House probe of detained lawyers lawyers pushed

Two congressmen, one of them a former official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), called for a home investigation on Wednesday to the arrest and detention of three lawyers who reportedly intervened when police officers sought a bar in Makati City in search of drugs.

In a resolution, Assistant Majority Leader and 1-Ang Edukasyon party list called Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon's arrests "very irregular considering the … lawyers [were] only on site … to carry out their duties as counsel for the said establishment. & # 39;

Leachon is chairman of the House justice committee, while Belaro, one of his members, was a former IBP official and once led the committee on bardiscipline.

They called for a legislative inquiry by the justice and public accountability committee of the court of appeal, stating that the incident "has serious consequences for compliance with fundamental constitutional rights, in particular the right to advice, rights of deprivation of liberty and right to fair process. "

Need for new rules

According to them, if it turns out that the lawyers were at the bar to perform their duties, a repetition of the incident "would never be approved because of the chilling influence on the rule of law."

It may therefore be necessary to propose new legislation or to change the existing ones, or even to draw up new administrative rules, they said.

During an invasion on 11 August, Makati police officers seized ecstasy, cocaine and kush in the Time in Manila bar in Barangay Poblacion.

Obstacle of justice

In a follow-up operation on 16 August, a police team returned to the branch to search for more drugs when lawyers Jan Vincent Soliven, Lenie Rocel Rocha and Romulo Bernard Alarkon from the law firm Desierto & Desierto came to take notes and photos. s.

The police, however, accused the three of interference in their operation and arrested them for obstructing the law.
The lawyers were released more than 24 hours later after they were accused of resistance and disobedience to agents of authority, violation of a city ordinance against citizens who crossed a police line and constructive possession of illegal drugs.

In a separate statement, Belaro said that the lawyers could file administrative cases against the police in the National Police Commission or the People's Law Enforcement Board for violating the Philippine National Police Manual and the standard criminal investigation and criminal proceedings.

They could also file counter charges in court against the police officers, he said. –JEROME ANING

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