The renegade and the insider

First, the renegade. There’s an interesting interview of Danton Remoto in PinoyCentric, where he speaks pretty bluntly about what he observed as a candidate in the last elections.

From Remoto’s observations concerning local politics, let’s move on to the insider(s), particularly talk concerning national developments, starting with Postcard Headlines who takes a look at the interest generated by a news item titled Politics goes retro: It’s NP vs LP in 2010.

Next, with the stage set, there’s Ricky Carandang’s explanation of why he thinks Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr. is the front-runner in the 2010 race:

Villar has also taken care of the financial side of the presidential run. The recent public offer of Vista Land, his newly restructured flagship company, raised P20 bilion, a significant chunk of which will go to Villar. I’m told that it costs about P5 billion to run a successful presidential campaign. The IPO puts Villar ahead of his presumptive rivals in the all important money race.

A cursory look at the financial abilities of his rivals will show that at this stage, only Mar Roxas comes close in terms of resources. The Araneta-Roxas family certainly has assets worth P5 billion, but much of that is in real estate and co-owned by the family. Mar wouldn’t be able to simply write out a cheque for P5 billion to fund his campaign.

At this early stage, other possible candidates Loren Legarda and Ping Lacson don’t have anywhere near the required amount.

Incidentally, today’s headline, Cayetano bags prized blue ribbon committee, represents, in Carandang’s opinion, a nifty political side-step on Villar’s part:

Now, just as the cries of “sellout” were beginning to gain ground, he has managed—over the initial objections of the Palace—to have opposition stalwart Alan Cayetano named chair of the Blue Ribbon committee, the body that investigates government wrongdoing. In one stroke Villar has managed to silence the criticism and transferred the onus of proving his independence to Cayetano.

If, in his investigations, Cayetano is perceived to be soft on the adminstration it is he who will be accused of selling out, not Villar. If he does as promised and goes after the Arroyo regime he will silence the critics from the opposition and Villar will be praised for standing up to the majority.

The proof of the pudding will indeed be in the eating: those who voted for Cayetano will expect him to hold slam-bang investigations in the Blue Ribbon. It seems to me, aware of this (having tried to stop Cayetano’s selection as Blue Ribbon chairman), the administration’s backing off from hot potato deals: No go for broadband deal–Palace adviser. Nip it in the bud!

But what’s interesting, to me, is the overall allocation of committees, where most legislative work is done. The administration’s the clear winner here: Enrile with Finance, Santiago with Foreign Relations and Energy, Gordon with Constitutional Amendments, Tourism, Codes and Laws, Angara with Banking as well as Agriculture, Lapid with Gaming and Amusements, Revilla with Public Works, Honasan with Public Security, Escudero has the very powerful Ways and Means committee (along with oversight committees on the Lateral Attrition Act, the National Internal Revenue Code and the Special Purpose Vehicle Act), has oversight over taxation, which will surely please his party chief.

All the other chairmanships seem peanuts compared to the ones the administration’s ended up with. And the ultimate message is, everything’s still negotiable, which is why the President can send out feelers like this: Arroyo calls all senators, not Trillanes, to meet. When you read news like this, Arroyo seeks Congress’ passage of 28 priority measures, compare the list of the President’s priority legislation, with the newly-announced committee chairmanships in the Senate.

Going back to Carandang’s opinion that Villar is the frontrunner, John Nery in his column, says he’s privy to the findings of a currently-embargoed survey, and the presidential frontrunners aren’t the ones widely reported in media:

The polling organization showed its survey respondents a list of six prospective candidates, and then asked, “Who would you vote for, if the elections were held today and these personalities were in the running?”

Of course, it is far too early to place bets on 2010, but it certainly seems like the moneyed rivals (and the real frontrunners on the list) have their work cut out for them. Image-building, party-building, alliance-building — that’s a whole lot of infrastructure investing.

