FAULTING RODY

 

[Left photo shows Pres. Rody Duterte’s image juxtaposed with the image of retired Gen. Marcelo Garbo whom Pres. Rody revealed as a drug-lord protector. Right photo is that of my kumpadre and UP Law 80 classmate, Atty. Rolly Quimbo (“Rolly”), who got honed by the Late Atty. Dakila Castro (“Atty. Castro”)  into becoming one of the best criminal lawyers of our country today. It was not I who labeled Rolly as “one of the best criminal lawyers  of our country” but my other kumpadre, Atty. Ramon Maronilla  (incumbent UPAA Prexy) who with Rolly both served under the tutelage of  Atty. Castro. The legal aspects of the views expressed in this BLOG were culled predominantly from my kumpadre Rolly’s expertise in criminal law, following my discussion with him on this subject of “DUE PROCESS” and “PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE”.]

If we are to consider our nation as one big family, President Rody Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) is our mystical and paternal and caring father. And as a father to his children, if we are to accord Pres. Rody our unflagging respect, he also ought to feel compelled to tell all of us the truth about the most crucial problems of the nation. And the drug menace in our country has now grown into a monstrosity.

Indeed, Pres. Rody’s emergence as the nation’s leader has become mystical. Truly, while not as yet ascended unto the seat of power, his promised change particularly the eradication of the drug menace started to unfold in awe with no let up. Even typhoon BUTCHOY (international name- NEPARTAK) which wrought havoc in Taiwan and China wondrously just skimmed through Luzon thereby bringing not much damage to the nation.

Thus, saying that he was compelled with a sense of duty, Pres. Rody revealed that certain PNP generals are drug lords’ coddlers. Thereupon, a slew of critics censured Pres. Rody outright for allegedly violating the cops’ constitutional presumption of innocence and the right to due process. Did Pres. Rody really commit the violation?

The concepts of presumption of innocence and due process are provided under Article III (The Bill of Rights) of the Philippine Constitution, in Sections 1 and 14, which state:

“Section 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.

“Section 14. (1) No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law.

“(2) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved, xxx “

It is clear that due process must be observed only when a person is to be deprived of life, liberty or property or sought to be held liable for a criminal offense.

On the other hand, Section 5, Article II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) of the Constitution provides that: “The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.”

Deprivation or, on a lesser degree, curtailment of a person’s life, liberty or property can be done through three (3) types of proceedings, namely, administrative, civil and criminal, after which a decision is rendered depriving a person of his life (death penalty), or liberty (e.g. imprisonment) or property (e.g. fines).

Pres. Rody’s announcements do not fall under any of the three (3) proceedings. This is so as no case has as yet been filed. Hence, the due process clause does not apply. Once a case is filed, for which he has ordered an investigation preparatory to the filing of cases, if warranted, then the due process clause sets in.

Upon the lodging of a complaint, the complainant, in this case of the drug-lord-coddling cops, which is the government through any of its agencies, has the burden of proving the charges. The quantum of evidence required varies depending on the proceedings: in criminal cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt; in civil cases, the lesser preponderance of evidence; and, in administrative cases, substantial evidence, which is supposed to be lesser than the preponderance of evidence rule.

A law school dean opined that it was reckless on Pres. Rody’s part to announce the involvement of the generals in the games of the drug lords before cases were filed against them. It was further opined that in such a case, in filing first the cases, the generals could have proven their innocence.

It ought to be understood that before cases could be filed against the cops there would have to be an investigation first. And before there can be an investigation, there must first be the filing of the complaint. Ordinarily, a complaint is filed in writing. But, then there is no rule or jurisprudence banning Pres. Rody or any person for that matter, from airing his complaint orally or publicly preparatory to the filing of the written complaint. This is what Pres. Rody did. Pres. Rody aired his charges in public and directed the proper agencies, e.g. NAPOLOCOM and DOJ, to conduct the investigations preparatory to the filing of the formal written complaint.

As Pres. Rody himself repeatedly kept on saying, that he is a lawyer and a long time prosecutor. Hence, he knows the requirement of due process and the quantum of proof needed for conviction. And, it would not be presumptuous to state that he is aware that a lot of the information he has, upon which he charged the generals may not be allowed in evidence in a formal trial. One type of evidence may be hearsay, that is usap-usapan lang sa mga pulis (i.e. grapevine within the police circles), or plain chismis (i.e. gossip). But, where there is smoke, there is fire. So that if the reputation as drug coddlers are widely known among a lot of people, especially the members of the PNP who supplied the information to Pres. Rody, then it can only be true. To know one thing as a fact is one thing, to prove it in court as a fact is another thing.

Reportedly, one source of information for Pres. Rody was the U.S. government’s intelligence service. If true, those US personnel may not be expected to testify here.

