By Jeffrey Damicog
Marawi City Vice Mayor Arafat Salic faces a rebellion complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for his alleged participation in the 2017 Marawi siege.
Salic, who has been named in the narco list of President Rodrigo Duterte, was brought by the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the DOJ in Manila Friday following his arrest last March 13 in Marawi City.
The PNP was hoping to subject him for inquest, however, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said inquest can no longer be allowed and the case was considered a regular filing which will have to undergo preliminary investigation.
Because of this, Ong said the PNP has no right to keep Salic detained.
“Ang inquest is for warrantless arrest. Warrantless arrest is for [when] the crime is being committed, the crime has just been committed, a crime is about to be committed or the person to be arrested escaped from detention while being transported,” Ong reprimanded the PNP.
Ong pointed out Salic should be subjected for inquest proceedings within 36 hours after a warrantless is made.
Since the sworn affidavits of witnesses cites Salic’s participation on May 2017, Ong explained that the warrantless arrest was made already beyond the six-day hot pursuit under the law.
The prosecutor explained to reporters that the PNP used as basis for the arrest the Sept. 4, 2017 arrest order issued by Martial Law Implementor, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
However, Ong pointed out that the PNP did not follow procedures as he cited the April 16, 2018 memorandum issued by Lorenzana.
“Recommendations for the issuance of an arrest or capture order by the Secretary of National Defense and martial law administrator should be submitted to the IECWG (intelligence evaluation and coordinating working group),” Ong cited the memorandum.
After which, Ong explained the recommendation will be submitted to the Department of National Defense (DND) technical working group which will categorize the person who is being sought for arrest.
Among the three categories, Ong said Salic falls to the second category and the arresting unit should coordinate with a judge “for the production of affidavits and witnesses, and other pieces of evidence.”
“Where after the person shall be presented to the prosecutor or the DOJ for inquest or preliminary investigation,” he added.
In the case of Salic, Ong said the PNP decided for themselves that Salic should be subjected for inquest.
Meanwhile, the camp of Salic has denied involvement in the illegal drugs trade even though he was mentioned in the narco list of the President.
“Sabi niya wala naman talaga sya kinalaman diyan (He said he has nothing to do with it),” said his legal counsel, lawyer Mohammade Nabil Mutia.
“Mahirap sumagot sa accusation na hindi pa namin nakikita yung basis nila kung bakit nila isinama si vice mayor (It’s difficult to answer to accusations since we don’t know its basis),” he stated.