Senators call for probe on Dasma incident

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

AT LEAST two senators urged the need to conduct a Senate investigation in aid of legislation the controversial incident in Dasmarinas Makati involving Makati Mayor Jejomar JunJun Binay, the Makati police and securities in Dasmarinas Village.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III today said that he will seek a Senate inquiry on the policy of police authorities “of inviting” a suspect for investigation at their headquarters even without an arrest warrant.

Pimentel, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said that the civil rights of a person might have been violated when police hail him to their station on the pretext of the so-called “invitation” which he pointed out is actually a euphemism for illegal arrest.

He cited the case of the Makati City police that reportedly “invited” security guards in a posh village in the area for refusing to allow the convoy of Mayor Binay Jr. to pass through a restricted gate in the upscale subdivision.

Based on closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the security standoff, the responding Makati policemen appeared to have forcibly taken the security guards to the station, although the Makati Police said that the guards volunteered to join them to their headquarters.

“This is already tantamount to an arrest and is a violation of civil liberties,” said Pimentel, referring to the footage where the policemen were seen forcing and holding the security guards to join them.

Arrest without warrant, he said, can only be done when the police is actually in the crime scene during the commission of the crime or when he has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge and when a person to be arrested is an escaped prisoner.

Based on reports the Makati Mayor ordered the arrest of the three security guards of Dasmarinas Village for denying his convoy access to the restricted gate past the self-imposed 10 p.m. curfew on Nov. 30.

Binay’s camp, however, clarified that the security guards were not arrested, but voluntarily went with the Makati police and stayed at the police precinct for an hour for verification purposes.

Joey Salgado, spokesman of Binay, also blamed the security guards for failing to give courtesy and security assistance as dictated by “protocol” to VIPs in the village as part of the standard operating procedure (SOP).

Meanwhile, Ram Antonio, president of Right Eight Security, said that his agency had already apologized to Binay.

Pimentel said that the investigation will dwell on the action of the police, inviting persons to police station even against their free will which he said is already a violation of the norm on warrantless arrest.

“Pinipilit naman ang invitee to go with them, hila hila ang kamay,” said Pimentel of the Dasmarinas incident which has since then become viral in the social media networks and turned into a hot national issue.

Earlier Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said the chief of police in Makati should be castigated by the Department of Interior and Local Government as he urged Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the incident.

Cayetano denounced the move of Binay's camp for allegedly using long firearms and the Makati police for forcing the securities to proceed to the police station and was reportedly detained for four hours.

The Senate Majority Leader earlier made a strong pronouncement condeming the camp of Binay for allegedly using and abusing their power during the Dasmarinas incident. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

Local news

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