CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has a stern message to all the “spoiled brats” in Cebu City: You are nothing special.
“No matter who you are, whether you are Ayala or Henry Sy, I don’t give a shit. If you commit a crime here, I will run after you. Whether you are David Lim, Peter Lim or David Lim Jr., it does not matter to me,” he told reporters in a press conference on Monday.
He said he was ashamed of what happened on Sunday when David Lim Jr., a scion of a prominent Filipino-Chinese businessman in Cebu City, shot a nurse in a fit of rage following a traffic altercation early Sunday.
The mayor also offered P100,000 reward to anyone who can give solid information on the whereabouts of Lim who fled after shooting Ephriam Montalbo Nuñal following an argument after Lim stopped his Mercedes Benz in the middle of the two-lane narrow road on F. Sotto Street about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
“I come from a powerful family, from the upper class. Ako nauwaw gyud ko, nauwaw gyud ko nga (I am really ashamed that) there are people like this,” he told reporters in a press conference on Monday.
Osmeña led a team of policemen in raiding the condominium unit and house of Lim despite the absence of a warrant on Sunday night, hours after the shooting happened.
They, however, failed to find Lim Jr. in his condominium unit in Winland Towers along Juana Osmeña Extension and the family residence in Maria Luisa Subdivision.
Osmeña admitted that the raids were conducted without a warrant.
“The judge has refused to issue me a warrant of arrest. I have ordered SWAT to execute the raid on David Lim’s house. I accept all legal responsibility,” he wrote on his Facebook post on Sunday night.
In a news conference on Monday, the mayor said he had to act immediately after he sensed some hesitation on the part of the police in looking for Lim, nephew of Peter Lim who was thrown into the limelight after President Duterte named one Peter Lim as one of the country’s biggest drug lords.
“The police had already taken over. I only came into the picture because there was reluctance on the part of the police in moving aggressively,” he said.
The mayor said he was entitled to order a hot pursuit operation as part of the 48-hour protocol.
Osmeña said that when they first went to Winland Tower, there was no detailed information on which particular unit he was using.
He added the manager of the condominium could not even remember Lim’s face and the suspect’s girlfriend, Tamae Takahashi who was with the Lim during the shooting.
The hot pursuit operation then proceeded to Maria Luisa Subdivision where the suspect’s father, David Sr., faced the authorities.
But only Lim’s parents and four younger siblings were in the house.
While some quarters questioned the legality of the raid, warrantless arrest were allowed in certain circumstances, according to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu City chapter president.
Lawyer Jose Glenn Capanas said that under Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, law enforcers or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a person for the following reasons:
When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting to commit an offense;
When an offense has in fact just been committed, and he has personal knowledge of facts indicating that the person to be arrested has committed it; and When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where he is serving final judgment or temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while being transferred from one confinement to another.
A search on the house of a suspect, Capanas said, is also allowed if done incidental to a lawful arrest or a consented warrantless search.
“Without these qualifications, a warrantless search is deemed questionable,” he said, adding that any evidence gathered during the search would not be admitted in court.