Lawyer demands release of RJ Bautista
The lawyer of Ramon Joseph “RJ” Bautista on Thursday said his client was arrested without a warrant and should be released.
Dennis Manzanal filed an omnibus motion at the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office seeking the immediate release of RJ Bautista, 18, the alleged mastermind of the murder of his eldest brother, Ramgen Bautista.
RJ Bautista is being held at the Parañaque Detention Center while awaiting the resolution of the murder and frustrated charges against him and six others, including two alleged hired gunmen who were arrested on October 31.
His sister, Ma. Ramona Bautista, 22, is also included in the charge sheet.
Chief Inspector Enrique Sy, head of the Parañaque police’s Task Force Ramgen, said he and other investigators were continuing the inquiry and awaiting the resolution of the fiscal that would determine their next move.
Manzanal argued that his client should not undergo inquest proceedings because the method of arrest was “invalid” and “without warrant.”
But Sy said RJ Bautista was arrested under the “hot pursuit” clause. “That is their defense. In fact, we expected that. We followed procedures. We arrested [RJ] Bautista on hot pursuit and that is accepted by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Manzanal said the police’s use of “hot pursuit” was based on the testimony of Ruel Puzon, a witness who said he was part of the planning of Ramgen Bautista’s murder but did not join its execution.
“[Puzon’s] personal knowledge is limited to the planning, assuming [it is] true, and does not extend to the actual commission of the crime,” the lawyer said in the motion.
“Puzon and the [police] officers who effected the arrest do not have ‘personal knowledge’ of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed [the crime],” he added.
According to Manzanal, Ramona Bautista is in her family’s custody.
He said he and the family were prepared to answer all the allegations and would submit counteraffidavits when needed. “Ramona is not hiding because she has nothing to hide. It’s only because she suffered so much. She is still in shock and traumatized, so she is with her family,” Manzanal said.
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