4 security men, 2 officers sued for detaining janitor-A A +A
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
FOUR security personnel and two officers of a Japanese-owned ship-building firm in Balamban town, Cebu are facing criminal charges for allegedly illegally arresting and detaining a janitor last year.
Complainant Lino Armase filed the charges before the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor against Rolly Millan, Antonio Ardillo Jr., Dario Cabonilas and Bernie
Rojero, security guards of Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, Inc.
They were charged with illegal arrest, serious illegal detention, and violation of Republic Act 7438, or Acts Defining the Rights of Persons Under Custodial Investigation.
“The arresting security guards illegally arrested me without a warrant and on mere suspicion of a crime,” said Armase in his complaint affidavit.
Also named respondents were Joselito Garcia, security supervisor; and Shigeru
Kamiruji, facility general manager of Tsuneishi.
Armase is an employee of ANS Construction and assigned as a janitor at Tsuneishi Industries in Barangay Buanoy, Balamban town, Cebu.
Armase said the security guards arrested him on qualified theft charge in Barangay Abucayan on March 9, 2012 without an arrest warrant.
A qualified theft case was later filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 50 in Toledo City.
The guards arrested him without telling him about his supposed offense, nor affording him of his constitutional right to get a lawyer, the complainant said.
Armase said his arrest was contrary to the rules on warrantless arrest.
Sec. 5 (a) of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedures says warrantless arrest may be valid if “the officer arresting a person who has just committed, is committing or about to commit an offense must have personal knowledge of the fact.”
The same provision clarifies that “it is not enough to suspect that a crime may have been committed.”
After his arrest, Armase said the guards brought and detained him at the Tsuneishi compound for five hours before he was turned over to the police station.
He said his constitutional right was violated since he was not given an an opportunity to get a lawyer or be accompanied by a family member after his arrest.
Armase also implicated Kamifuji, a Tsuneishi executive; and security supervisor Garcia, for allegedly authorizing the illegal arrest.
“From the way I was was arrested and to my actual confinement in the Tsuneishi compound, no rights of mine as a citizen of the Philippines were respected,” the complaint read.
Armase said he suffered “severe emotional distress and mental anguish affecting my psychological well-being.”
“Since the time of the arrest and detention, my ability to perform and enjoy the usual work-related activities has been impaired,” said Armase.
He sought from the respondents P250,000 as moral damages and P100,000 as attorney’s fees.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 10, 2013.