Was De Lima really only doing her job? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 August 2015 14:50

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free…(but) will perish…” (Proverbs 19:5 and 9, the Holy Bible).

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WAS DE LIMA REALLY ONLY DOING HER JOB? The media sympathetic to President Aquino had been trying hard to discredit the peaceful assemblies that the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) have been staging since Thursday last week.

The uniform line of this segment of Philippine media is that the assemblies are meant to pressure the government, particularly Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, to stop the prosecution of INC leaders accused of detaining some of their expelled members. The Aquino media has been saying De Lima was just doing her job, nothing more, nothing less.

The big question, of course, is this: was De Lima really only doing her job? Or is she engaged in something else, as some posts in social networking sites like Facebook had been saying, particularly the exertion of pressure on INC leaders to compel them to support some favored candidates in 2016?

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WHY DID DE LIMA REVERSE NBI REPORT ON DETENTION? What De Lima cannot deny here is her having unilaterally reversed a report made and submitted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after its agents conducted a thorough inquiry that there was really no detention of expelled INC ministers and other members.

The De Lima reversal of that NBI report disclaiming any detention of former INC ministers and other members was highly questionable, considering that the agents who submitted it not only investigated the supposed complaints and then personally interviewed some of the complainants and disinterested witnesses.

What was worse was that in reversing the NBI report, De Lima appeared to have done so without having read and evaluated the report first. Why do I say this? Well, right after the NBI report saying there was no detention was published, De Lima immediately called a press conference to say she was not accepting the findings of the NBI.

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WHY DID DE LIMA TAKE OVER PROBE OF DETENTION CASES? Of course, De Lima had the legal right to set aside the NBI report. But one would think that a public official like her, one who is the Secretary of Justice in fact, would try to study and evaluate first a report which the NBI submitted in the discharge of its lawful duties and responsibilities and is, in law, presumed to be regular and done in good faith.

Then, what is more inexplicable was De Lima’s decision for the detention complaints to be investigated by the Department of Justice right away. This is grossly violative of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, promulgated by the Supreme Court, and which took effect on December 01, 2000.

Under these rules, any criminal complaint, whether involving sensational or mundane cases, or capital offenses or light infractions, should first be filed and taken cognizance of by the appropriate fiscal or prosecutors’ offices in the cities and provinces where the crimes were committed. Why did De Lima order the detention cases against top INC leaders to be directly filed with the Department? Why did she disobey the rules?

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Ang Tanging Daan” (The Sole Way), a Bible study and prayer session on radio, airs Mondays to Fridays, 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at DWAD 1098 kHz on the AM band. For replays, go to www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan or www.facebook.com/ANDKNK and scroll for “Ang Tanging Daan” broadcasts. Phone: 0922 833 43 96, 0918 574 0193, 0917 984 24 68. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.