DOJ had to release the hazing suspect

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit..” (1 Corinthians 2:14, the Holy Bible).


DOJ COULD NOT HAVE DONE OTHERWISE BUT RELEASE THE HAZING SUSPECT: Yes, it is true, the prosecutors of the Department of Justice could not have done otherwise but to order the release from detention of John Paul Solano, one of the prime suspects in the killing of Horacio Castillo III which happpened as he was undergoing initiation rites as a neophyte of a fraternity at the College of Law of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST).

This is because the law is clear—no one can be arrested or detained by any police officer if the person that is to be arrested or detained was not caught in the act of doing the crime that he is being accused of, or was not caught moments after the crime was committed. Solano was, indeed, not arrested at the exact point that Castillo was being made to undergo painful manhandling by those he wanted to become his “brothers” from the UST.

Solano merely surrendered to the police several days after Horacio’s brutal and senseless death. As a consequence, the police had no right to detain him. He should have been released immediately, after he gave himself up for investigation. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he will file cases of his own against the policemen who detained him for almost a week.


ARREST AND DETENTION OF SOLANO BY THE POLICE WERE ILLEGAL: His detention by the police would now constitute arbitrary detention under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, even if it could be shown later that he agreed to be detained by his signing a waiver. Here in this country, there are only three situations where someone could be arrested and detained without a warrant of arrest coming from the courts.

The first situation is where someone was seen in the very act of committing a crime (in law, this is called in flagrante delicto). At the exact time that the crime is being committed, the perpetrator can be arrested even by a private citizen, even if there is no prior warrant for his arrest. The second situation is that a crime has just been committed, and those arresting someone for that crime have reasonable ground to believe that the person they were arresting was the culprit.

The last situation is where the person to be arrested is a escaped prisoner, or a fugitive from justice. No warrant of arrest is necessary to re-arrest that escaped prisoner or fugitive from justice. Be that as it may, everyone should also be aware of Republic Act 7438 which directs all who will arrest other persons to immediately provide the arrested individual with a lawyer to assist him.


CONGRATS, PANAY BALITA: With the kind permission of the other newspapers in the Philippines and in other countries which have been publishing this column entitled “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, I wish to extend a special greeting to the newspaper named “Panay Balita” which circulates in the whole Panay Island (Region 6), Guimaras, Negros Occidental, and in the world-famous Boracay Island. The reason is that, it is celebrating its 14th anniversary this September 2017.

Mr. Danny Fajardo founded Panay Balita (then known as Ang Hublas sa Kamatuoran), and his son, Mr. Daniel Fajardo II, is now the one steering the directions of the newspaper, ever since he took over in 2010. The objective of Danny in putting up the newspaper in 2003 was to launch a newspaper that would use Hiligaynon—the local dialect of Panay Island.

Many raised their eyebrows when Danny took this direction, but the overwhelming success of his paper up to now is a living testament to the accuracy of his perceptions. I believe that Panay Balita is enjoying the trust of its readers in the areas where it is circulating precisely because of its accurate news and unbiased presentation of opinions, and this is putting it in great competition with other newspapers in the whole country. Congratulations, Panay Balita!


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