By Genalyn Kabiling
The three young lawyers who were arrested in a Makati bar during a police investigation must follow a "refresher course" about the criminal procedure, including the rule against interference in a police investigation, Malacañang said on Monday.
President spokesman Harry Roque said that lawyers should not have interfere with the police officers who carried out a search warrant in a bar where a previous anti-illegal drug operation was carried out.
"If you ask me as a professor of law, those three lawyers need a refresher course on criminal proceedings, and lawyers have absolutely no involvement in an ongoing police investigation," Roque said at a press conference in Palace.
"Their role is when there is already a pending action in the prosecutor's office, if there is something wrong in the police investigation, they can claim this in the determination of the probable cause or in the process itself," he added.
Police officers have recently arrested three lawyers for alleged obstruction of law, including during the execution of a search warrant in the timeline in Makati City. The lawyers, who refused to identify themselves and their customers, allegedly tried to prevent the police from searching the area.
The Makati police raided the Makati bar earlier and seized various sachets of illegal drugs.
Roque claimed that the lawyers could only observe, but did not interfere in a police investigation.
"If you prevent a police from influencing the service of a search warrant, that's really an obstacle to justice in my opinion," Ibang usapin kung walang search warrant, "he said.
"From the video, it is clear, they need a refresher course about what lawyers can and can not do and the legal profession should in fact use this video to tell law students what they can and can not do in the course of an ongoing police investigation, "he added.
Roque also found "ridiculous" that the lawyers concealed the identity of their client during interfering with the police.
"They should not even have been there, and what kind of business did they have in the area where the search warrant was served, without identifying who their customer was, that's ridiculous," he said.
"You are not entitled to a police investigation, only because you claim to represent a customer that you do not want to reveal," he added.
Roque urged the police to be extra patient with the young lawyers who still learned the tricks of the criminal process.