CHR investigates arrest of lawyers in Makati
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has launched its own investigation into the arrest of three lawyers for so-called "threatening" police officers who are seeking a search for a bar, who reportedly became a drug addict used.
CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said yesterday that they sent a quick response team to monitor the situation regarding the arrest of lawyers Lenie Rocel Rocha, Jan Vincent Soliven and Romulo Bernard Alarcon.
"We are very concerned because it is essential to protect human rights lawyers who are isolated from attacks and who have the broadest freedom to advocate for the interests of their clients," he said.
"They have to be able to observe whether law enforcement officials remain at all times within the limits of the right legal procedures, and that lawyers are arrested for doing their duty undermines respect for the rule of law," he added.
The three lawyers were arrested because they allegedly did not keep the police protocol while police officers were investigating Time Bar.
were accused of obstruction of justice, resistance and disobedience and constructive possession of illicit drugs to supposedly close off the area that had been deposed by the police without proper coordination.
They were released Friday night, after more than 24 hours in detention, after the judicial investigation prosecutor recommended the case for further investigation.
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay went to the prosecutor's office shortly after visiting the lawyers at the police station. He said he wanted to ensure that their rights would be respected.
CHR commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit smashed the arrest of the lawyers and called it an impudent contempt for a fair trial by the Makati police.
"The lawyers were present at the scene of the incident in order to execute their client's constitutional law on advice and fair trial." It is worrying that the exercise of such rights was denounced with accusations of the case law, which the police still have to qualify, "she added.
Dumpit said that the right remedy if the police feel harassed is not to arrest the aforementioned lawyers for intimidation, but to file a complaint with the discipline office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
"By arresting the lawyers, the police are effectively sending a chilling effect to lawyers and their clients who only exercised their rights," she said. "
" The fact that the investigation has been delayed is equally disturbing, especially if caused by a whimsical reason, such as the arrest officer nowhere to be found, "added Dumpit.
Several groups, including the IBP, have condemned the arrest of lawyers.
IBP President Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo called the arrest rather "very dubious", and expressed the willingness to submit a petition for habeas corpus to the release of lawyers.
The National Union of People & # 39; s Lawyers said it was charging lawyers to trying to ensure regularity in an operation against their customers is horrible and absurd.
"While the lawyers prevent possible abuse of police authority and wrong handling of evidence As was the case in many previous drug-related investigations and operations, the Makati police proved them right by arresting them for no legal reason, "it said
" Attacks against lawyers and the judiciary clearly show that the board does not borders in suppressing democratic rights, "it added.
Senate leader of minorities Franklin Drilon and senators Leila de Lima and Francis Pangilinan – all lawyers – condemned the
Drilon said that arresting and filing charges is "threats to the rule of law, the root pillar of our democracy." He said that he can not recall any law or jurisprudence that would allow the arrest of lawyers to "pressurize" police officers during the conduct of a search.
De Lima said: "tokhang is no longer for the poor and defenseless only … Everyone is right now, not before the law, but in the collapse of the government e of law and (President) Duterte & # 39; s prevail of impunity. "
Pangilinan said police officers ignored law and human rights when they arrested the lawyers. – With Robertzon Ramirez, Marvin Sy