The law on arrests and custody

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Rene Saguisag

Rene Saguisag

To arrest is to take someone in custody or not allow him to move on his own. By action or words, the arrester restrains the arrestee from moving anywhere beyond the former’s control.

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It may not be done without a warrant, as a rule.

Our resourceful law enforcers came up with an “invitation,” particularly on the prodding of the ruling class or royalty. “Maaring po ba silang maanyayahan?”
It is an invite not to be refused if extended by armed, and maybe burly, policemen—even if politely, sweetly and smilingly extended.

Keeping the Dasmariñas security guards in l’affaire Binay “invited” for hours, may have arguably amounted to “custodial investigation,” which may not be done without a warrant.

To prevent such irregularity probably was the intent of Mabini stalwart Bobby Tañada when he authored Republic Act 7438, in our time in the Senate, which says in part: “As used in this Act, `custodial investigation’ shall include the practice of issuing an invitation’ to a person who is investigated in connection with an offense he is suspected to have committed . . .”

Good manners  and right conduct
What offense? The sikyu, who could be impertinent, might have committed lese majeste?

Veep Jojobama Binay is another stellar Mabini stalwart who I am sure has appropriately informed or educated his non-lawyer children and their police escorts about the debatable law, and noblesse oblige. “Walang dugong bughaw sa Makati. Ganito tayo dito.”

(And we do have PD Nos. 957 and 1216 making ‘donations’ of streets, etc. to the local government unit `compulsory.’ A poor LGU may refuse cuz it may not be able to maintain the donated space. A wealthy developer may donate claiming it has the wherewithal to so maintain, as is the case in its gated, secured, plutocratic enclaves.

Indeed When Mayora Elenita Binay had public transport use Dasma, I sued Makati, mooted when Makati lifted its challenged order. The only legal work I do for Dasma now, with Eddie Hernandez and Nelson Loyola, is trying to get Napocor and Meralco relocate its pylons carrying 230,000 volts from within a few meters of what the residents now call Cancer St.)

I am sure all concerned have learned lessons from the Dasma incident, RA 7438, the PDs, etc., with which not even lawyers may be familiar with, and Good Manners and Right Conduct.

But, spoiled public officials and coddled sikyu in such enclaves at times cross the line.
But, time to move on to other more important issues.

I can see Mabini uniting vigorously behind Jojobama if Sen. Bongbong Marcos mounts a credible run for the presidency in 2016, when it will be probably be in fact too soon for him. Today, though, he has not been seen in Tacloban to give kin Mayor Alfredo a shoulder to cry on. But it is good he has filed a Resolution to look into reckless driving (a widower-maker in my case).

If PNoy finally creates the human rights compensation board under RA 10368 signed into law last February 25, in the first quarter of 2014 and it takes awhile for it to come up with Implementing Rules and Regulations the distribution of P10B will only wind up by 2015-16, a negative factor in Bongbong’s campaign, a never-again (!) reminder to voters of Macoy’s kleptocratic kakistocracy condemned by the world for its gross human rights violations.

This P10-billion bonanza in the 2013 statute has nothing to do with the much smaller sum being distributed once more by Bob Swift, Rod Domingo and Ruben Fruto. The first tranche two years ago was from a recovery from crony J.Y. Campos, the second from Vilma Bautista, one of the Woman Fridays of Imelda, who we wish well in her current hospital suffering.

We are on record as favoring house or Metro Manila arrest for GMA. Give her a wider cage in which to roam. Erap had rest house arrest after being initially humiliated in an ordinary Camp Crame detention cell.

Misery seeks company as I deal with draining health issues myself. PNoy has nothing to do with the custody of suspects, accused or felons. The courts, everything.

The court can decide where an arrestee may be detained. Ailing and ageing detainees may be ordered by them to be confined just about anywhere. No law I am aware of says an arrestee or accused must be detained in our inhuman local jails with conditions that conduce to turning human beings into brutes.

Brutes I am reminded of with the report that bus firms may not use the Skyway because of punitive steps taken against one of them for transporting a number to the Promised Land. Not a Christmassy thought and sentiment.

May we all have a fine 2013 ending and a great 2014 start. With less toxic Sabong Journalism.

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1 Comment

  1. I find it amusing how opinion writers like yourself Mr. Saguisag dance around literally in describing the Binays on that Dasma-gate incident. Wouldn’t it be easier, more straight-forward and honest to call the Binays and their security escorts for what they are- ABUSIVE CHURCH-GOING LIARS!