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Here lies the misinformation…




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.

Update:
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.

Update:
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.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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37 Responses

  1. beeps says:

    Nice information Yugs. I hope that would help to clear out some mind dwelling misinformation.

  2. Chino yray says:

    You know people, it’s a common thing for us to add and remove parts of the whole story. In tagalog, nagiging tsismis.

  3. I was about to ask the same question when I read some blogs saying he was arrested. Oh well…

  4. Michael says:

    Abe, Here’s my reply:
    http://tinyurl.com/ywby5s
    :)

  5. Jazzy says:

    As blog reader, I think it is wise to QUIT reading those blogs claiming an arrest was made. It is clear irresponsibility from the author and probably just riding on the issues that they may not clearly understand.

  6. BrianB says:

    Article 201 is BS. Wanna arrest Boy Abunda for preaching gay love? Andami sigurong mga socialite na nakulong na kung totoo itong Article 201 na to.

    Abe, I was “arrested” once. No warrant. Police said “hot pursuit” but I was in my house eating lunch. Kung wala Tatay ko doon nabugbog na ako siguro sa presinto. May nakaaway kasi akong anak ni kung sino.

  7. BrianB says:

    Yes, Mark Verzo was arrested. Why else would he go with the NBI, without a lawyer! Tanga ba sya?

  8. BrianB says:

    You have to be aware that the police and other “peace officers” have several techniques they could use to go around an uncooperative suspect even without proper documents. The video was clear to me, even if GMA was “overly fair” with the arresting faction.

    Loren is supposed to be one of the good guys, now it’s clear that if you piss her off she can turn into a regular trapo.

  9. BrianB says:

    I mean the original video, not the one at Basapa. Basapa was more than obvious, it was conclusive.

  10. micketymoc says:

    People get their mugshots taken when they’re invited for questioning? I had no idea.

  11. yuga says:

    Looks like Mark got invited for a “photo shoot” as well. :D

  12. BrianB says:

    I think Verzo just decided it was high time he went into show business.

  13. mocs says:

    legarda is just sending message to webmasters: don’t mess with me!

  14. BrianB says:

    “It is clear irresponsibility from the author and probably just riding on the issues that they may not clearly understand.”

    Some people are just too understanding.

  15. marhgil says:

    So, GMANews.TV was misinformed too. They said he was arrested.

  16. micketymoc says:

    This “arrest-or-no-arrest” argument is worthless until Mark Verzo explains what choice he had in the matter. Was he left with no choice but to go with the NBI arres… er, “investigatory” team? And the “mug shot as SOP for questioning” seems strange to me; I think this is quite a different thing from getting your clearance done, especially if you’re seen on national television posing for your mugshot.

    Yuga, I understand the need to be clear with the facts, and I fully support you there. However, it’s hard to deny that Verzo’s been made to undergo some pretty unpleasant treatment from the law that even the MSM has difficulty distinguishing from a proper “arrest”. (See mugshot.)

    The way I see it, splitting hairs over whether Verzo was “arrested” or not is counterproductive, and does nothing to promote the debate on what actually constitutes free and protected speech. The chilling effect on free speech created by the Verzo “arrest” is real, however we define “arrest”.

  17. elmer says:

    NBI should invite this dance group too because they’re promoting porn site.. on primetime TV http://www.pepster.net/2007/08/23/dance-group-brand-name-gone-bad/

  18. The Ca t says:

    A mug shot (also known as a mugshot, head shot, or, properly, booking photograph[citation needed]) is a photographic portrait taken after one is arrested.Fron and sideviews.

    It was invented by Allan Pinkerton.

    When you are invited to answer some questions, they do not take your photograph, neither your fingerprint.

    Not unless kumanta ka.

    Whoever said that this is a standard procedure should be lectured about Arrest and Warrants101.

  19. The Ca t says:

    The picture taken when you get your clearance is a photo ID. that goes to your file and your copy of the clearance.

    The mugshot is linked to your records of arrest.

  20. micketymoc says:

    So it’s safe to say that he was arrested, then? Taken into custody without a warrant?

  21. The Ca t says:

    There is such a thing as invitation and warrantless arrest.

    If you are invited for questioning, the authorities determine whether theres is a probable cause for an arrest. They will then decide either to release you or detain you until appropriate charges in court are filed against you. In each case, you will then be questioned and may be asked to sign a statement under oath. According to Philippine law, your lawyer must be present throughout this process.

