Congressman Ron Salo today calls on Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa to investigate an alleged illegal search and arrest of two highly respected members of the Muslim community in Manila last June 12, Independence Day.
” I strongly condemn any violation of our people’s constitutional rights against illegal searches, seizures and arrests. I also strongly condemn any illegal act, particularly if this is committed by PNP members who are entrusted with our protection and safety. This is doubly condemnable if this is committed in violation of the sanctity of our people’s domicile, a desecration of the age-old principle, ` a man’s house is his castle.'”, says Salo in a press statement.
Six members of the Manila Police District barged into the house of Abdullah Palawan Maute and Saadulin Alawiya, members of the Muslim community and long-time residents of San Andres Bukid in Manila. Salo says their office received information that the six cops were looking for pieces of jewelry and monies reportedly stashed by the two arrested Muslim traders inside their own homes.
When the cops found no monies and pieces of jewelry, the two traders were brought at the first floor of the house in handcups while other members of the raiding team searched for incriminating pieces of evidence in the rest of the house.
Several alleged pieces of sachet containing what police alleged were shabby were eventually found. Based on the evidence, the cops booked the two for illegal possession of illegal drugs and are now detained at the MPD station 5.
Salo. says the PNP broke the law when they searched for contraband inside the house without the benefit of a legal search warrant which only the courts are allowed to issue. They likewise broke the constitutional rights of the two Muslim traders when they brought them to the police station without any valid warrant of arrest.
” No less than the Constitution,” says Salo, ” protects the rights of our people against unreasonable searches and seizures and against warrantless arrests. Warrantless search is only allowed if incidental to a lawful arrest in case of evidence in plain view, search of a moving vehicle, consented warrantless searches, customs search, stop and frisk, and exigent and emergency circumstances. Clearly none of these exceptions that would justify a warrantless search were present to justify the intrusion by the members of the MPD.”
The Solon, who is a professor of law at the University of the Philippines and Dela Salle University, urged Gamboa to investigate Police Superintendent Ariel Cabarle Caramoan who led five other PNP members of the station to barge into the house of Alawiya at 3 o’clock in the afternoon last June 12.
Salo is also asking the National Bureau of Investigation or NBI to conduct a parallel probe to ease citizen’s doubts on the trustworthiness of law enforcement agents in doing their sworn duties.
” The allegations, if found true, gravely violates the constitutional rights of our people and would severely tarnish the image of the PNP….criminal charges should be filed against those involved in this nefarious activity.”