By Benjamin Pulta
MANILA – An administrative complaint has been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday against two Batangas City prosecutors for the alleged illegal arrest and detention of two memorial park employees over a missing marble grave marker.
Eternal Gardens lawyer Alexis Oco also filed an urgent motion to transfer the venue of the preliminary investigation on the theft complaint filed by State Prosecutor Edelwina Ebreo of the Batangas City Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) against five Eternal Gardens employees to the Office of the City Prosecutor in Manila.
Named respondents in Ebreo’s complaint were Arnel Alibuzo, Marizza San Diego, Demetrio Peralta, Jocelyn Ann Buendia and Reggie Reyes.
Oco pointed out that numerous irregularities committed during the arrest, detention and inquest proceedings of San Diego and Alibuzo prompted them to seek redress before the DOJ.
Ebreo was the prosecutor responsible for the arrest of Libuzo and San Diego while Deputy Prosecutor Evelyn Jovellanos was identified as the prosecutor who conducted inquest proceedings on the two despite the absence of a counsel of their choice or a public lawyer to assist them.
“We noted that there was already a violation of their rights since there were subjected to investigation, questioning without the presence of any counsel of their choice and inquest proceedings was presided by another member of the City Prosecutor’s Office without presence of counsel of choice of the two employees or even a member of PAO (Public Attorney’s Office),” Oco said.
“In light of the numerous irregularities observed throughout the arrest, inquest, and detention of our employees, Ms. Marizza San Diego and Mr. Arnel Alibuzo, which were carried out by both the complainant and the investigating prosecutor, our company through our legal counsels find it necessary to lodge an administrative case to formally request the Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation into this matter and impose appropriate sanctions,” he added.
It added that the actuations of the two prosecutors of taking over the duties of arresting officers in taking the statement of the two employees and typing the documents themselves show that they are flaunting their influence.
San Diego and Alibuzo were released from detention on Oct. 16, three days after they were arrested by police authorities without a warrant based on the complaint filed by Ebreo.
The employees were supposedly trying to help Ebreo, who is their client, with her concerns about the missing marble marker.
However, they were later accused of theft and subsequently detained and subjected to inquest proceedings without the assistance of a counsel. (PNA)