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Dire speculations

February 25, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

RRoy’siPadDire speculations
Ronald Roy — Feb. 25, 2017

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) of the Philippines, as ordained by its charter, is the official lawyer of the government or state, in pretty much the same way the Attorney General of America is the legal counsel of the US federal government or state.

Thus, Solicitor General (Solgen) Jose Calida is mandated by the OSG charter to function as the lawyer for the government or republic, and not for anybody else like, of all people, Janet Lim Napoles (JLN), who remains as the suspected mastermind of the many pork-barrel scams still pending before the Sandiganbayan.

Shock and outrage
No less than legalists were “shocked and outraged” when the Solgen, taking a position repugnant to the government’s interests against JLN who had been convicted of Serious Illegal Detention, made a comment before the Court of Appeals that, under the facts and evidence adduced, the complainant Benhur Luy was not illegally detained and that, in effect, Napoles was innocent.

This condition of shock and outrage comes from the general sentiment that the CA should deny the appeal of Napoles — one who is widely seen as chiefly responsible for those pork-barrel scams that illicitly enriched government officials and private parties in the most scandalous ever series of raids into the public coffers. However, this time, the shocked and the outraged are wrong.

People’s Tribune
A tribune is anyone who champions the rights of individuals, such as taxpayers who are virtually hapless against the mighty collecting machines of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Well, in one such case where the OSG litigated for the BIR against a petitioner-taxpayer before the Court of Tax Appeals, the Solgen, in the interest of justice, unexpectedly turned his back on the appellant-BIR by supporting the petition of the taxpayer.

On appeal by the BIR, the Supreme Court later ruled that the BIR had committed grave abuse of discretion. The Court also recognized, for the first time, the OSG’s alternative role as the “People’s Tribune” — a formal title that numerous lawyers are still incognizant of.

In the instant case, Solgen Calida, after a careful scrutiny of the facts and the evidence, thus chose to exercise his prerogative to act as a tribune for Napoles — a move that naturally surprised the uninitiated general public. But note that, by doing so, he correctly did not withdraw his adversarial position against her in the plunder cases.

Note must likewise be taken that Calida’s subject comment was merely recommendatory in character and, as such, could be rejected by the CA. Until then, the known rumormongers in our midst will remain engaged in their entertaining past time of dire speculations.

The President’s preemptive attack
The shock and outrage have now somewhat subsided to give way to the speculation that the Solgen’s “turnaround” was the “first phase” of the administration’s plan — given the non-stop broadsides against the President by the Church, Amity International, Sen. Leila de Lima and Sen. Sonny Trillianes, — to abort the Yellows’ agenda of springing back to power via demonizing propaganda, prayer rallies and people power.

One speculation is PDu30 thinking: “Why wait? Now is the proper time to preempt the Yellows. Thanks to Napoles, the credibility of Benhur Luy, the government’s witness in many pending pork-barrel cases, is shot. We can now use JLN as our state witness to arrest P-Noy, Abad, Drilon and Roxas on charges related to those pending plunder suits!”

Hold your horses, Mr. President. the alleged former leader of the so-called Davao Death Squad has stepped forward “to tell it all”.

Counter-preemptive strike
SPO3 Arthur Lascañas — who last October had testified under oath before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that the so-called “Davao Death Squad” was non-existent, thereby debunking witness Edgar Matobato’s sworn statements damning to the President — surfaced from nowhere to narrate that he had caused the extra-judicial killing of hundreds, the bombing of a mosque in Davao and, for P 3 million, the murder of one Jun Pala, a mediaman — on direct orders of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

PDu30 is immune from criminal suits during his term. Likewise, he cannot be impeached because the crimes ascribed to him, even if they are true, were committed before he was elected president. And I don’t see why Lascañas cannot be arrested for the crimes he claims to have committed on Duterte’s orders.

However, when Lascañas changed his testimony, he didn’t commit perjury because he was merely guarding himself against self-incrimination. No person can be compelled to testify against himself. It is not usual that one openly incriminates himself, hence, the likelihood that he speaks the truth when he does. His further testimony in the senate would thus be in accord with public policy.

However, I don’t see that Lascañas’ “confessions” have any bearing on the drug cases poised against SDe5. She may continue her rhetoric assailing Digong as the world’s most abominable serial murderer, but her arrest on drug charges was proper…period.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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