Whatever raw information about the generals in the beginning could have been verified by tapping their telephone communications. But then, this is against the law even as it is one sure way of verification. Further, it is also inadmissible in evidence. If Pres. Rody  were to divulge this just to satisfy the fault finders, then the wire tappers face criminal prosecution and, with them, Pres. Rody risks being impeached for gross violation of the constitutional proscription on privacy of communication.

If Pres. Rody were to wait until charges have been filed, for which no charges might be filed after an investigation precisely because of the due process clause and the rules on admissibility of evidence, then the People of the Philippines might not have known about the reported involvement of the generals. This is considering that the war against drugs is at the forefront of Pres. Rody’s political campaign and his administration. More so, with the involvement of public officers in violation of the principle that public office is a public trust, and the aforesaid constitutional policy on peace and order, this circumstance has enhanced the reality that public interests far outweigh whatever arguable damage may have been caused to the generals with Pres. Rody’s pronouncements.

Significantly, the generals have not been reported as complaining about the denial of due process. Neither did they complain about what Pres. Rody did. Rather, their complaint was that he may have just been fed with the wrong information. Moreover, they griped that it is case of trial by publicity. Anent the concept of trial by publicity, a quick check in our statute books does not show any reference to this oft-repeated supposed wrongdoing of “trial by publicity”. Indeed, there is no such thing in our statute books defining such a supposed offense of “trial by publicity”.

On another front, newly elected Senator Leila de Lima is proposing a senate investigation on the spate of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug personalities.

Huwag naman sana (i.e. please, not this time), as this would just be a waste of time. Who will the senate summon for investigation? The police operatives? Considering that there have been numerous killings already reported and all of these are apparently separate from each other as they were committed by different police officers at different places, then the Senate would have to summon each of them. And, if the Senate finds that some of these killings were indeed not justified, the most that it can do is recommend the filing of criminal cases.

Once the cases are filed, the accused-policemen will also enjoy the same presumption and the right to due process being invoked by Pres. Rody’s detractors. More than these, the police officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties, which, along with the absence of witnesses and the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt, would result in the probability of their acquittal, which same reason might exonerate the drug-lord-coddling generals.

And most importantly, with Pres. Rody’s revelation, we have been apprised as though forewarned by a caring father, by the dangers that have lurked among us. With this revelation, and the foisting to us of this reality, we must now join in this campaign to apply moral suasion among our kith and kin who have been lured into this menace, to shake off their addiction and that they must now truly reform.

“COMMON SENSE” PANACHE OF DUTERTE & THE DEATH PENALTY

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (“Pres. Rody”) has eagerly and most anxiously championed the need for the restoration of the DEATH PENALTY for heinous crimes (especially DRUG-related offenses) in our statute books. However, there seems to be a strong opposition to this proposal. Most of those who are opposing the proposal would conveniently aver that the DEATH PENALTY is not in fact a deterrent to the future commission of crimes. However, with the experience that we are confronting now in the Philippines where drug users as well as small-time drug pushers  are surrendering in droves, such patently shows that the DEATH PENALTY is a DETERRENT. Indeed, if these surrenderees do not FEAR death, they would have not in fact surrendered in the first place.

The foregoing phenomenon all the more explains why Pres. Rody must appear to be a leader who must always be FEARED. And this is perhaps, why Pres. Rody feels the need to always garnish his speech and spiel with cuss-filled words, such as PUTANG INA!!!

Indeed, the phenomenon that we are now experiencing in the Philippines, from north to south, where drug-addicts are surrendering in droves is plainly, an affirmance that the FEAR of DEATH serves as a deterrent to the commission of crime. What we have experienced is COMMON SENSE, bolstered by statistics as shown by the large number of daily surrenderees. Everyone, I am sure fears nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death.

In fact in the Philippine setting as exemplified by the pre-Duterte bureaucracy, life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer LIFE IN PRISON than death in the GALLOWS or extermination via the ELECTRIC CHAIR or eternal sleep inside the LETHAL INJECTION Room. Indeed, the foregoing is APODICTIC, as otherwise, those who have been convicted would not choose to be sentenced to DEATH  instead of LIFE IN PRISON. Necessarily therefore, a life sentence must be less deterrent than a death sentence. And that, we must execute murderers as long as it is merely possible that their execution protects citizens from future murders.

The more animating reason why DEATH PENALTY has to be restored in the Philippines is the extreme laxity that has transpired in the prison walls (due plausibly to the power of the drug-lords’ money to corrupt the prison guards who would just look the other way) and the consequent baboonery that this corruption has created.

