No direct proof vs. De Lima re drug raps?

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…`and the truth shall make you free’…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in John 8:32, the Holy Bible).


DE LIMA CAN NOW HEAVE A SIGH OF RELIEF RE: DRUG RAPS? Senator Leila De Lima can now heave a sigh of relief, in a manner of speaking, because, for the first time since she was accused of coddling big-time drug lords manufacturing shabu inside the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City by President Duterte, no less than his secretary of justice, Vitaliano Aguirre II, admitted she is being accused “only by implication”.

Aguirre made this stunning admission in an interview that was reported in the news (please see, at the same time that Duterte was telling reporters in Taytay, Rizal, that De Lima got involved with drug syndicates operating from Muntinlupa City after she entered into a relationship with her former driver-bodyguard.

Here was Aguirre’s admission, as reported in the news: “The Department of Justice said four witnesses will testify against de Lima and link her to illegal drugs… Aguirre… said the witnesses included inmates, jail guards, a bagman of a drug lord, and some of de Lima’s friends. But it would be `only by implication’…”


PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT: In law, accusations that an individual committed a crime must be proved by what is known as “proof beyond reasonable doubt”, or that kind of evidence which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind (see the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of People vs. Tadepa, G.R. No. 100354, May 26, 1995).

This kind of proof requires that the direct participation or culpability of the person being accused of a crime is fully established either by documentary or object evidence, or by the testimony of witnesses who saw the how, what, where, and when, of the commission of the crime.

If there is no such direct proof to show the guilt of the accused, he cannot be considered guilty, nor can he be convicted of any wrongdoing. In a case where the proof is not present, or is insufficient or unable to establish each and every element of a crime, the accusations must be discredited, and the accused could even retaliate by filing criminal cases for perjury or falsification, or even a civil case for damages.


AGUIRRE SHOULD CONSULT MORE OFTEN WITH DUTERTE? Of course, there is such a thing as “circumstantial evidence”, which is the kind of evidence that, although there is no direct proof that a person committed a crime, proves a series of acts or events that, when connected to one another, could produce a moral certainty that the accused committed the crime.

Perhaps, this was what Secretary Aguirre was referring to when he classified the evidence against De Lima in connection with her supposed involvement with drug syndicates operating inside Muntinlupa City as evidence “only by implication”.

But, come to think of it, whether or not this is really the case—whether or not the evidence against De Lima is circumstantial or by implication only—Aguirre’s statement dramatically runs contrary to earlier pronouncements by his President to the effect that De Lima was really involved in drugs. Maybe Aguirre should consult with Duterte more often as to what the President’s proof consists of against De Lima.


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