By Benjamin Pulta
MANILA – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Monday.
reminded law enforcers anew to be circumspect at all times in the conduct of future raids to ensure air-tight cases that can withstand scrutiny in courts.
All raids must be backed by case building in coordination with prosecutors to ensure all indictments are substantiated by evidence, Remulla said.
“Mag-case buildup muna tayo bago tayo pumasok sa ganyan at ‘di tayo papayag na maglagay o magtanim ng ebidensya kahit kanino (Let us conduct a case buildup before we go conduct a raid and we will not let evidence be placed or planted against anyone),” he told reporters in an interview.
Similarly, DOJ Order No. 020 dated March 31 directed prosecutors to “take an active role in the investigation of crimes,” particularly during the buildup stage and work with complainants and law enforcement agencies.
“Prosecutors must ensure the existence of a prima facie case and a reasonable certainty of conviction based on available documents, witnesses and other evidence,” the order read.
A prima facie case, “which on its own and if left uncontroverted, is sufficient to establish all the elements of the crime,” the circular said.
In the case of the raid in a Las Piñas City compound occupied by an alleged Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator involved in human trafficking on June 27, Remulla said he received reports of insufficient pre-raid preparations and that officials failed to pinpoint those liable and for what charges.
The Philippine National Police insisted the raid at Xinchuang Network Technology, Inc. was a legitimate operation and it acted under the authority of valid search warrants issued by the court.
More than 2,700 workers, including Filipinos, were rescued and cases against five Chinese nationals have been filed before the DOJ for human trafficking and violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act. (PNA)