Been getting a lot of SMS and emails from people all over asking that bloggers should make a stand for Mark Verzo and the harassment he got from the NBI. All hatred points to Sen. Loren Legarda.
Before we go on an all out war, let’s review the facts and the apparent misinformation that’s been going around the blogosphere.
First, Mark Verzo was not arrested. There was no arrest warrant against him by the NBI. He was invited to go the HQ for questioning. He could have declined that invitation but he didn’t knowing there’s nothing wrong with what he’s doing.
The NBI raid was due to a Search Warrant issued by an unnamed judge. I suppose that he has jurisdiction over Alabang where Mark Verzo lives. If there’s one person to ask why the raid was made on Mark’s house, it would be the judge. Search warrants are not issued lightly. They should have probable cause to do so.
Lastly, there’s no Martial Law going on. If there was, the NBI didn’t have to get a judge to sign a search warrant and we didn’t get to see Mark on TV.
If you want a legal perspective from a lawyer, check out the The Warrior Lawyer on his explanation about the issue.
Yes, I’m all for helping those who are oppressed or harassed but let’s straighten up our facts. It’s sad to read all those blogs citing news reports and claiming Mark Verzo was arrested when in fact he wasn’t. It doesn’t legitimize our claim for responsible citizen journalism.
Basapa.com has a video footage of a TV report saying Mark was arrested and let go after the NBI couldn’t find anything to charge him with. It still boggles me why the NBI would arrest him in the first place when there was no probable cause to file any charges. If there was indeed an Arrest Warrant, was he read his Miranda rights or was he allowed to get a lawyer? Nevertheless, the footage shown was disturbing at the very least. This issue needs more digging.
Some lawyers said fingerprinting and mugshots are SOP. Come to think of it, I remember getting fingerprinted and mug shots the last time I went to the NBI office to get a travel clearance.