Friday, September 18, 2009

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


A criminal charge of ordering the murder of at least a human being is a very serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Yet in the Philippines where the cost of a human life is going down maybe about a few thousand pesos, the accused generally laughs it off.

In the eyes of justice, every accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The burden is on the prosecutor or accuser to produce hard evidence for conviction. Examples of such are a true eyewitness of the crime being committed by the accused, a clear camera or video shot of the person committing the murder, or a true confession of the crime from the accused not obtained under duress. However, other evidence still maybe gathered to help in the prosecution of the crime.

Right now before the eyes of the world via the help of the worldwide media, a former president of the Philippines and an incumbent member of the Philippine Senate are the accused in a brutal crime of murder of two human beings. This is a very serious charge and should not be politicized. No stone should be left unturned during the investigation, so to speak.

But here’s the problem: is there a prima facie case to launch a full investigation of the two prominent Filipino politicians accused of murder or just a mere case of hearsay - he said, she said, they said?

If not, then the media or the press should not allow itself to be exploited by unscrupulous but powerful forces for the sake of politics or otherwise.

It is always easy to lodge an accusation but hard to prove it. It is just and fair under the law and under any court of justice to find out first if there is that element called “probable cause” before proceeding to any investigation.

Remember, the rights of the accused should be protected all the time. It is now time to consider that a person who files a frivolous suit deserves punishment.



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