LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?” (Proverbs 4:2, the Holy Bible).
ACCUSING WITHOUT PROOF IS HEIGHT OF IRRESPONSIBILITY: With the grave and deadly accusations made by President Duterte the other day against five generals of the Philippine National Police, charging them as protectors of drug lords who are responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines, one would think that he would right away present proof showing the culpability of the generals.
After all, Duterte is a lawyer, a former prosecutor, a former mayor and a former lawmaker, who had been trained under the principle that mere accusations would not be enough to prove the guilt of anyone, and that if one accuses another with a crime, he, the accuser, must be ready to substantiate his claims.
Yet, quite glaringly, all that Duterte did was to accuse. He did not offer any piece of evidence against any of the generals, although the accusations hurled against them by the highest officer of the land already destroyed their names, their careers, and their reputations, and sent their families agonizing in shame. With due respect, what Duterte did was, to me, the height of irresponsibility!
“STICK TO DUE PROCESS”: And, I am not alone in this perception. Lawyer Patricio Patnubay Liboon, the grand archon of the UP College of Law Sigma Rho Fraternity who inducted me as a Sigma Rhoan, decried in his Facebook timeline, the shaming and branding under the present government, because of the possibility of abuse, and of mistakes.
With his permission, I am reproducing Liboon’s post: “If i remember right, there was this point in American history where people were branded as communists and led away to prison. The idea was to keep America safe from the communists. The problem is, it was used for political and sinister purposes.
“I support Duterte’s campaign against criminality. But, shaming and/or branding is bound to be abused. Mistakes do happen too. A branded person whose reputation is sullied would have diffculty in regaining whatever was lost in the process. My two cents on this is: stick with what is time tested. Stick to the law and the observance of due process.”
“DETAILS, PLEASE”:My editor in a Cagayan De Oro newspaper, Herbie Gomez, chimed in: “I can’t wait to read a report about the evidence against the generals linked to the illegal drug trade. To my disappointment, I came across none as of this posting. What I see are stupid ‘Tards linking the named generals to a defeated presidential candidate and the fishy Novotel gathering shortly before the elections.
“OK, so the generals were or are partisan. But why is that evidence of drug links? That merely suggests that the police generals were partisan, that they may have supported one of the President’s rivals. Now, that is suspect. If the President’s pronouncements were based on A-1 info which is likely the case, and given that he already named and disgraced these generals in public–and shamed their families, it would only be proper for him to give details. Evidence, please…”
DUTERTE CHALLENGED: PRESENT PROOF VS GENERALS: In the radio program “Tambalang Batas at Somintac” (aired at DZEC, 1062 kHz, Mondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.), my partner, Vic Somintac (DZEC’s Malacanang reporter), and I hurled a challenge on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, to Duterte and his government: disclose the details of the generals’ participation in the illegal drugs trade, to justify the public and dramatic accusation against them, made by the President no less.
PLEASE WATCH OR LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, a news-commentary radio program, aired at DZEC 1062 kHz and other Radyo Agila provincial stations, at http://www.eaglebroadcasting.net/radyoagila and at www.youtube.com (type DZEC Radyo Agila Tambalang Batas at Somintac 1062 Live), 6 to 7 in the morning, Philippine time. Phone: 0922 833 43 96, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: email@example.com