Give us justice vs PRO 12 cops' act of planting grenade evidence!

Give us justice vs PRO 12 cops' 
act of planting grenade evidence!


By BERTENI "TOTO" CATALUÑA CAUSING


My journalist blood has compelled me to share to the public the defenses I laid down for a man who was planted with a grenade evidence during a search warrant without an address stated. This is public interest and so I exercise my freedom of the press.

By the way, how can a supposedly court-issued search warrant be implemented if it does not state the place to be searched?

My reasonable belief in this is that this is another big injustice committed by inept and corrupt policemen of Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 12. 

I visited the PNP Region 12 jail inside Camp Fermin G. Lira in Tambler, General Santos City where this man, my client, has been jailed after he was arrested on August 15, 2012 after the patently-illegal search warrant was executed resulting in the planting of a hand grenade.

One thing that dumbstruck me was this: 

Search Warrant 12-59 was supposedly issued on August 6, 2012 by Judge Oscar P. Noel of the RTC of General Santos City, Branch 35, alleging that my client was keeping high-powered firearms, one hand grenade and other explosives.   This means that the police intelligence operatives of PRO 12 led by Chief Insp. Sebastian applied for that warrant on or before August 6, 2012.   The requirement in the approval of a search warrant is that the searching questions by the judge on the informant shows high probable cause that the information given is true and within the personal knowledge of the informant.   NOW, the operatives submitted to the Office of the City Prosecutor of General Santos City a memorandum dated August 14, 2012 where the PNP Firearms and Explosive Service chief certified that no firearm was licensed to my client.  QUESTION No. 1: If the police intel operatives sought a certification from the PNP FES office to know whether guns were licensed to a particular person, is it not that they had no personal knowledge that the gun was illegal or not?  QUESTION No. 2: If the knowledge of the PNP intel operatives that no gun was licensed to my client was learned only on August 14, 2012, how can it be reconciled to logic that the informant of the PNP intel had knowledge of illegal possession of guns when they applied for a search warrant at the latest on August 6, 2012 or eight (8) days earlier than the knowledge given by the PNP-FES? QUESTION No. 3: Was the search warrant inordinately approved by Judge Noel or was it fake?

Another thing that pricks my discerning mind is this:

The search warrant was not certified by the Court that supposedly issued it as a true copy yet the intel cops executed it. The SW does not state the exact address of the place to be searched but it only makes reference to a sketch, yet the police intel group did not submit a certified true copy of the sketch.  MOREOVER, the cops did not submit (1) a certified true copy of the application for SW, (2) a certified true copy of the affidavit or deposition of the informant, (3) a certified true copy of the stenographic notes of the searching questions supposedly conducted by the judge on the informant and the police complainant, (4) a certified true copy of the steno that was written by the stenographer on usually yellow pad sheets, and (5) a certified true copy of the blotter of the court that is mandated by Rule 126 of the Rules of Court to docket every SW on its logbook.

One more thing that shows invalidity of the search warrant is this:

It is required in Rule 1 of the PNP Operational Procedure that every surveillance and execution of SW must be recorded in the blotter book of the police unit concerned.  In this case of my client, the intel cops did not submit a certified true copy of the blotter entries on the supposed surveillance operations that led them to discover the supposed grenade and firearms in the possession of my client. SHOCKINGLY, the policemen who executed the SW declared they found one grenade and one bullet (38 caliber).

ALONG WITH THESE were the circumstances that occurred about the same time my client's family home was searched. Eight persons were rounded up in another execution of a search warrant in a compound in General Santos City where the persons having a land conflict with certain persons who included a policeman and a judge.  The said SW that resulted in the arrest of these eight men does not state the exact address of the place to be searched yet the same intel cops of PRO 12 barged inside every house and, of all evidence, found a few dried leaves of marijuana that are easy to procure in that city. The eight persons named in the SW were not the eight who were arrested. Curiously, these eight persons are connected to my client because my client is one of the persons who were helping the family of these eight persons belonging to the tribe of B'Laan.

In our defense, we submitted the affidavit of my client, of his wife, of a purok kagawad, of his eldest son and of his youngest son, a consistent honor high school student who has been suffering from cancer of the flesh.  

In all the affidavits, it is asserted that the intel cops just swooped in on their house without even knocking. 

