Here was my email response to the worried dad:
It is certainly not legal for a police officer to take the personal belongings of any apprehended person, unless such belongings were used in the commission of a crime in connection with the incident for which such person was apprehended.
But first, I think it would be more prudent if you establish first that those who apprehended your son's friend on February 6, 2007, were indeed legitimate policemen, and that it was a legitimate police operation.
You can do this by inquiring directly, in writing, from the Chief of Police of Dumaguete, P/Supt. Dionardo Carlos with address at the Dumaguete Police Station along Cervantes St.
To conlcude that it was a case of "hulidap," in my opinion, is premature at this time.
If it is confirmed that it was a legitimate checkpoint on that evening, you can ask for the list of police personnel on duty to narrow your search.
My advice to you, is to write the Chief of Police about the incident, specially about your son's cellphone, so he can look into the matter.
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