'Ganun na lang ba 'yun?': Davao journalist mistakenly arrested says apology not enough

Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2019 06:47 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2019 07:06 PM

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MANILA - Davao City-based journalist Margarita Valle said the trauma she went through as a result of her wrongful arrest in what police called as a case of mistaken identity cannot just be dismissed with a mere apology.

Valle said she is not accepting the apology issued by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 9.


"Ganun lang ba yun? You went through so much. It's not physical harm, but mentally and psychologically I really felt tortured because you had to go through so many things in your mind," Valle said in an interview on ANC's Headstart on Friday.

The police on Sunday arrested Valle at the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City. From the airport, Valle was transported to a police station in Iligan City, where she was booked, and then to Pagadian City.

"Yung sumasagi sa isip mo while tina-transport ka, hindi ka kinakausap, hindi ka ini-inform where they're taking you. Grabe yung nangyari sa akin kaya sabi ko I will not let this be na ganun lang," she said.

(I was thinking, while I was being transported, they were not even talking to me, not informing me what was happening. I went through so much, I won't let this be.)

She was released hours after authorities realized she was not the person they were looking for.

Authorities were armed with an arrest warrant for a person wanted for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.

"Sabi niya sinabi daw nung witness hindi pala ako suspek talaga. Mayroon lang daw major resemblance. I demanded for a picture wala silang maipakita sa aking picture," she said.

Her legal counsel Katherine Panguban said they were consolidating information and data so they can file criminal and administrative cases against those involved in Valle's arrest.

Panguban said they were also identifying other people who may be responsible for the unlawful arrest.

Panguban said they can file charges of arbitrary detention and violation of the Republic Act 7438 or the rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation.

"Yung nangyari kay (what happened to) Mrs. Valle is a clear case of human rights violation. Her basic rights were brazenly violated and disregarded by those men in uniform," the lawyer said.

Panguban said the police should be held accountable for the incident.

"It can happen to anyone dapat papanagutin ang mga pulis dahil sila in the first place dapat nag-iimplement ng batas ng maayos. Krimen na itong ginagawa nila," she added.

(Police should be held accountable because they wrongly implemented the law. This is a crime.)