The recent raid at Queeriosity Palace (more info) reminded me of this extremely useful and informative series of articles written by a law student about your rights and about proper police procedure when the latter conducts raids, arrests, detentions, and invitations for questioning. You can check out the original article series’ index which I have reproduced below:
- Part 1 - civil and political rights basics
- Part 2 - when the cops come knocking at the door
- Part 3 - when the cops bring a search warrant to your door
- Part 4 - what to do during a raid by the police
- Part 5 - when being arrested
- Part 6 - on being "invited for questioning"
- Part 7 - a discussion on practical Miranda rights
- Part 8 - some interrogation techniques used by police
- Part 9 - when brought to the police station after being arrested
- Part 10 - in detention and awaiting trial
PLU or not, I highly recommend that everyone read this series of articles.
The blogger/law student was prompted to write this series in response to the raid conducted by NBI against the authors of the notorious Flesh Asia Daily blog in the wake of the Hayden Kho–Katrina Halili video sex scandal. While the circumstances between the Flesh Asia Daily and Queeriosity raids are different, I think that the articles apply perfectly to the QP incident. Almost all of the posts in the series touches on the recent raid and everything from the time the police came barging into Queeriosity until the time everybody was released can be scrutinized for procedural police error. (Well, the fact that extortion seems to be the motive for the raid does not help the Pasay City Police either.)
Discreet PLUs are particularly easy prey since aside from the fact that most people do not know their rights and do not know the proper police procedure, discreet PLUs are scared of being outed, and raids are some of the most attention-grabbing events there are. Thus, police bank on this observation to extort money from PLUs who would rather pay than risk getting exposed.
This is sad because if we as a community let ourselves be intimidated this way, then human rights take a back seat and corruption remains unabated. Personally, I think that the indignity of paying an extortion fee outweighs any potential shame I may have if I were outed as a gay man. So if I were in a similar situation, I would likely resist the police to the legal extent possible. But, I do understand the feelings of some people who would rather pay. If I were CC, who’s the CEO of a corporation, shelling out 1,000 pesos to retain my closet would be small change.
Going back to the article series, it must be however said that the articles do not constitute legal advice. (This is the same legal disclaimer stated by the law student.) In case of doubt, you should contact a real lawyer. However, I think that the series is mostly accurate since the law student had been contacted by the police hierarchy who were most displeased that this sort of information was made public. (The PNP’s reaction is quite weird since the PNP is mandated by law to make public their operations manual, which they haven’t done so). The police, however, cannot do anything about it.
This article series definitely deserves more audience so I’m doing my part in helping to spread it. If you find it enlightening, I suggest that you also spread the word by blogging or tweeting the series. More PLUs and Filipinos could definitely use this information.