Cops sorry for wrongful arrest of Davao columnist

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 10:08 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has apologized for wrongfully arresting Davao City-based columnist Fidelina Margarita Valle at the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday.

In a statement released Monday, CIDG Region 9 chief Police Colonel Tom Tuzon apologized to Valle for the negative experience she had at the Laguindingan Airport.

"Due to uncertainties and less than 100% assurance of your identity from our informant, we have brought you to CIDG Office, Pagadian City that caused you unnecessary anxiety. We do realize we should have headed your call regarding your identity from the start and have released you at the airpot," the statement read.

"We sincerely request your understanding since that the information given to our detective on the ground is already a warrant of arrest and that the identity of the person on the warrant is only known to the complainant himself," it added.

CIDG also said they are investigating the incident and will ensure the situation will not happen again in the future.

"With this mistaken identity, we are going to take steps to ensure that this situation does not repeat itself," it said.

"We are investigating the recent police operation at Laguindingan airport to identify lapses in our police operational procedures and in our personnel who were involved in the operation. Any misconduct related to your arrest will be dealt with accordingly," it added.

Valle, a columnist for Davao Today, was arrested by cops and soldiers at the airport on Sunday as she was about to return to Davao City after attending a workshop in Cagayan de Oro.

Malacañang earlier said police owe Valle an apology over the incident.

"Eh kung mistaken identity, the police would owe that journalist an apology," Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said. - with a report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News