Cop dressed as courier tries to arrest rights worker who had already posted bail

Cop dressed as courier tries to arrest rights worker who had already posted bail
File photo on May 6, 2019 shows members of Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and Gabriela, who filed the petition for the issuance of writ of amparo and habeas data before the Supreme Court.

MANILA, Philippines — A police officer dressed as a courier tried to serve a warrant of arrest on the secretary general of rights group Karapatan on Tuesday despite that her already posting bail for the charge, the rights group said.

According to a Facebook post by Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, the police officer was dressed as a courier of LBC, despite the Philippine National Police operational guidelines requiring that "in serving the warrant, the police officer should introduce himself and show proper identification."

Palabay said that she was "surprised when a guy who introduced himself as an LBC courier served me the arrest warrant on this case today."

She said that after the courier served the arrest warrant, another police officer who was out of uniform "introduced himself as the cop and he said he is from Camp Karingal." Camp Karingal is the headquarters of the Quezon City Police District.

Palabay acknowledged that a Quezon City court had issued an arrest warrant for her for a perjury case filed by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon but also pointed out that she had "posted bail and presented myself to an executive judge via online channels."

Because she had already posted bail, the warrant for her arrest had been recalled in April, she also said.

"I showed them the recall order for the arrest warrant. They said they only received the arrest warrant yesterday and they haven't received the recall order," she said.

She noted that neither police officer had read her her rights, also a requirement under the PNP procedural manual.

"They said, after saying sorry, that they wouldn’t be able to arrest anyone that way, and that people being arrested might escape," Palabay, who posted a photo of the warrant that the police officers served, said.

"The 'LBC guy' said his ID was in their car, and I told him to get it and I'll wait for it. He then got it from his wallet at the back of his pants. They left after I xeroxed copies of their IDs and the documents they gave," Palabay also said.

Perjury complaint vs activist groups

Esperon, a respondent in a writ of amparo petition filed by Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, and Gabriela, filed a perjury complaint accusing them of lying that RMP is a "registered non-stock, non-profit organization" in their plea.

Esperon raised in his complaint that the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked RMP's Certificate of Registration in 2003.

The groups filed the petition at the Court of Appeals in response to alleged state-sponsored harassment.

In dismissing the petition, the CA said the plea did not conform with the requirements of the rules on writs of amparo and habeas data. 

The court also said the allegations in the petition and documents submitted "did not fulfil the evidentiary standard to establish that the petitioners’ right to life, liberty security and privacy were violated or threatened by the respondents."



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