Napoles affidavit, violation of Constitution
Volume XVII NO. 32 (May 31 to June 6, 2014)
LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground…” (Amos 5:7, the Holy Bible).
WHAT IS TO BE DONE WITH NAPOLES AFFIDAVIT NOW? There is something that the Aquino government and the Department of Justice are not telling the people, relative to the “tell all” affidavit of Janet Lim Napoles which named some 20 senators, 100 or so congressmen and other government officials as direct participants in the P10 billion pork scam: so what is to be done with that affidavit now?
What is more, while President Aquino already reacted to that affidavit by saying he was “confused” by its contents, there is no reaction at all, not even a whimper or even a sigh, from Justice Secretary Leila De Lima who, undeniably, was the one who asked Napoles to come up with a “tell all” affidavit in connection with the pork barrel scam before Napoles was to undergo a medical operation.
Indeed, considering the explosive content of the affidavit which implicated government officials in the biggest plunder case ever to hit the Philippines, the least that the President or De Lima should have done was to refer it right away to the Office of the Ombudsman for the proper preliminary investigation of those that have been named therein.
NAPOLES AFFIDAVIT AS A BASIS FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION: For all intents and purposes (as we lawyers are fond of saying whenever we have run out of arguments), the affidavit of Napoles already constitutes a criminal complaint or accusation that is sufficient to start a preliminary investigation under Rules 110 and 112 of The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (as amended on December 01, 2000).
For one, that affidavit complies with Section 6 of Rule 110 of the foregoing Rules, which says that a “complaint… is sufficient if it states the name of the accused; the designation of the offense given by the statute; the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense; the name of the offended party; the approximate date of the commission of the offense; and the place where the offense was committed…”
Then, it also complies with almost all the other sections of Rule 110 which define the conditions by which a preliminary investigation under Rule 112 must and should be carried out—to determine if an offense had in fact been committed and that there is sufficient reason to believe that the persons named in the complaint were the ones who committed it.
CULPABLE VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION: Considering the clarity of the foregoing rules of law and procedure, it was the undoubted duty of the President and of the Secretary of Justice to have acted to commence the requisite preliminary investigation pursuant to the rules of criminal procedure after receiving the Napoles affidavit.
Surely, no one can deny the fact that it is the duty of both Aquino and De Lima to prosecute criminal cases and the perpetrators of the crime. That duty to prosecute criminal cases is both Constitutional and statutory—meaning that, it is a duty that the Constitution and the laws themselves impose.
With their inaction on the Napoles “tell all” affidavit, could not the President and De Lima have committed a culpable violation the Constitution? Is this not even a case of obstruction of justice or, at least, of graft and corruption under Section 3 (e) of Republic Act 3019, which considers as graft the act of any officer which causes undue injury to the government or to the people as a whole?
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