Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Case of Police Harassment, Illegal Arrest and Detention in Quezon City

I have a neighbor who I found out has been dealing drugs in the neighborhood. She's been living such a well off life even if she really doesn't have a visible source of income. It explains the reason why late at night I get awakened by noises of people knocking on our neighbor's door. She recently opened a 24 hour store as her front, in a small neighborhood that's not really enough to defray all her expenses relative to her way of living.

When I inquired from some "people in the neighborhood," I found out our neighbor is a drug pusher, a small time one, unlike the now famous case of Alabang Boys (a messy one with allegations of bribery between the DOJ and PDEA). The barangay officials know about her activities, even all the people living there but they seem to just ignore the sad fact as if it's normal and acceptable.

Not for me. I planned on reporting her anonymously to the PDEA's anonymous "whistleblower" hotline but someone did it ahead of me.

It was just this evening, on my arrival from Trinoma while parking my car, when I head the news of my neighbor's "arrest" by some "policemen" in plain clothes, sans search warrant or legal buy/bust operation. The "policemen" simply asked around for the name of their target, and dragged her out the house when they identified her. They even reportedly confiscated her cellphone and money reserved for tuition fees of her kids. They took her to the police station on Kamuning and reportedly asked for P80,000.00 in return for her release or prepare for inquest. This was later lowered to P30,000.00 and a new deadline of 9pm.

My thoughts on this as I told my neighbor's niece whom I know:

They have two choices: pay up or fight it out

Pay up: the policemen wins and walks away with the loot, my neighbor can resume her illegal activities and be harassed again by the same policemen in the future.

Fight it: I told my friend that the arrest is illegal and the police really doesn't have a case against her aunt. It's just another case of kotong where the victims are assumed to give the money "requested" from them. I reminded them that the suspect should be released within 48 hours or the policement face illegal detention. It's also the judge that sets the bail, if it's a bailable offense, not the policemen who're really trying to make money for the pusher. Note that no illegal drugs were found at the house, and even if there were, they won't stand as evidence in court due to the absence of a court order.

Apparently, my neighbors were trying to raise the sum, even attempted to borrow money from my mom but I don't know if they were able to raise the amount. They reportedly tried to sell their appliances just to pay the "ransom."

Some call it karma, others poetic justice...

I call it a bad person harassed by scalawags in the police who should follow legal means to clean our society of scums. I don't tolerate drug pushers but I also don't agree to the way of the kotong cops.

UPDATE: my neighbor's kin managed to put up the P30,000.00 "blood money" the following day and suspect was released by the police. Policemen now about P40k richer-- P30k cash "bail," plus the earlier cellphone and cash taken at the "crime scene."


2 comments:

  1. "She's been living such a well off life even if she really doesn't have a visible source of income."

    I have a neighbor who is currently enjoying a similar kind of luxury without any clear source of income. between the period of oct. 2008 - april 2009, she has purchased a hi-ace van, a pajero, and is now re-building their house for an amount of 1.8 M (according to her mother). On top of that, she has opened a dollar account in a bank worth $11,000 and she's asking around if she can buy more dollars amounting to $15,000.

    no one (as in no one) in her family is and has been gainfully employed but her. she has had a couple of financial/ legal issues with past employers before (there was an attempt to have her arrested by cidg thru our barangay, witnessed by the entire neighborhood) and a brother used to be a drug addict (not sure if until now). they're now throwing their weight around our small community, dropping hints like they're secret millionaires or that my neighbor's soon-to-be-husband is a security guard-turned-pdea agent-turned- marine. all in a span of 6-7 months.

    it's very disturbing and exasperating. do you think you can help me?

    thanks.

    -anonymous-

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  2. anonymous, you need to gather more evidence for this. I'm searching my files for the PDEA hotline or imbestigador but be careful...

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