The case filed by the government agasint Retired Maj. General Ramon Montano was a rare opportunity to handle a case of inciting to sedition.
Inciting to sedition is a penal law that restricts a persons right to free speech.
I would say that a case of inciting to sedition is not really common, because it is only when the national government puts its step forward to quell serious political threats, that government people start visting and invoking the Revised Penal Code provisions on Inciting to Sedition.
I would say that Inciting to Sedition is a felony that is more political than it is a criminal infraction.
In the Montano case, he has made himself visible as an anti-Arroyo critic.
And when supposed transcription messages attributed to Montano were flashed on the screen, the police went to work and arrested Gen. Montano.
The Quezon City prosecutor's office was convinced that more evidence is needed besides the "computer-print-out" of the transcripts of a text flashed ont he screen of ANC News Channel on Saturday February 25, 2006.
The Quezon City prosecutor's office ordered the release of Retired Gen. Montano pending further investigation.
There was absolutely no basis to arrest Gen. Montano, with or without an arrest warrant.
You can just imagine the police watching ANC News Channel at the height of the President's Proclamation of a state of national emergency.
The police claim they were on full alert, and the thing to do during full alert is to watch ANC news channel?
In the event, when the policemen (the CIDG) saw a supposed message coming from General Montano, they immediately believed what was flashed on screen, as if it were gospel truth.
They did not verify from ANC News from where they got such a message, so it could properly be traced.
When they saw that the trasncriptions of a text message were attributed Reitried Gen. Montano, they immediately scampered to his residence in Muntinlupa to arrest him.
And what was their basis in effecting a warrantless arrest?
The transcription of ANC news Channel flashed on the t.v. screen!
This incident portrays the dangers lurking around that threatens our basic freedoms.
The police will be so quick to make arrests even wihtout any shred of credible evidence.
Montano had to be detained for the weekend, only to be released come Monday.
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