Wrongfully arrested writer can file charges -- Albayalde

Oscar D. Albayalde

ADMITTING that Davao City-based columnist Margarita Valle was a victim of ‘mistaken identity’ when she was wrongfully arrested after being falsely identified as a most wanted New People’s Army leader, Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they would help assist her in filing criminal and administrative charges against her tormentors if she felt her rights were really violated.

The PNP chief has ordered PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director, Major General Amador V. Corpus to thoroughly investigate the incident and added that appropriate charges will be filed against anybody who will be found to have erred in making the arrest.

Last Sunday, the 60-year old columnist was arrested at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental by virtue of standing warrants for multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property issued by  Judge Bernadette Paredes-Encinareal of the  Calamba , Misamis Occidental Regional Trial Court Branch 36 on December 29 2011 with no bail recommended.

Members of seven law enforcement units were involved in the arrest.

However, police were forced to release Valle after they discovered that it was a case of  mistaken identity.

“Upon arrival of the witness who physically identified the subject, witness further averred that the suspect has major resemblance but is not the actual suspect who is the subject of the warrant,” PNP spokesman, Colonel Bernard M. Banac said.

Gen. Albayalde aassured the public that Valle’s case was an isolated incident.

Valle was at the airport for her flight home after supposedly attending a writing workshop in Cagayan de Oro when the arrest happened.