The House Committee on Public Order and Safety chaired by Rep. Romeo Acop (2d District, Antipolo City) last week probed the May 12, 2019 arrest of Rep. Vincent Crisologo (1st District, Quezon City) who accused the police of violating his rights in the course of his apprehension.
The probe was conducted on the basis of the privilege speech delivered by Crisologo last May 20, 2019 wherein he denounced the alleged abuse of authority by PNP Lt. Col. Alex Alberto, Commander of the Quezon City Police Station 3, in ordering his arrest, together with his lawyer-son Frederick William and supporters, last May 12 for alleged vote-buying.
Crisologo, a Quezon City mayoral candidate in the recent elections, accused the police of committing abuses and violations and displaying arrogance during the arrest that transpired inside the residence of one of his political leaders, Arturo delos Reyes, located at Agueda Street, Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City.
He said the arresting cops violated the protocol in police operations because they disregarded his parliamentary immunity as an elected Representative of Quezon City and failed to show proof they were police officers.
“The policemen who barged into Delos Reyes’ residence did not show any proof that they were police officers. They were in civilian clothes. They failed to present any search or arrest warrants and did not read the rights of any suspect under the Miranda Code,” said Crisologo.
He said the police handcuffed him and his son and shoved them towards the police vehicles. He said the police did not state the reasons for the arrest and their constitutional rights.
“The police charged me with obstruction of justice when I arrived at the house of my political leader. This is baseless considering that I was alone and unarmed, and there were around 20 armed police officers who made the arrest. I could not have prevented the arrest. I questioned the illegal arrest because Lt. Col. Alberto did not state why I am being arrested. Questioning an illegal, arbitrary, and unlawful arrest does not constitute obstruction of justice”, said Crisologo.
Crisologo denied police allegations that they were involved in vote-buying because there was no evidence to warrant such charge. He said the vote-buying allegation was dismissed outright by the inquest prosecutor for lack of evidence.
Likewise, he said the charges on direct assault filed against him was also fabricated. The prosecutor handling the case declared their arrest as unjustified, he said.
Even as the PNP leadership have defended the police actions that transpired during the incident, Crisologo said the first responder during the police operation in the person of Police Chief Master Sgt. Luisito Maninang cannot give a definite answer to the House committee on why protocols were violated particularly in the reading of Miranda rights during the arrests, and why there were no police reports submitted to the higher ups to serve as basis for the filing of complaints against them.
Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler