PAO questions legal basis of warrantless arrest vs. Veloso’s recruiters

By on May 8, 2015

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MANILA — The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) on Friday questioned the legal basis of the warrantless arrest against Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.

This was made on the first day of the preliminary investigation at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Mary Jane Veloso against Sergio and Lacanilao.

Veloso and Sergio are the alleged recruiters of Veloso, who was supposed to be executed on April 29, 2015 for drug trafficking in Indonesia, but was given a temporary reprieve pending the resolution of the cases filed against her recruiters.

However, Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Azarcon stressed that any legal question on the warrantless arrest against Sergio and Lacanilao which was made as basis for the inquest proceedings should be filed before Assistant State Prosecutor Mark Estepa, who handled the inquest proceedings.

On the other hand, Michael Candelaria, former husband of Mary Jane, again attempted to submit his sworn-statement.

However, it was blocked by Atty. Howard Areza, lawyer from the PAO, because Candelaria should first present a proof of his identity to execute his sworn-statement.

Because Candelaria could not present any proof of identity, Azarcon decided not to receive yet the sworn-statement of Candelaria.

During the hearing, the lawyer of Veloso questioned the basis of the legal representation by the PAO for Sergio and Lacanilao.

At this juncture, Areza read the faxed copy of the barangay certification from Talavera, Nueva Ecija certifying that Lacanilao has no permanent job.

However, the PAO lawyer was not able to present the legal basis for the representation for Sergio.

In the midst of arguments, Azarcon decided to give the PAO the opportunity to submit the basis of legal representation for the two respondents together with the submission of the counter-affidavit.

The DOJ gave the PAO, the NBI and the Velosos the period of until May 11, 2015 within which to submit their additional pieces of evidence, respectively.

The next hearing was set on May 20, 2015, which is the same date for the submission of the counter-affidavit.