By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.
MANILA, Aug. 14 (PNA) — There may be no formal arrest but persons invited for questioning by law enforcement authorities are now considered “in detention,” according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) circular.
Department Circular No. 50-A provides for the definition of the terms “detention” and “arrest” and clarifies that as a rule, the detention period begins at the moment of arrest.
“Person/s who are not formally arrested but are invited for questioning are also considered ‘in detention’,” the DOJ circular said as it defines detention as “the curtailment of a person’s liberty.”
The DOJ issued additional guidelines in the period of detention because “current laws, guidelines and jurisprudence do not explicitly state when the period of detention begins to run, including those under custodial investigations.”
It said that the “12-18-36″ period of detention also applies to custodial investigation. The 12-18-36, which applies to the number of hours, will apply to those arrested without warrant. The count will start from the moment of arrest.”
It added those arrested for light offense must be brought to proper judicial authorities within 12 hours from the moment of arrest, 18 hours for moderate offenses and 36 hours for heinous crimes.
“Simplified and clear guidelines will translate into meaningful rule of law,” the DOJ said.
“The protection of human rights, especially of arrested and detained persons is a priority of the Department… We continue to take proactive approaches through our Criminal Code Committee (CCC) issuances,” DOJ Secretary Leila M. De Lima said. (PNA)