Police official admits arrest violated rights of Davao columnist

A POLICE official admitted on Wednesday, June 19, that authorities violated the rights of Davao columnist Margarita Valle when she was arrested by mistake.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said the police admitted that there was indeed a failure of intelligence which resulted in the arrest of the wrong person.

“Ito ay nagkamali at ito ay inaamin nila at pinakawalan nila din, ito ay isang admission ng pagkakamali so ito ay violation ng human rights because it deprived the rights o liberty ng isang tao,” he said.

Valle was arrested on June 9 while waiting in Laguindingan Airport for her flight home to Davao.

The police earlier admitted that Valle’s arrest was a case of mistaken identity.

The subject of the arrest warrant presented to Valle was a certain Elsa Renton who is also using names such as Tina Maglaya or Fidelina Margarita Valle y Avellanosa.

The warrant was for charges of multiple murder, four counts of frustrated murder and damage to government properties.

During her arrest, Valle said she tried to explain and identified herself as a journalist but the arresting police refused to believe in her.

She was brought to a police camp in Pagadian City, which is at least 200 kilometers away, where she underwent booking procedure.

“May mga parameters yun para maiwasan ang ganong pagkakamali, pati ang description ng taong huhulihin, ang address ay kumpleto po yun, may tinatawag na search, question and answer to satisfy na yun na nga ‘yung tao na yun, ito ay isang negligence on their part, itong taong ito ay hindi naman fugitive, ito ay kahihiyan ng isang tao na hinuli nila nang wala namang kasalanan,” said Triambulo.

He said the IAS is conducting a motu propio investigation to hold the police officers involved in the operation accountable.

Triambulo said they are waiting for the statement of Valle for the conduct of pre-charge investigation.

It will be through the pre-charge investigation that the IAS will determine the charges that will be filed against the concern cops.

Among the charges the policemen may face are grave misconduct, arbitrary detention and violation to human rights.

Charges of grave misconduct may lead to dismissal from the service. (SunStar Philippines)


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