Dialysis clinic owner remains with NBI

June 12, 2019

PHYSICIAN Bryan Sy, co-owner of WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center tagged in the “ghost” dialysis claims paid by Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), will have to remain in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Manila regional trial court rejected his bid to be released after he questioned the legality of his arrest last Monday at the NBI without a warrant issued by a court.

In inquest proceedings at the DOJ on charges of estafa and falsification of documents last Tuesday evening, Sy and his lawyers asked the investigating prosecutor to order his release from detention due to supposedly illegal arrest.

They argued that he could not be the subject of a warrantless arrest because the charges against him involved documents and his case cannot be considered as a continuing crime, which is a lawful ground for arrest without warrant.

But Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera rejected the plea, citing the decision of the Manila regional trial court branch 20 denying the respondent’s petition for habeas corpus.

”Resolving the motion of respondent Bryan Sy insofar as the validity of the warrantless arrest, we find that the court has already ruled upon its validity in its order dated June 11, 2019 on the petition for habeas corpus. Hence, this case is subject for inquest proceedings,” the prosecutor said during the hearing.

With this, Sy’s camp decided not to submit countervailing evidence, prompting the prosecutor to submit the complaint filed by the NBI and PhilHealth for resolution.

”In the meantime, respondent will be detained with the NBI detention center while awaiting the resolution of this case,” Devanadera added.

In its ruling, the Manila RTC denied the petition for habeas corpus filed by Sy’s wife Therese Francesca questioning the validity of the WellMed owner’s arrest while undergoing interrogation in the NBI.

After hearing the petition, Judge Marivic Balisi-Umali found no basis to grant the plea and order the release of Sy from NBI detention.

”That there is no probable cause of the warrantless arrest of the subject has been held not a valid ground for the issue of a Writ of Habeas Corpus,” read the court’s ruling.

Sy and other WellMed officers were charged before the DOJ with estafa and falsification of documents under Article 315 and Article 172, respectively, of the Revised Penal Code.