Ateneo Human Rights Center encourages you to know your rights

September 10, 2018

In a time replete with unwarranted searches and heightened criminality, it pays to know one’s rights.

On September 5, 2018, the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), together with the Makati chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Makati) held a forum entitled “Know Your Rights: Searches, Arrests, and Seizures” to educate the public and refresh other lawyers’ knowledge about what to do should they face being searched, arrested, or seized.
 

Dean Joey Hofileña gave the welcoming remarks at the forum.

Dean Jose Maria G. Hofileña of the Ateneo Law School welcomed lawyers, establishment owners, and law students to the forum.

“We only know too well these circumstances that prompted us to come together—circumstances that to many of us may feel confusing,” he said.

“When we know what our rights are, then we can better claim them,” he continued. “We want to enhance our understanding of the limits to state power for it is when we know those limits that we can demand accountability. We want to know a little bit more of the reason for the law because when we do so then we can counsel more responsibly on it.”
 

Atty. Santiago of the Ateneo Human Rights Center delivered a talk on what to do and what not to do in the face of an arrest.

Atty. Ray Paolo J. Santiago, Executive Director of the AHRC was the forum’s main speaker. His talk was hinged primarily on an excerpt from the 1987 Constitution—Article III, Section 2—as this was the most relevant law surrounding the afternoon’s topic.  

He explained the situations in which an arrest can be made: “Generally,” he said, “when there is a warrant of arrest that has been issued by a judge.” The exception to this are valid warrantless arrests, such as when the person to be arrested “has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; when an offense has just been committed and [the law enforcer] has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and when a prisoner has escaped.”
 

Atty. Santiago ended his talk with a simple word: “Ingat,” harking back to the 1970s when Martial Law was in effect in the country.

He emphasized the importance of being read the Miranda Rights and gave advice on what to do should there be an arrest as well as the possibility of being searched: politely ask for the reason of the arrest, if there is a warrant, and for the name, rank, and station of the arresting officer.

But his most important piece of advice is simple: remain calm and don’t panic. He also reminded the attendees to be observant and to seek legal counsel.

Of course, beyond what to do, Atty. Santiago also laid out what not to do, namely: don’t panic, don’t be intimidated, don’t run, don’t fight back, avoid arguing with law enforcers (“except if you’re a lawyer?,” he teased), don’t volunteer information, and don’t sign anything without counsel.
 

The Justitia Hall of  Ateneo Professional Schools building in Rockwell was filled with establishment owners from Poblacion, law students, and lawyers.

Overall, Atty. Santiago stressed that “the rights that we should be enjoying should go beyond politics.” It  has nothing to do with any administration; it is inherent to the Philippine Constitution and inherent to Filipino citizens.

Concluding the forum was IBP-Makati President, Atty. Anthony W. Dee, who expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the event.
 

Atty. Dee formally closed the forum and acknowledged the individuals who made the event possible.

“Indeed this event today has been helpful for all of us, that it has reminded us of our fundamental rights during arrests, searches, and seizures,” he ended.

News Archive

  • Ateneo Human Rights Center encourages you to know your rights
    Monday, September 10, 2018

    In a time replete with unwarranted searches and heightened criminality, it pays to know one’s rights.

    On September 5, 2018, the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), together with the Makati chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Makati) held a forum entitled “Know Your Rights: Searches, Arrests, and Seizures” to educate the public and refresh other lawyers’ knowledge about what to do should they face being searched, arrested, or seized.
     

    Dean Joey Hofileña gave the welcoming remarks at the forum.

    Dean Jose Maria G. Hofileña of the Ateneo Law School welcomed lawyers, establishment owners, and law students to the forum.

    “We only know too well these circumstances that prompted us to come together—circumstances that to many of us may feel confusing,” he said.

    “When we know what our rights are, then we can better claim them,” he continued. “We want to enhance our understanding of the limits to state power for it is when we know those limits that we can demand accountability. We want to know a little bit more of the reason for the law because when we do so then we can counsel more responsibly on it.”
     

    Atty. Santiago of the Ateneo Human Rights Center delivered a talk on what to do and what not to do in the face of an arrest.

    Atty. Ray Paolo J. Santiago, Executive Director of the AHRC was the forum’s main speaker. His talk was hinged primarily on an excerpt from the 1987 Constitution—Article III, Section 2—as this was the most relevant law surrounding the afternoon’s topic.  

    He explained the situations in which an arrest can be made: “Generally,” he said, “when there is a warrant of arrest that has been issued by a judge.” The exception to this are valid warrantless arrests, such as when the person to be arrested “has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense; when an offense has just been committed and [the law enforcer] has probable cause to believe based on personal knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and when a prisoner has escaped.”
     

    Atty. Santiago ended his talk with a simple word: “Ingat,” harking back to the 1970s when Martial Law was in effect in the country.

    He emphasized the importance of being read the Miranda Rights and gave advice on what to do should there be an arrest as well as the possibility of being searched: politely ask for the reason of the arrest, if there is a warrant, and for the name, rank, and station of the arresting officer.

    But his most important piece of advice is simple: remain calm and don’t panic. He also reminded the attendees to be observant and to seek legal counsel.

    Of course, beyond what to do, Atty. Santiago also laid out what not to do, namely: don’t panic, don’t be intimidated, don’t run, don’t fight back, avoid arguing with law enforcers (“except if you’re a lawyer?,” he teased), don’t volunteer information, and don’t sign anything without counsel.
     

    The Justitia Hall of  Ateneo Professional Schools building in Rockwell was filled with establishment owners from Poblacion, law students, and lawyers.

    Overall, Atty. Santiago stressed that “the rights that we should be enjoying should go beyond politics.” It  has nothing to do with any administration; it is inherent to the Philippine Constitution and inherent to Filipino citizens.

    Concluding the forum was IBP-Makati President, Atty. Anthony W. Dee, who expressed his gratitude to the organizers of the event.
     

    Atty. Dee formally closed the forum and acknowledged the individuals who made the event possible.

    “Indeed this event today has been helpful for all of us, that it has reminded us of our fundamental rights during arrests, searches, and seizures,” he ended.