Without respect, the cops compelled the occupants to lie down on the floor by pushing them with the use of the barrel of Armalite rifles that nearly killed a one-year-old baby being fed by my client, searched the house while the occupants were laying face down, ordered the occupants to go out of the house and sit on a bench front thereof, ordered a stop to the search to wait for the chairman and kagawad of a purok (not even of the barangay) and a media person and while waiting two cops did not go out but stayed inside, ordered a new search when the kagawad and the chairman and the media men arrived where not one of the occupants was allowed to be present inside the house while the search was being done, ordered the kagawad and the chairman witnesses to go out, and when the witnesses were out the cops declared they found a grenade kept in woman's bag whose zipper cannot be closed for being defective.

We declared that the grenade found was a "fruit of a poisonous tree" because of a gross violation of the search, conducting search without one occupant being present.

Our biggest opponent in this case is the invocation by the corrupt intel policemen of the supposed "presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions."

We hope the Office of the City Prosecutor of General Santos City go out of the box and discern the issues and dismiss the case at once.

WHY ARREST ONLY ONE OCCUPANT IF A GRENADE IS FOUND WHEN THERE ARE AT LEAST FIVE ADULT OCCUPANTS?  How can the cops support their contention that my client was the one who owned the grenade when there were four other adults?  This is assuming without admitting that a grenade was indeed found.

Below is the "Manifestation" I filed through a collaborating counsel, Atty. Remegio delos Santos.



Republic of the Philippines
Department of Justice
National Prosecution Service
Office of the City Prosecutor
General Santos City

PO3 ROWINE E. RUIZ of
RSIDT-PRO 12, RPSC-PRO 12, PS2 CPO,
                                                Plaintiff,

            - versus -                                             SEARCH WARRANT No. 12-59


ABDUL ARSAD @ ABS,
                                                Respondent.
x---------------------------------------------------------x

Manifestation
with
Arguments for Dismissal
with
Entry of Appearance
and
Withdrawal of Waiver of Right
Under Art. 125 of Revised Penal Code



            The respondent, by the undersigned counsel, respectfully submits this Manifestation with Arguments for Dismissal with Entry of Appearance.

            The instant complaint is for alleged violation of Presidential Decree 1866 as amended by Republic Act 8249 as amended further by Republic Act 9516.

            To pursue the right to submit counter-affidavit, the counter-affidavit and the affidavit of witnesses of the respondent and the attached documentary evidence are attached hereto.

In addition, a certification issued by the Punong Barangay of Barangay Labangal certifying that the respondent is a resident of the barangay and that he is a person of good moral character and has no derogatory records filed in the barangay office is attached hereto as ANNEX “A.”

To prove that the respondent has been a law-abiding citizen, his community tax receipt issued on February 23, 2012 is also attached hereto as ANNEX “B.”

To prove that the respondent has been a resident of the same barangay, a copy of the City Census of their household, with Household Identification No. 051228 is attached hereto as ANNEX “C.”

The affidavit of the respondent is attached hereto as a series of ANNEX “D”.  The affidavit of his wife Mariam M. Arsad as a witness is attached hereto as ANNEX “E.” The affidavit of his son Marvin M. Arsad is attached hereto as ANNEX “F.”The affidavit of his youngest son Abdul Arsad Jr. is attached hereto as ANNEX “G.”The affidavit of Purok Saludin Kagawad Lydia Muego is attached hereto as ANNEX “H.”

Let the instant case by dismissed.

The first compelling reason for the dismissal of the case is the fact that the SEARCH WARRANT WAS A “SCATTER-SHOT” WARRANT ON ITS FACE.

It is a scatter-shot warrant because the SW does not contain a statement of the exact address of the respondent.

Second, while the said SW stated a reference to an attached sketch, the police officers did not submit the same sketch that was validated by the Court that issued the SW.

As such, it means that THE EXECUTION OF THE SEARCH WARRANT RESULTED IN THE SEIZURE OF ALLEGED EVIDENCE THAT ARE NOW “FRUITS OF POISONOUS TREE.”

The scatter-shot warrant violated Section 2 of Article III of the Constitution that requires search warrant to be issued only upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge upon examination under oath of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce and describing particularly the place to be searched and the things and persons to be seized.

The search warrant is spurious.

Additionally, the search warrant submitted by the police complainants was not certified by the court as a certified true copy. This fact warranted a presumption that the SW submitted is spurious and cannot carry with it the presumption of regularity or that no presumption can be given to the SW.

