PNP chief supports police officers who have arrested lawyers from Makati
(philstar.com) – August 20, 2018 – 11:14 am
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Director-General Oscar Albayalde, head of the Philippine national police, said Monday that the police are ready to supply Makati agents who last week solicited lawyers with the best legal assistance.
The police chief emphasized during a press conference that there is a suspicion of regularity with each operation. He added that the Makati police had "compelling reasons" to hold the three lawyers.
Albayalde assured the officers involved that legal assistance will be given to them if they can not find their own lawyers. "Those who can really defend them … they do their duties," he added.
Attorneys held for & # 39; obstruction of law & # 39;
Last Thursday, lawyers Lenie Rocha, Jan Vincent Soliven and Romulo Alarcon were detained for "intimidating" the police when they searched for the TIME bar in Makati.
Makati agents brought the lawyers to the district attorney of Makati City on Friday afternoon. They filed complaints about the obstruction of justice, resistance and disobedience to authority, violation of a city ordinance, and constructive property & # 39; illegal drugs against the three lawyers.
The public prosecutor ordered further investigation into the case and ordered the lawyers to be released on Friday evening.
The detention of the lawyers was criticized by legislators, lawyer groups and the Commission on Human Rights. CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said that they had sent a quick response team to investigate the arrest of the lawyers.
Albayalde, at the ceremony during the Monday flag ceremony, rewarded the members of the Makati police unit for the robbery at TIME bar which resulted in the seizure of various sachets of illegal drugs.
Lawyers had & # 39; explicit & # 39; authority
Albayalde explained that lawyers are allowed to observe while a search is being carried out. However, they must take into account the sensitivity of the case.
He said that he has previously served where the lawyers of the accused are present.
"He could not say that he or she represents the owner [of the bar]. You can not enter the police [while] the search is under way, "he said in Filipino.
He also emphasized that the case is sensitive and that manipulation of evidence can also happen.
& # 39; You must have explicit authority from the owner & # 39 ;, the police chief added.
Diane Desierto, partner at the law firm Desierto and Desierto, stressed that the three lawyers in the aforementioned bar "only supervise the execution of the search and inventory as part of standard procedures."
She also emphasized that the three identified themselves as advisers for the cafe owner.
Albayalde declined to comment on the details of the operation and said the case is now in court. – Kristine Joy Patag