I acted as co-counsel of Atty. Felipe Remollo in handling the case of inciting to sedition filed against Retired Gen. Ramon Montano by the police.
Montano's wife, Fe Pareja Montano, is a provincemate and is mayor of San Jose Negros Oriental.
Montano was arrested last Saturday February 25, 2006, one day after President Gloria Arroyo isswued Proclamation No. 1017 placing the country under a state of national emergency.
Here is the report I made on the arrest:
Retired General Ramon E. Montano was released Monday afternoon February 27, 2006 after three days of detention at Camp Crame on charges of Inciting to Sedition.
Montano was arrested Saturday afternoon February 25, 2006 by elements of the Constabulary Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Muntinlupa.
Montano was charged by the police after supposed transcriptions attributed to him were flashed by the ANC Channel 27 in the morning of Saturday.
The narration of facts to the Quezon City prosecutors office by the CIDG stated:
“Investigation disclosed that on February 24, 2006 at about 9:27 AM after PGMA announced the Presidential Proclamation 1017 over the airwaves, the entire PNP was placed under full alert and on standby for any untoward incident. CIDG personnel on standby were watching television for news development and were turned on ANC Channel 27 at the CIDG Headquarters and viewed the transcription of the statement of retired General Ramon E. Montano who was quoted as saying ‘WE ARE ASKING THE POLICE AND THE SOLDIERS STILL UNDER THE CLORIA GENERALS TO BREAK AWAY FROM THAT CHAIN OF COMMAND OF CORRUPTION AND JOIN THE FILIPINO.”
“On the same date personnel from CIDG were dispatched by Police Chief Superintendent Jesus A. Verzosa to the address of Gen. Montano in Muntinlupa to arrest him for statements shown over the television which constitute an act of Inciting to Sedition against the government,” the CIDG report stated.
Montano on the other hand chided the police for effecting an illegal arrest.
Montano’s lawyers expressed outrage in effecting a warrantless arrest on the basis of an unverified transcription flashed in a television station.
They stressed that Montano did not appear on television and the police immediately believed what was flashed on a television, which was plain hearsay, without conducting further investigation on the veracity of the report.
The only evidence presented by the police to the prosecutor were a “computer print-out of transcript statement of General Ramon Montano”, and the sworn statements of policemen who allegedly were watching t.v. at the height of Proclamation 1017.
Last Monday, the prosecutor decided to release Montano pending “further investigation”.
After his arrest, Montano was subjected to a medical examination. He was found to be experiencing hypertension and coloring red right eye, which doctors described as “sub conjunctional hemorrhage”.
He was then brought to the Camp Crame hospital for medical treatment. Montano was accompanied by his wife San Jose mayor Fe P. Montano and other close relatives.
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