Further, the complainant or complainants did not submit certified true copies of the documents used in allegedly applying for a search warrant, did not submit certified true copies of the depositions of their alleged informant to show that indeed they had personal knowledge of what they were claiming in their application for SW, and did not submit certified true copies of the transcript of stenographic notes and the certified true copies of the steno records of the stenographer to prove that indeed the SW was faithfully applied for.

Also, the complainants did not submit a certified true copy of the Court’s logbook for search warrant to prove further the regularity or validity of the SW that they served on the respondent.

The non-submission of these indispensable elements of issuance of the search warrant clearly shows that the search warrant is indeed spurious and non-existent.

ANOTHER BIG PROOF OF THE NON-EXISTENCE OF THE SEARCH WARRANT is the fact that the Firearms and Explosive Service of the PNP in Camp Crame issued ONLY ON AUGUST 14, 2012 a certificate that the respondent was not listed as authorized to possess a firearm when the alleged Search Warrant is dated to have been issued on August 6, 2012. 

This means that when the SW was applied for on or before August 6, 2012, the complainant or the deponent or the informant of the complainant did not have any personal knowledge of whether the respondent had firearms or had no authority to possess firearms.

This big proof, a Memorandum dated August 14, 2012, addressed to the raiders’ team leader Police Chief Insp. Maximo F. Sebastian Jr. and signed by Police Chief Insp. Rodrigo Benedicto H. Sarmiento Jr., is attached hereto as ANNEX “I.”

Moreover, what makes the allegedly seized evidence fruits of poisonous tree is the fact that it was not signed by the respondent as a witness of the search and the respondent was only made to sign as having received a copy of the “Certification of Legally, Peacefully and Orderly Execution of Search Warrant.”

It is mandatory that Rule 126 of the Rules of Court demands that any execution of the search warrant must be witnessed by any of the occupants of the place to be searched.

Rule 126 is also very strict when it comes to the execution of any search warrant because it is regarded as more dangerous than the probable cause for arrest.

Here, the complaining police officers merely made the respondent as a receiver of the same certification and the “Receipt for Property Seized.”

Working against the police raiders is the fact that they did not even submit the blotter of their unit when they conducted surveillance operations or when they raided the respondent’s house when it is mandatory for all police units to do so. 

If they did not submit any, it means that there was none. And if there was none, it gives a presumption that the policemen were hiding the fact that the execution of the search warrant and the search warrant itself are spurious.

Rule 1 of the Philippine National Police Operational Procedure (Philippine National Police Manual PNPM-DO-DS-3-1) states:

Rule 1. POLICE BLOTTER

Each PNP operating unit shall maintain an official police blotter where all types of operational and undercover dispatches shall be recorded containing the five “Ws” (who, what, where, when and why) and one “H” (how) of an information.

A copy of the page of the Police Operational Procedure is attached hereto as ANNEX “J.”

These clear and convincing evidence of non-compliance with the search warrant procedures are a big support to the assertions of the respondent and his witnesses that the grenade that was allegedly found inside his house was merely planted by the raiding policemen.

So that it is very clear that if ever there was the alleged grenade that was alleged by the operatives to have been found, there is no other conclusion but that the OPERATIVES violated Section 4-A as defined under RA No. 9516 that penalizes “planting of grenade” with RECLUSION PERPETUA.

Added to these circumstances, are the facts that the Affidavit of Team Leader/Photographer and the Affidavit of Complaint/Recovery/Apprehension are not even coherent, not logical and not detailed telling the true stories of how events occurred from the start to the finish.  To the contrary, these affidavits are JUMPY for the narration are jumping from one to another skipping over facts that are important.

With all these clear and convincing circumstances backing up the assertions of the respondent and his witnesses, it is now very clear that the instant complaint must be dismissed.

Let it be expressed that upon the submission of this Manifestation and the counter-affidavits, the respondent is hereby withdrawing effective immediately the waiver of his rights under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

As a proof that the respondent is withdrawing the said waiver of right, he signed at the space provided below.

The Prayer

WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the instant complaint be dismissed outright for utter lack of merit.

It is also prayed that the Entry of Appearance of the undersigned counsel be noted and recorded.

Other reliefs just and equitable are also prayed for.  August 28, 2012, Manila for General Santos City.

RENTA PE CAUSING SABARRE CASTRO & ASSOCIATES
Unit 1, No. 2368 Leon Guinto St. corner JB Roxas St., Malate, Manila


 BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING
Counsel for the Respondent
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