker Jade Castro and his three friends in Quezon province as alleged suspects behind the burning of a modern passenger vehicle in Catanauan town on Jan. 31.

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines, in a statement on Sunday, urged the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incident and ensure the safety of Castro, a noted film director, screenwriter and producer, and his companions.

In another statement, the Philippine Center of International PEN (poets and playwrights, essayists, novelists) also sought for a transparent investigation from the police, the Department of Justice and other authorities to ensure that the rights of the individuals in police custody were protected.


‘Positive identification’

The Directors Guild of the Philippines Inc. (DGPI) said Castro is a “vetted DGPI member and an important voice of Philippine independent cinema.”


“We stand by his innocence and testify to his good character. We urge clarity on the matter from the authorities involved and the immediate release of Jade Castro from detention,” the DGPI said.

Several statements of condemnation and concerns were also issued by other artist groups.

Police had claimed that based on witnesses accounts, Castro and his three companions were pinpointed as the armed persons who, pretending to be passengers, stopped and later torched the minibus at around 7:30 p.m. in Barangay Dahican of Catanauan before fleeing to an unknown direction. They were arrested in a beach resort in Mulanay, the neighboring town of Catanauan.

The police in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), in a Feb. 1 statement, identified the arrested suspects as “Ernesto,” 50, a sales manager and resident of Bacoor, Cavite; “Noel,” 54, a civil engineer and resident of Binangonan, Rizal; “Dominic,” 28, a civil engineer and resident of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija; and “Jade,” 46, a film director and a condominium dweller in Pasig City.

READ: PNP ready to conduct warrantless arrests on individuals threatening journalists

Police said the suspects, who were detained in the Catanauan police jail, were positively identified by the bus driver and passengers.


However, the public information officer of Mulanay, Gelo Amisola, came out to defend the four suspects, saying that at the time that the minibus was burning, he and another municipal government official were talking with two of the suspects inside an eatery in the town proper. INQ

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TAGS: arrest, quezon

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