Bosita says filmmaker Jade Castro's arrest illegal
'Hot pursuit operations but suspects not immediately nabbed?'

Bosita says filmmaker Jade Castro’s arrest is illegal

/ 01:16 PM February 19, 2024

PHOTO: 1-Rider party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita and filmmaker Jade Castro STORY: Bosita says filmmaker Jade Castro's arrest is illegal

1-Rider party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita and filmmaker Jade Castro (Photo from House of Representatives website and from the Facebook page of Jade Castro)

MANILA, Philippines — The arrest of filmmaker Jade Castro in Quezon province in early February appears to be illegal since police are claiming it was a hot pursuit operation, but the suspects were not immediately nabbed when cops had the chance, 1-Rider party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita said on Monday.

Bosita made this conclusion during the hearing of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety after questioning P/Cpt. Daniel de la Cruz, head of police in Catanauan, Quezon, about the details surrounding the burning of a modern jeepney last January 31.


READ: Directors’ guild call for ‘immediate release’ of filmmaker Jade Castro 


Bosita, a former police colonel, asked dela Cruz if the operation could still be considered hot pursuit since the sequence of events showed that on February 1, a day after the incident, dela Cruz and his officers went to Mulanay Police Station to take photos of Castro and the suspects to show it back to witnesses who saw the incident.

Despite Castro and the other suspects being arrested only after witnesses made the confirmation, dela Cruz maintained that it is still a hot pursuit operation.

“When you went to the suspects, you took a picture and then you returned to the police station. You showed the picture to witnesses and you returned [to the suspects] to invite them. Do you think that this can be consider a hot pursuit operation or not?” Bosita said in Filipino.

“It can be considered, Mr. Chair,” dela Cruz said.

“No. What happened cut up in stages. If that was a hot pursuit, you engage with them and you’re facing the. If you have personal knowledge [that a crime has been committed] and you strongly believe that these are the suspects, you will immediately arrest them. So for me, with respect to the honorable chair and other members of this honorable committee, what you did was an illegal arrest,” Bosita countered.

Before this conclusion, Bosita also asked de la Cruz about what can be considered grounds for warrantless arrest — to which dela Cruz mentioned that a police officer could make a warrantless arrest if he or she has personal knowledge about a crime.


But Bosita doubted if the arresting officers had personal knowledge that Castro and three others were behind the burning of the jeepney, considering that dela Cruz and his men had to go to Mulanay to take photos of the suspects, return to Catanauan to show the photos to witnesses and confirm if these were the people were the suspects.

“Now chief of police, Captain Dela Cruz, you arrested the four suspects, a warrantless arrest… So what are the grounds for arresting an individual or suspect without a warrant?” Bosita asked.

“When a person in my presence has committed a crime, and I have personal knowledge that he committed a crime,” dela Cruz replied.

“What’s your personal knowledge? Isn’t that you got the people because you want to mention that this was the result of a hot pursuit operation?” Bosita replied.

Earlier, the committee chairperson, Santa Rosa City Rep. Dan Fernandez, also questioned whether police showed other photos of individuals so that witnesses could make a positive identification of the suspects.

“I think we need to put up that kind of [line-up]. But we were not able to do that. Maybe, to test the credibility of the witnesses, should have been done is, for example, someone says a suspect was wearing a blue cap. So all of them [in the line-up] should be made to wear a blue cap. So it happened, there was only the four who were presented. Is that a right assumption?” Fernandez asked.

“Yes, sir,” dela Cruz replied.

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

According to police reports that cite witnesses’ accounts, Castro and his three companions who were armed stopped the bus, pretended to be passengers, and torched a minibus at Barangay Dahican of Catanauan before fleeing to an unknown direction.

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The four were arrested at a beach resort in Mulanay. However, several artists and directors’ groups complained that the arrest of Castro and his companions might have been a case of mistaken identity since the four were in another area at the time of the incident.

TAGS: arrested filmmaker, Bonifacio Bosita, illegal arrest, Jade Castro

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