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Arrested UP prof says police violated her rights

The University of the Philippines professor who was arrested for alleged non-remittance of Social Security System contributions on Tuesday accused the police of violating her rights to due process.

“Merong paglabag sa aking karapatan at sa tinatawag nating due process,” Prof. Melania Flores said during a press conference.

(There is a violation to my rights and what we call due process.)

According to Flores, the police on Monday presented themselves as staff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who are distributing financial aid.

When she showed them her ID, the police allegedly took a picture of it and served her an arrest warrant.

Flores said that she had never received any letter to participate in a hearing or subpoena. She added that she only learned about her case when she posted bail.

She also denied the accusation concerning P25,000 in unremitted SSS contributions, saying the concerned employee had stopped working for her a long time ago.

“Kinausap ko na noon pa ang SSS at inspektor, wala akong obligasyon, matagal nang wala sa akin ang employee na 'yan,” she said.

(I already talked to SSS and the inspector and told them that I have no such obligation because that employee has stopped working for me a long time ago.)

Flores also said while inside a police vehicle, the police showed her a list  of people and told her that they will also be arrested.

Flores, a resident of UP Campus Diliman, said a police officer told her that they do not acknowledge the UP-Department of the Interior and Local Government Accord of 1992, which requires police to coordinate their entry to the campus with the UP Diliman administration.

She said the police denied when she asked them if her arrest had something to do with her being the former president of the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUAEU).

The UP professor also said that a supposed prisoner took her mugshot and documented her in jail.

Flores also called out the police for allegedly spreading her mugshot on social media and tagging her as “most wanted.”

GMA News Online has reached out to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) as well as to the Philippine National Police for their comment, but they have yet to respond as of writing.

Meanwhile, different organizations such as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), AUAEU, UP Diliman University Student Council, and UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas have thrown their support behind Flores. —KBK, GMA Integrated News