Co-owner of clinic in ghost dialysis scandal seeks release

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2019 01:35 PM

MANILA – The co-owner of a clinic embroiled in a ghost dialysis claims scandal has demanded his immediate release more than 36 hours after he was arrested.

In a letter dated June 13, Dr. Bryan Sy, co-owner of WellMed Dialysis Center in Quezon City, asked Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran for his immediate release. 

He was arrested for involvement in the clinic's alleged scheme where some P800,000 in claims were made before the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on behalf of patients who are already dead. 

"Up to this date, despite the lapse of the 36-hour period provided under Article 125 of the RPC (Revised Penal Code), no information nor complaint has been filed with the proper judicial authorities against Mr. Sy," read the letter sent the letter through his lawyer Kristian Vicente Gargantiel. 

"In view of the foregoing, we respectfully demand for the immediate release of Mr. Sy for there is no ground, under any laws, rules or regulations, for his continued detention," it added.

Sy has been under NBI since his arrest on Monday, June 10, while attending the NBI’s probe. 

The agency justified the arrest as a case of “hot pursuit,” which allows warrantless arrests “when an offense has just been committed” and the arresting officer “has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it.”

He was brought before Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera for inquest on Tuesday afternoon on complaints of estafa and falsification of public documents.

The DOJ is set to come out with the resolution Friday afternoon.

In the letter, Gargantiel reminded the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the NBI that Sy did not waive his right under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

Under the article, authorities have a maximum of 36 hours to detain a suspect without filing any charge in court.

Based on a copy of the letter that Sy's camp provided ABS-CBN News, the document was received by the DOJ Prosecution Service on Thursday at 5:38 p.m. while the NBI received its copy on Friday at 10:40 a.m.

ABS-CBN News is still trying to get feedback from the DOJ and the NBI as of this posting.

Sy’s lawyers had previously tried to question the validity of his arrest during the inquest proceedings and in a petition for habeas corpus filed before a Manila court. Both efforts failed to secure his release.

The Manila court on Tuesday denied his wife’s petition saying a writ of habeas corpus could not be issued on the basis of an invalid warrantless arrest.

The DOJ, on the other hand, rejected on the same day his contention that he was not validly arrested, citing the ruling of the Manila court.