USJ-R to ask MPD on student’s arrest

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Monday, November 8, 2010


THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) College of Law will send a letter to the Manila Police District within the week, asking the latter to explain the incidents that led to their premature tagging of Jed Lazaga as a suspect in the blast that marred the end of the bar examination in Manila last Sept. 26.

But College of Law assistant dean Mae Elaine Bathan, in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, said they may have to wait for the Supreme Court investigating panel to furnish them a copy of their final report on the incident before they can finalize the letter.

“The (Supreme Court) said they are withholding the report because there are items there that are a bit confidential,” she said. She added they have already made a request for a copy of the report.

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Lazaga, a 24-year-old law student, was a volunteer of the USJ-R bar operations team, which assisted the university’s barristers during the bar examination at the De La Salle University.

Shortly after the blast, he was mauled by a group, believed to be members of the Tau Gamma fraternity. They took his earrings and wallet afterwards.

The police later identified him as a suspect and showed in a television news report his Commission on Elections ID and study load, which were taken from his wallet.

Position paper

In a press conference last Oct. 29, dean Jonathan Capanas said they might also make a position paper recommending that the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas review its reporting standards, to see if media outlets in Manila committed violations by reporting Lazaga’s alleged involvement in the bombing even when no evidence pointing to him had been presented yet.

“It was an irresponsible disclosure of Jed’s name on national television. But our action should not be viewed as purely retaliatory,” he said.

Lazaga faced the Supreme Court investigating panel last Oct. 4, where he presented proof that he was not the bomb-thrower.

Cleared

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, in her visit in Cebu last Oct. 28, announced the National Bureau of Investigation had cleared Lazaga of any involvement in the bomb throwing.

Bathan said Lazaga has undergone stress debriefing and counseling from the university’s guidance center.

She said the process is important as it will give him a “clear mind before taking any action” against those who had caused him damages.

“He is a good student. He performs well in class,” said Bathan, who is one of Lazaga’s law professors.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 08, 2010.

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