Spouse arrested 2 days after car theft suspect-A A +A
Monday, August 13, 2012
THE wife of a businessman accused of qualified car theft also fell into the hands of the police inside their residence in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City on Thursday.
Operatives of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) in Manila arrested Mary Anne Entote at 10:55 p.m. in St. Michael’s Village when they enforced a search warrant for allegedly stolen sports utility vehicles.
The operation came two days after her husband Jovel was arrested inside a club in Barangay Cogon-Ramos in connection with the disappearance of a van in Quezon City that he allegedly sold to a lending company in Bacolod City.
Complaints for violating Republic Act 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Law of 1972 will be filed against the couple today, said Atty. Edwin Angay, chief of HPG’s legal service.
Sun.Star Cebu tried to interview the spouse in Camp Sotero-Cabahug in Barangay Lahug but police refused to allow it because her lawyer was not present.
Entote’s husband was brought to the police special unit’s national headquarters in Camp Crame and remained in their temporary custody.
While three of the four vehicles were retrieved through the search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9 Judge Alexander Acosta, a Toyota Prado 2008 (JOI-100) is still missing.
Atty. Noel D. Archival, the couple’s legal counsel, told Sun.Star Cebu there was no “hocus-pocus” in the ownership of the luxury cars.
“All documents are in order,” he said.
Archival revealed the couple’s daughter Janeanne filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which requires her mother to be brought before the judge after she questioned the legality of Mary Anne’s detention.
He said that Mary Anne should have been released days ago but the police failed to file the complaint at the earliest time.
“It’s a minor offense. We could have just paid the P5,000 fine,” Archival said, adding his client’s violation is like someone who breaks the law by giving alms to beggars.
He said they waited at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, together with the couple’s four children, but nothing happened.
“It only made the children anxious,” Archival said, though they saw Mary Anne inside the police’s car.
Archival said they will file today a supplemental petition which will include a writ of amparo, because the security of the couple’s children has been violated.
He revealed the family and some residents were “alarmed” by the presence of HPG agents armed with firearms roving and checking the house since Thursday.
“They felt like hostages. Although they are not restricted, these will have a psychological effect on the children,” he said.
Archival said the subdivision’s security guard complained to the police but HPG reportedly was issued a second search warrant.
“As a lawyer, I believe this is not allowed. The police and the judge who signed the order committed grave abuse of authority. The judge should also be wise enough about the rules,” he said.
Archival also said that a parked BMW (NQI-707) recovered in the same members-only club where the couple reportedly belonged was illegally seized. The warrant covered only the suspects’ residence.
He said the couple gave in to the police not because they committed a crime but to cooperate in the investigation.
“It’s not a sin to be rich. My clients are respected in the community. If beggars and prostitutes have pride, how much more them?” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2012.