Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dra. Vicki Belo camp, cried harassment after three agents of the NBI went to her residence

Dra. Vicki Belo camp, cried harassment after three agents of the NBI went to her residence. The camp of Dra. Vicki Belo on Monday cried harassment after three agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) went to her Makati City residence last week and purportedly insisted on searching her house without any warrant.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Belo’s legal counsel, lawyer Adel Tamano, said the three NBI agents violated his client’s right to privacy when they suddenly showed up in DasmariƱas Village Tuesday night. Reports said Belo’s security guards prevented the NBI agents from getting inside the house. They also reportedly refused to hand over their logbook.

Belo, the controversial cosmetic surgeon who has been dragged into the sex video scandal, was not home when the authorities, led by Palmer Mallari, head agent of the Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division (AFCCD), arrived.

He said his client learned about the incident when the maids called her. Belo then called Tamano for assistance. Tamano said he was able to get hold of Mallari and reminded him that they should have coordinated with him. “Just get search warrants. We have been cooperating, just tell me,” Tamano said of the phone conversation. “That was enough. Hindi na sila nagpilit. Umalis na sila.” The lawyer scored them for failing to observe the proper procedure.

Tamano also lambasted the agents for questioning the doctor’s household workers, saying they were not even involved in the case. “We have to protect Belo's rights. Belo is not asking for any special treatment. Iyong mga maids hindi naman sila kasama sa kaso. For the NBI to ask how many maids there are, violation [iyon] ng rights to their privacy,” he added. He said he already sent a letter to the NBI reminding “them to go through the procedures.” “We trust that they will respect [us], we could have done it another way. You violated [their] rights,” he said. “After this request, if they don't heed, [if they still go to Belo's home] without [a] search warrant, then we will be forced to take action. [We will] go to the Ombudsman. [But] we want to reiterate we want to cooperate with them,” he said. Belo clinics Belo, meantime, said she wants to make sure that the June 23 incident will not occur again.

“I realize the importance of guards. I treat them with more respect… I’ve warned my drivers, my children [that] it's a different kind of atmosphere now. We feel apprehensive. [But] I know everything will be okay,” she said. On a newspaper advertisement demanding the closure of her business, Belo reminded her critics that she is not the only person who will get affected by the call. She pointed out that more than a hundred employees will be displaced once Belo Medical Group shuts down. She added that her business has nothing to do with the sex video scandal. Belo is also grateful that some of her patients are still supportive of her in spite of the controversy. She added that the Belo Medical Group is “doing well.” “My only message to everybody is I want the truth to come out. I truly believe my name will be cleared,” she said.