Palace on arrested lawyers: ‘They should take refresher course’

MANILAMalacaAang on Monday said the three lawyers arrested by Makati police should take a refresher course on criminal procedure particularly on rules against obstruction of a police investigation.

Now, there are videos available in the internet on what happened. If you ask me as a law professor, those three lawyers need a refresher course on criminal procedure, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Last week, Makati policemen arrested three lawyers identified as Lenie Rocel Rocha, Jan Vincent Soliven, and Romulo Bernard Alarkon for allegedly intimidating them from conducting a search at the Time in Manila bar in Makati City that resulted in the seizure of several sachets of illegal drugs.

The policemen filed complaints against the three lawyers for obstruction of justice, resistance and disobedience to authorities and violation of a city ordinance.

Later, a "constructive possession" of illegal drugs complaint has also been filed against the three lawyers who claimed to be lawyers of the bar owners.

The Commission on Human Rights and several lawmakers and lawyers' groups criticized the arrest and detention of the three lawyers.

Roque defended the Makati policemen, saying he also got information that the lawyers were preventing the policemen from going to an upper floor of the bar.

Lawyers have absolutely no involvement in an ongoing investigation, Roque, a law professor, said.

Their role is when there is already a pending action in the prosecutor's office, if there is anything that was wrong in the police investigation, then they can alleged this either in the determination of probable cause or in the trial itself, he added.

Roque said it was the second time the police had conducted operation in the same Makati bar.

Take note in the first operation, it yielded positive for drugs and it was closed by the Makati City government, he said.

He said lawyers have no immunity for obstruction of justice.

They have to answer for their acts, in addition to possible administrative remedies, for possible violation also of the canon of professional responsibility, Roque said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency