Epal kasi! Makati police claims Times Bar’s lawyers barged into search operation without permission
Police on Friday defended the arrest of three lawyers inside a bar in Makati City while policemen were serving a search warrant at the establishment suspected to be a drug den.
Makati City Station Drug Enforcement Unit operatives, led by Police Insp. Jeson Vigilla, arrested lawyers Lenie Rocha, 25, of Pasig City; Jan Vincent Soliven, 32, of Cavite; and Romulo Alarkon, 33, of Caloocan City for obstruction of justice.
The three lawyers reportedly, at first, refused to identify themselves as well as their client, Burton Joseph Server III, to policemen. Server was one of those named in the search warrant.
Southern Police District officials said the three lawyers entered the bar on Thursday and started taking photos without coordination and permission from police personnel at the site.
At one point the lawyers allegedly threatened policemen who were in the establishment.
In a report to National Capital Region Police Office regional director Director Guillermo Eleazar, Makati police said the lawyers tried to prevent the operatives from proceeding to the third floor to conduct a search of the premises.
The lawyers were also repeatedly asked to step out of the police operation area but refused to do so.
Makati police authorities on Thursday served a search warrant issued by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on the registered owners and managers of Times Bar along Makati Ave., Makati City.
The warrant was handed down after the court found probable cause for charges of maintenance of a drug den and upon the judge’s examination under oath of Chief Insp. Gideon Ines Jr., Assistant Chief of Police for Operations.
Aside from Server, others named in the warrant were Rico Rene Blanco, Cynthia Primero, Ma. Amparo Marcalinas, Reyan Ladrillo, and Danilo Regino.
The warrant covered a search for ecstasy, party drugs, “shabu” (crystal meth), marijuana, cocaine and drug paraphernalia reportedly kept in two vaults inside the room of Regino at the second floor of the bar.
Last Saturday, a raid at the bar yielded a number of drugs, among them 19 pieces of ecstasy (four tablets and 15 capsules) valued at P142,500, some 18 sachets of cocaine valued at P1.57 million, and a sachet of kush.
During the buy-bust operation, 31 employees of the bar, 57 foreigners and 63 local guests were invited for questioning but were released later. (With reports from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)