CARRYING OUT arrests must be done with utmost due diligence. The slightest mistake impacts the fundamental rights of the arrested person. The Constitution clearly outlines the standards on how it should be carried out, which law enforcement authorities must always abide in the exercise of their duty. In particular, the right to call or have access to a lawyer is guaranteed in the bill of rights.
The mistaken arrest of Margarita Valle puts into question the PNP’s manner and guidelines of serving arrest warrants. When fundamental rights are at stake, only the highest standards must be observed for the consequences could be irreversible. Considering the current climate of impunity and growing reports of harassment and red tagging, cases of mistaken identity raise doubts and fears. For our part, the CHR Regions X and IX have dispatched a quick response team to investigate and closely monitor this case towards its just resolution.
(Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the mistaken arrest of journalist Margarita Valle)