Pacquiao rebuffs Trillanes on Paolo pictures PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 September 2017 14:38

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground…” (Psalm 143:10, the Holy Bible).

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THERE IS NO ACCIDENT IN LIFE: It is indeed true that there is nothing in this world where we live in that happens by chance. Everything happens according to the will of He who created us all, our God and Savior whose Name is Jesus. There is no accident in anything in our lives. There is a reason for everything.

And the same thing is true, even in the case of the election of a world class boxer like Manny Pacquiao as a senator of the Republic. We do not wish to sound like we are denigrating anyone, but who would have ever thought that even if Pacquiao failed to finish any formal education, he has become very capable of contributing important points in the deliberations at the Senate?

This was what he showed on Thursday, September 07, 2017, during the continuation of the Senate hearing on the P6.4 billion shabu smuggling at the Bureau of Customs, where a fellow senator of his, Mr. Antonio Trillanes IV, tried to connect Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte with the Chinese Triad, the dreaded syndicate dealing on drugs and crime from Hong Kong and China.

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WHAT TRILLANES WANTED PAOLO TO DO WAS ILLEGAL: How did Trillanes try to connect Paolo (or Pulong) to the Chinese Triad? He asked Paolo if he, Paolo, has a tattoo in his back. When the vice mayor answered, yes, he has a tattoo in his back, the senator urged him to show the tattoo, so a picture could be taken of it and then forwarded to the US for examination.

According to Trillanes, the tattoo in Paolo’s back is the kind of tattoo that members of the Chinese Triad adorn themselves with. Fortunately, Paolo did not agree to show his tattoo. The fact is that, it is clear there is no evidence from the lawmaker that could truly connect the vice mayor with the Chinese Triad, and that the fuzz he raised over the tattoo was just some sort of a fishing expedition.

Then, it is also clear that there is nothing under the 1987 Constitution and other existing laws in the country that could compel anyone, especially the likes of Paolo, to produce from his own person or body any evidence that may incriminate him in any way. This is called the right against self-incrimination, or the right not to be compelled to testify or produce evidence against one’s self.

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PACQUIAO REBUFFS TRILLANES ON PAOLO PICTURES: After that, Trillanes brought out pictures of Paolo showing him posing with some Chinese businessmen. Trillanes was saying these businessmen are linked with the trading of illegal drugs in the country, and because Paolo was pictured with those Chinese businessmen, Paolo should necessarily be involved in drugs, too.

To anyone who has a clear mind (even if he or she is not a lawyer), pictures cannot be used as an evidence to prove that those who are reflected therein actually are aware of (or have consented to) the activities of the persons who are with them in the pictures, especially if these activities violate the law, as pointed out by Pacquiao.

In the Philippines, there is no such thing as “guilt by association”, using pictures alone, as what Trillanes attempted to do on Thursday. It was a good thing Pacquiao had the sense to point out this obvious truth by his own questioning of the persons who appeared with Paolo in the pictures. Indeed, one cannot conclude that persons posing together in one picture know or are aware what the others are engaged in.

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