KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS: Gloria has only herself to blame… PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 November 2011 16:17

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth...” (John 17:17, the Holy Bible).
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GLORIA HAS ONLY HERSELF TO BLAME: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in more ways than one, has only herself to blame if the electoral fraud case against her in connection with the 2007 elections was filed in court in just a short span of time, resulting in her having been arrested by the police almost in a flash, while she was fighting tooth and nail to fly abroad for medical treatment.

This was what Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima have been expressly and impliedly saying, after the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, Branch 112 with Judge Jesus Mupas presiding, issued a non-bailable warrant against her Friday.

Brillantes and De Lima said Gloria’s refusal to answer the charges of election cheating which a panel formed by the Comelec and the Department of Justice (DOJ)  investigated, made it easier for prosecutors to establish a case against her, since, without her answer, the allegations against her were all deemed uncontroverted.
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LESSON IS, REFUTE CHARGES: The lesson, it would seem, is this: it is always better for anyone being accused of a crime to submit an answer, or a counter-affidavit, and present evidence refuting the allegations of the complainant. Somehow, this would prolong the proceedings a little longer.

I say this because I am personally aware that in almost all criminal cases undergoing preliminary investigation by almost all prosecutors’ offices in the country, or even by the Ombudsman, the investigation proper will normally take about four to six months, and then it would take about almost two years for any decision to be issued thereafter.

In the case of Gloria and the others who were also indicted with her for the 2007 electoral fraud case, everything simply whizzed by as fast as they could, simply because she did not exercise her right to answer the charges against her. What a pity, indeed.
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GLORIA MUST STAY JAILED FOR NOW: Of course, Gloria’s lawyers may justify this by pointing out that she chose not to file any answer yet because she seasonably contested the jurisdiction of the Comelec-DOJ panel to conduct the preliminary investigation of the poll fraud case against her through a petition with the Supreme Court.

But then, it was unfortunate that the high tribunal did not issue any order stopping the panel from its work, thereby allowing it to proceed. With due respect, what the lawyers should have done was, side by side with the Supreme Court case against the panel, an answer should have been filed for her with the panel just the same, and that would have bought her more precious time.

Unless the Supreme Court will now come out with an order nullifying what the panel had done in filing the non-bailable case against Gloria, which is something that may not be forthcoming at this point in time, it is a foregone conclusion that she will have to stay in the country, unable to leave for abroad, and in jail while being tried.