    In a warrantless arrest, the arresting officer will submit the evidence to the Prosecutor who’s called formerly the fiscal.He will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether the available evidence merits the filing of formal charges. The Prosecutor is required to file charges against you within twelve hours of an arrest for a minor offense like “oral defamation” or “slander,” or within 36 hours for serious offenses like “fraud, robbery, or rape,” or to release you.

  22. many_akis says:

    in two instances, i have had the chance to hear the officer from the NBI in doing lectures on computer crime investigations and cyber incident response. in the same, they claimed that to process a scene depends on a variety of factors. most important of these factors is the state of the computers when the agents arrive in the area.

    I am not really a technically proficient guy but from what I can remember, the nbi officer said that if a computer is actually operational, that is “nakasindi”, they would not immediately touch the computer but process it “technically” in a manner which is commonly performed by other law enforcement agencies worldwide. If a computer is operational, they would take photographs of it, front and back, a close-up shot and a panoramic shot of the entire scene. afterwhich, they would lift fingerprints and compare this to the fingerprints of their subjects in order to dispel possible claims of the subjects that the computer is not his or that he never had any chance to even use it.

    I further learned that the NBI would save volatile data of the running computer by the use of what certain softwares. This more or less would allow the NBI to save the very important data from the computer, specifically the running programs at the time when they arrive at the scene.

    They made it very clear that for purposes of filing the case on Inquest, the evidence retrieved through the volatile data would be the ones used. It is under this note that the NBI officer said that if the volatile data suggest evidence that a crime was actually being committed at the time they arrive, the case is then qualified for Inquest.

    Meanwhile, after running their softwares to save volatile data, they would do this HardShut down of the PC by pulling the power plug from the CPU casing. They explained that compared to a Systems Shutdown when you practically shut down the operation of the computer through the console, a hard shut down would not alter the state of the computer and protect its pristine state when operation stops whereas in a systems shutdown, all running programs would eventually cease.

    The treatment is different when a computer is off. They would simply process the scene by taking fingerprints and taking photographs and wrapping the computers for a later laboratory examination. They made it very clear that the technically sound procedure is never to open a computer which is off for the same is like tampering evidence.

    The NBI officer said that it is under this justification that a subject whose computer is off may not be brought to the fiscal for inquest simply because there is not an offense being committed when the agents arrived. This is of course unless there are other evidence independent from that actually retrieved from the computer.

    I had the chance to talk to a cousin-lawyer about what an Inquest is. He explained that in an inquest, an arrested person, one who was arrested while committing an offenseis brought to the Fiscal together with all evidence secured against him. In the said inquest, the fiscal is given the prerogative of filing a case against the person in Court or simply recommending that the case be submitted for further investigation. My cousin explained that it must be stressed that only those arrested while committing an offense can be brought to the fiscal for inquest.

    In the case of VERSO, it was reported that when the NBI arrived, he was actually sleeping and the computers were actually turned-off. For this reason, i can only surmise, relying on what i learned that there was no reason why VERSO should be arrested for Inquest. He was not doing an illegal act at the time when the NBI arrived, unless sleeping under NBI language is a crime per se. Why then was he brought to the NBI?

    Yesterday, my cousin-lawyer went to the NBI to follow up a case and he had the chance to casually inquire about that case. He learned that the NBI actually invited VERSO to their office simply to get his fingerprints and photographs. More importantly, the NBI wanted VERSO and his lawyers to see and witness for themselves how the computers would be packed in order to preserve their integrity while awaiting for the order from the court to examine the evidence. The NBI said that they could have done so in the area where VERSO was staying but unfortunately, the lawyers were not around to wtness it. The NBI wanted to wait for the lawyers but since the lawyers were supposedly not able to go there immediately the NBI opted to bring VERSO and do the proceedings in their HQ.

    I asked how come the NBI agents were not willing to wait in the area and my cousin-lawyer said that they did not want to stay very long in the area as they were already causing so much attention in the area. This is apart from the fact that there was no guarantee that the lawyers were to arrive.

    My cousin-lawyer had this to say. If the NBI were teaching this (the procedures on processing a scene) and perform the contrary, just because there was pressure from the higher-ups, wouldnt this put them to more embarassment? Logic would dictate that they could have done the contrary as against their SOP just so that they could please the higher-ups but they chose to do what they believed was right based on what they publicly profess as right. I dont see any reason now why some quarters even complain about this.

    Come to think of it, wouldnt we be complaining even more if the NBI arrested and charged VERSO despite it being public knowledge that he was simply sleeping when the the agents arrived? I believe that the moralists would scream their hearts out if the NBI did arrest VERSO. If the NBI actually did what was legal and proper, there is no reason why we all have to comment about what they did.

