It’s been two years since Dinky Soliman and Enteng Romano were arrested by the fashion police in Manila (see my March 20, 2006 column and my blog entry).
Just the other day (March 18), Enteng Romano got a surprise in the mail. Allow me to share a recent e-mail he sent out:
The charges filed against us and the basis of the arrest was the Violation of BP 880 (Public Assembly Act of 1985).
In dismissing the charges, Asst City Prosecutor Sheila Marie Alaan-Ignacio declared in her resolution that we “were not in violation of BP 880 but our arrests were effected under the Calibrated Preemptive Response Policy of the Arroyo administration whose purpose was to preempt and abridge the freedom to peacefully assemble and expression.” And we “could not be validly arrested for violation of BP 880 because they did not pose a clear and present danger to the pedestrians and motoring public.”
She further asserts that our arrest “is indubitably in violation of their constitutionally protected right of Freedom of Speech and Expression.”
The resolution is dated October 31, 2007. But it only arrived in the mail today, with the envelope postmarked March 17, 2009.
Boy… do we have a slow postal service.
Their lawyer, Edwin Lacierda, pointed out “This was a case that no fiscal wanted to handle. It was too highly charged for any prosecutor. And the truth was clearly on our side. Even the policeman who arrested Dinky and Enteng felt so abandoned by the city government during the preliminary investigation that he asked me not to file a case against him in retaliation”.
calibrated preemptive response
Vicente Romano III