In his speech during the Armed Forces of the Philippines (“AFP”) turn-over ceremony on July 1, 2016; Pres. Rody claimed that it was despicably and extremely insulting to the Philippine government to have just belatedly learned that drugs are in fact being manufactured within the prison walls. And that it was even more denigrating to learn that prisoners especially the drug-lords live like kings inside the prison walls, with all the luxuries and extravagance that money can buy.

In one of Pres. Rody’s TV spiels, he said that the DEATH PENALTY must be regarded as a means of RETRIBUTION.  Indeed, society and the national community as a whole is justly ordered when each person receives what is due to him. Without doubt, crime disturbs this just order, for the criminal wrests from people their lives, snatches their peace and liberties, as well as plucks out from their possession their worldly goods in order to give himself (i.e. the criminal) undeserved benefits. Necessarily, deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring the just order, making the criminal pay the price equivalent to the harm that he has done. This is retribution, and should not to be confused with revenge.

 

“COMMON SENSE” PANACHE OF DUTERTE’S PRESIDENCY-PART 3

 

duterte-common-sense-blog3duterte-common-sense-blog3

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (“Pres. Rody”) exhortation to the officers and men of the Philippine National Police (“PNP”) during his speech on the assumption of duty of newly-promoted 4-star General Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa as PNP Chief held yesterday (July 1, 2016) which announced, thus: “DO YOUR DUTY AND I WILL DIE FOR YOU!”, undoubtedly raised their morale, which morale has sagged for long, to new and unprecedented heights. His exhortation was further capped by the bold reiteration of his campaign promise that he will double the salaries of the police force as well as the military.

This pronouncement is truly another one of those innate streaks of “common sense” sagacity which has become Pres. Rody’s hallmark.

Verily indeed, if the nation’s leader would want to reform the police force and is truly intent at stopping corruption in the police ranks, where money has played some kind of an “evil-incentivizing” role, their daily pay must be hiked, at all costs. And not one among Pres. Rody’s predecessors in Malacañang except perhaps former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, accorded the police and the military, this kind of avuncular, nay paternal caring.

When I was still in my teens, during the 60s, one blustery afternoon; and out of sheer curiosity, I decided and had the chance,  to witness the proceedings at the halls of Congress, then located at the Old Congress Building (now a museum) in Manila. I cannot remember anymore  as to who among the congressmen were debating a seemingly contentious issue. Though I was sure then that the legislators  were discussing the national budget particularly that to be accorded the military; what intrigued me was some kind of an aside or perhaps a jocular statement uttered by one among them, anent a seemingly unusual term —“budgetary huks”.

I learned thereafter that there seems to be some kind of a conspiracy to make it appear that huks  which is the appellation given to the rebels of yesteryears, still abound, despite the peace initiatives commenced by Pres. Ramon Magsaysay, which saw the surrender of then topmost rebel-leader Luis Taruc in May 1954.

I doubted then those intimation that there really was some kind of chicanery, nay a conspiracy, to make it appear that rebels were still many.  And consequently, the national budget needed to be enhanced to finance those military campaigns against those “budgetary huks”.

However, in the 70s, when my fraternity brother Jamil Lucman, who earned the appellation Jungle Fox, being the top honcho then of the Black Shirts, a group of well-trained Muslim rebels; covertly engineered with other Muslim rebels  the 1970 rekindling of the Moro Rebellion which initially sparked in Jolo, he narrated to me a much more intriguing report.

Brod Jamil told me that in one of the bloodiest encounters in the hinterlands of Mindanao, between the military forces and his men, when his rebel group got so heavily pinned down by continuous mortar fire and unrelenting airstrikes; he was all set to pray the DUA, some kind of Muslim invocation in the face of death. However, up to now, he cannot understand why the ceaseless bombing then stopped dead (as though a gust of wind snuffed off the light on the candle’s wick), while they lay dreadfully short of ammo and stripped of their fighting spirit, all the more.

On hindsight, Brod Jamil could only hazard a guess…that it could have been the merciful and soft-hearted side of Pres. Marcos who Brod Jamil believed was monitoring the battle from Malacañang. But having heard of the so-called “budgetary huks”, I was tempted to believe that the military may have been trying to coin another label …”budgetary Muslim rebs”. Thus, the poser that haunted me then was: Could there really be some top personalities in the Philippine government before, perhaps the military, who really did not want peace and that they want the rebellion to continue to justify a bloated budget?

I thought about all of the foregoing when I heard Pres. Rody’s speech before the Armed Forces of the Philippines after the  PNP event, that his mission as President is to achieve and bring peace throughout the land.  And this I believe, is a street-smart articulation of a mission, a common-sense verbalization, that could compelling do away with future budgetary insertions that would concentrate the focus into PEACE rather than a full-scale WAR.

Let us all support Pres. Rody’s  article of faith… to bring PEACE throughout our land.