    Lest that i be branded as being the NBI’s ally, if the NBI did what was contrary to what they actually taught in the lectures, id be the first to rally to declare that they are a bunch of liars, not acting what they think and teach. But with their recent performance, I am inclined to believe that I have received my money’s worth in the seminars i attended where that NBI officer was invited as resource speaker.

    Lastly, i was reminded that in that press conference by LEGARDA, she actually challenged an inter-agency group tasked to handle trafficking. Despite the call, only the NBI took the challenge. Do we hate them or love them then?

    Finally, apart from my lawyer-cousin, Ive talked to other lawyers as well. Fingerprinting and photographing, being mechanical acts are not incriminatory at all. Just like the comment of one of the bloggers, we all go to the NBI from time to time to apply for clearances where we are fingerprinted and photographed. Yet not one among us complain when we all know that the NBI would in fact verify whether such applicant has a criminal case or not.

  23. many_akis says:

    in two instances, i have had the chance to hear the officer from the NBI in doing lectures on computer crime investigations and cyber incident response. in the same, they claimed that to process a scene depends on a variety of factors. most important of these factors is the state of the computers when the agents arrive in the area.

    I am not really a technically proficient guy but from what I can remember, the nbi officer said that if a computer is actually operational, that is “nakasindi”, they would not immediately touch the computer but process it “technically” in a manner which is commonly performed by other law enforcement agencies worldwide. If a computer is operational, they would take photographs of it, front and back, a close-up shot and a panoramic shot of the entire scene. afterwhich, they would lift fingerprints and compare this to the fingerprints of their subjects in order to dispel possible claims of the subjects that the computer is not his or that he never had any chance to even use it.

    I further learned that the NBI would save volatile data of the running computer by the use of what certain softwares. This more or less would allow the NBI to save the very important data from the computer, specifically the running programs at the time when they arrive at the scene.

    They made it very clear that for purposes of filing the case on Inquest, the evidence retrieved through the volatile data would be the ones used. It is under this note that the NBI officer said that if the volatile data suggest evidence that a crime was actually being committed at the time they arrive, the case is then qualified for Inquest.

    Meanwhile, after running their softwares to save volatile data, they would do this HardShut down of the PC by pulling the power plug from the CPU casing. They explained that compared to a Systems Shutdown when you practically shut down the operation of the computer through the console, a hard shut down would not alter the state of the computer and protect its pristine state when operation stops whereas in a systems shutdown, all running programs would eventually cease.

    The treatment is different when a computer is off. They would simply process the scene by taking fingerprints and taking photographs and wrapping the computers for a later laboratory examination. They made it very clear that the technically sound procedure is never to open a computer which is off for the same is like tampering evidence.

    The NBI officer said that it is under this justification that a subject whose computer is off may not be brought to the fiscal for inquest simply because there is not an offense being committed when the agents arrived. This is of course unless there are other evidence independent from that actually retrieved from the computer.

    I had the chance to talk to a cousin-lawyer about what an Inquest is. He explained that in an inquest, an arrested person, one who was arrested while committing an offenseis brought to the Fiscal together with all evidence secured against him. In the said inquest, the fiscal is given the prerogative of filing a case against the person in Court or simply recommending that the case be submitted for further investigation. My cousin explained that it must be stressed that only those arrested while committing an offense can be brought to the fiscal for inquest.

    In the case of VERSO, it was reported that when the NBI arrived, he was actually sleeping and the computers were actually turned-off. For this reason, i can only surmise, relying on what i learned that there was no reason why VERSO should be arrested for Inquest. He was not doing an illegal act at the time when the NBI arrived, unless sleeping under NBI language is a crime per se. Why then was he brought to the NBI?

    Yesterday, my cousin-lawyer went to the NBI to follow up a case and he had the chance to casually inquire about that case. He learned that the NBI actually invited VERSO to their office simply to get his fingerprints and photographs. More importantly, the NBI wanted VERSO and his lawyers to see and witness for themselves how the computers would be packed in order to preserve their integrity while awaiting for the order from the court to examine the evidence. The NBI said that they could have done so in the area where VERSO was staying but unfortunately, the lawyers were not around to wtness it. The NBI wanted to wait for the lawyers but since the lawyers were supposedly not able to go there immediately the NBI opted to bring VERSO and do the proceedings in their HQ.

