3 lawyers in illegal drugs op cleared

February 28, 2019

THE Makati City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday cleared for lack of evidence the three lawyers who were arrested last August during an illegal drugs operation inside a bar in Makati City.

Cleared were lawyers Lenie Rocel Rocha, Jan Vincent Soliven, and Romulo Bernard Alarcon from charges of obstruction of justice, resistance and disobedience, violation of City Ordinance 96-298 (for crossing police lines), and constructive possession of drugs filed by the Makati City Police.

“Jurisprudence teaches us that bare and unsubstantiated allegations do not constitute substantial evidence and have no probative value...The one time presence of respondents in the premises of Times Bar, hardly qualify as proof of dominion and control over the place and of the drugs recovered therein...,” Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Romel Odronia said in a resolution.

The lawyers entered the Time In bar in Makati City while operatives from the Southern Police District were implementing a search warrant on alleged illegal drugs.

Investigators said the three failed to identify themselves and did not coordinate before entering the bar with the searching party.

They were asked to leave after they allegedly refused to respond to queries by lawmen.

Also, police claimed the lawyers took pictures and videos of the police operation despite not being authorized.

The lawyers were eventually put under detention after they reportedly ignored repeated pleas from lawmen to leave the premises.

Charges were filed against them and were later freed while the cases against them remain under investigation.