The new QC ordinance on 'Citizen's Arrest' and what they didn't tell you

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The new QC ordinance on 'Citizen's Arrest' and what they didn't tell you


The new Ordinance 2307 or the “Citizen’s Arrest Ordinance of Quezon City” was formally signed into law by Mayor Herbert Bautista on August 8, 2014.

Under the new ordinance, an ordinary citizen can now arrest criminals and other law-breakers provided that he/she follows these guidelines:

1.  That the citizen making the arrest is an eyewitness to the crime;
2.  That the citizen has personal knowledge of the incident, and;
3.  That the individual to be arrested is a "wanted" criminal.

Among those that can be arrested via this ordinance are erring drivers, and those in violation of special laws and ordinances.

After the arrest, the citizen shall now turn over the law-breaker into the custody of the Quezon City Police District.

Upon turning over of the suspect into police custody, the citizen will execute an "Affidavit of Arrest" to attest to the fact that he/she was the one who made the arrest.

But here's what the guys "up there" didn't tell you. The hard part.


The hard part

Why do we call it "the hard part"?

Reasons:

1. When a citizen executes an "Affidavit of Arrest", it means that he/she is making himself/herself available to the court to testify, that he/she is willing to be summoned or subpoenaed, and take the witness stand to be cross-examined by the suspect's counsel or the PAO lawyer;

2.  It also means that because the affidavit is a legal instrument sworn to in accordance with the law, the suspect's lawyer may question its contents -- and the manner of the arrest. If he finds some irregularities, he may file a case of illegal arrest, illegal detention or even perjury against the citizen.

The question is: What if the suspect is well-off and can afford to hire a very good lawyer? What happens to the citizen who made the arrest? Will he/she go to jail?

Honestly speaking -- it's a big "YES."

Not unless the citizen can also hire an equally good (and expensive) lawyer.

The act of the "Citizen's Arrest" is a very old provision under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. It has been there for ages, and an ordinary citizen has yet to use it in its full extent.

Why?

Well, obviously -- because of the two reasons mentioned above, of course.

We want to make it clear. We're not discouraging people to make a "Citizen's Arrest". We're just preparing the citizen on what he/she may face after making the arrest.




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