    I asked how come the NBI agents were not willing to wait in the area and my cousin-lawyer said that they did not want to stay very long in the area as they were already causing so much attention in the area. This is apart from the fact that there was no guarantee that the lawyers were to arrive.

    My cousin-lawyer had this to say. If the NBI were teaching this (the procedures on processing a scene) and perform the contrary, just because there was pressure from the higher-ups, wouldnt this put them to more embarassment? Logic would dictate that they could have done the contrary as against their SOP just so that they could please the higher-ups but they chose to do what they believed was right based on what they publicly profess as right. I dont see any reason now why some quarters even complain about this.

    Come to think of it, wouldnt we be complaining even more if the NBI arrested and charged VERSO despite it being public knowledge that he was simply sleeping when the the agents arrived? I believe that the moralists would scream their hearts out if the NBI did arrest VERSO. If the NBI actually did what was legal and proper, there is no reason why we all have to comment about what they did.

    Lest that i be branded as being the NBI’s ally, if the NBI did what was contrary to what they actually taught in the lectures, id be the first to rally to declare that they are a bunch of liars, not acting what they think and teach. But with their recent performance, I am inclined to believe that I have received my money’s worth in the seminars i attended where that NBI officer was invited as resource speaker.

    Lastly, i was reminded that in that press conference by LEGARDA, she actually challenged an inter-agency group tasked to handle trafficking. Despite the call, only the NBI took the challenge. Do we hate them or love them then?

    Finally, apart from my lawyer-cousin, Ive talked to other lawyers as well. Fingerprinting and photographing, being mechanical acts are not incriminatory at all. Just like the comment of one of the bloggers, we all go to the NBI from time to time to apply for clearances where we are fingerprinted and photographed. Yet not one among us complain when we all know that the NBI would in fact verify whether such applicant has a criminal case or not.

  24. The Ca t says:

    Finally, apart from my lawyer-cousin, Ive talked to other lawyers as well. Fingerprinting and photographing, being mechanical acts are not incriminatory at all.

    did you see my differentiation of mugshot and photo id.

    or you want to change the definition of mugshot?

  25. many_akis says:

    yes. a mug shot is one when an arrested person’s photo is taken, front and side to side. the photo becomes part of the Rogues Gallery.

    An Id is one where only the front is taken and does not form the Rogues gallery, When you apply for a clearance, only the front of your face is photographed. entiendes?

  26. Jon Limjap says:

    When you get your NBI clearance, you ask the NBI to fingerprint and take a picture of you.

    When you get “invited” then get photographed and fingerprinted, you didn’t ask for that, SOP or otherwise.

    micketymoc,

    I think the topic is relevant because the freedom of speech is only valid if no law has been expressly violated.

    If no charges can be filed against him, that really says a lot in favor of the freedom of speech.

  27. The Ca t says:

    Finally, apart from my lawyer-cousin, Ive talked to other lawyers as well. Fingerprinting and photographing, being mechanical acts are not incriminatory at all. Just like the comment of one of the bloggers, we all go to the NBI from time to time to apply for clearances where we are fingerprinted and photographed. Yet not one among us complain when we all know that the NBI would in fact verify whether such applicant has a criminal case or not.

    why should you complain when you voluntary go and and have yourself fingerprinted. They do not get your mugshot darleeng. You are not accused of something.

    it is different when they get your fingerprint for file purposes of an arrest.

    Not all lawyers are criminal lawyers who understand the law and order. Some just function as notary public who do not even understand what a mugshot is.

  28. BrianB says:

    Just to clarify all this prolixity from people who have cousins who are lawyers. If you get invited by law enforcement for a what-what, DON’T GO without a lawyer. Although it would take a brave guy to resist the intimidation especially without the media around.

  29. Honestly, just don’t mess with the politicians unless you have a good network yourself, or a clan-family member of a politician clan-family, or better yet, is one of them.

    And be sure that when you are going to attack them, post facts and avoid words that ‘may’ be interpreted as being directed to the person. Post ‘open-ended’ stuff is fine because it is hard to prove what you really meant. But again, avoid it if you can.

    Also, don’t go brag about your network, clan-family, etc. Your best defense AND offense is THEIR ignorance of who you really are and who are your network (not ‘connections’, it is different and useless).

    Finally, if some people claim they are sons-of this person and that, then shut-up already and go on with your life, especially in “close-encounters of the third kind”. Always remember, you do not know who you are dealing with. And (2) you are living in the Philippines.

    Freedom-of-speech? Human Rights? Think again.

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