Remulla to Law Enforcers: Solidify case buildup prior to ops

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla (right) (Facebook photo)

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has reminded law enforcers on Monday 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 build-ups in coordination with prosecutors to ensure all indictments are substantiated by evidence, Remulla sstressed.

“Let us conduct case build-ups before we conduct raids and let no one plant evidence against anyone,” he said in an interview with reporters. He also reminded law enforcers that DOJ Order No. 020 dated March 31 directs 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 reads. A prima facie case, “which on its own and if left uncontroverted, should be sufficient to establish all the elements of the crime,” the circular added.

In the case of the raid in a Las Piñas City compound occupied by an alleged Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) 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 the possible charges against them.

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, (With PNA)