Some interesting theories propounded by columnists today. For background, first see today’s Manila Times editorial and the entry The real story on the kidnapped Filipino technicians in Iraq in Uniffors; then go on to Tony Abaya, who says he’s convinced there was an American plot to oust the President, but that since then, Uncle Sam’s decided to live with her until 2010. Writes Abaya,

(In early December 2005, there was a story in media about 88 Filipino workers who were stranded in the Dubai international airport and could not proceed to Iraq, but refused to come back to the Philippines. They and the 51 workers Mayberry testified about – and possibly other unpublicized groups – may be part of what Madsen calls “low-wage slave trading in the Middle East.”)

Madsen says that the Arroyo administration banned the PPI… from further recruiting Filipino migrant workers for the Middle East after a Filipino was killed during a terrorist attack on Camp Anaconda in 2004.

…Madsen claims there is a connection between PGMA’s “ordering the repatriation of Filipino workers from Iraq and Kuwait, and the discovery that US Marine Corps and FBI spy Leandro Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American who worked as a Marine security aide inside Cheney’s office… who was arrested by the FBI last October [2005], had stolen dossiers from Cheney’s office that were considered damaging to Mrs. Arroyo.”

…The above means that the NSA was intercepting and eavesdropping on PGMA’s landline and cell phone conversations, and passing on the dirt to Estrada. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Hello Garci tapes were first made public by Allan Paguia, a “former” lawyer of Estrada.

The above paragraph confirmed what I have written several times, that the neo-cons in Washington, who are led by Cheney, wanted to see Arroyo removed from office, for (a) withdrawing the Filipino contingent from Iraq; (b) signing an oil exploration agreement with the Chinese on the Spratlys; and (c) failing to dismantle the Jemaah Islamiyah camps in Mindanao…

But after the Aragoncillo-Michael Ray Aquino espionage case was thoroughly investigated by the Americans, Estrada – considered the main beneficiary and financier of the caper – and Panfilo Lacson – the former boss of Aquino – have been dropped from the neo-cons’ short list of replacements for GMA, and the Americans have decided to stay with GMA until 2010, or until a suitable replacement can be found before 2010.

Which suggests, first of all, that the tapes were genuine to begin with, but also explains where they came from -returning to speculation at the time (2005) that the tapes were an American leak!

Incidentally, it’s also interesting to connect Abaya’s belief of continuing -but conditional- American backing, with Amando Doronila’s analysis of how panic-prone the administration remains:

The panic was triggered after Joachim von Amsberg told foreign correspondents prior to his departure as World Bank country director in the Philippines that the Arroyo administration’s failure to meet its five-month revenue target had put at risk its ability to sustain fiscal reforms and meet its budget deficit goals.

The warning so unnerved the administration that the panic it touched off has defined its policy responses and priorities since July. It has been responsible for a number of developments, including a clueless Cabinet reshuffle, an economic policy vacuum, and the loss of direction of the national agenda despite the blueprint set by the SONA.

Meanwhile, Ellen Tordesillas revisits a proposal that’s been discussed pretty widely for some time now (see my blog entry for June 22, 2007 for example, and Fr. Bernas’ July 2, 2007 column), that is, a grant of amnesty to put to heal the political divisions since 2001:

Lacson’s advisers said the opposition senator is amenable to sponsoring a bill granting amnesty to those accused of political crimes but they said they would have to be careful about its coverage including the cut-off date. They said JDV and Lacson may not have the same definition of “political crimes”.

The amnesty proposal is supposed to solve the political tension that has bedeviled the Arroyo administration since its start in 2001. Amnesty is an instrument of reconciliation as it erases the political crime of the accused even before conviction. It differs from pardon, which can be granted only after conviction.

Logically, those who would likely be included would be former President Estrada, son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and lawyer Edward Serapio who are awaiting the Sandiganbayan decision on their plunder cases; the Magdalo soldiers who staged the so-called “Oakwood Mutiny” in July 2003 that includes Trillanes; and the 28 officers led by Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda involved in the alleged aborted withdrawal of support from Arroyo in February 2006.

De Venecia has not spelled out details of his amnesty proposal but sources told us the cut-off date, presumably at the time of the filing, would in effect protect Arroyo and her associates from being charged with plunder and other crimes once she is out of office. That means she would be automatically absolved of the crime of betrayal of public trust for cheating in the 2004 elections and for diverting millions and millions of pesos for the people to her election fund. Same thing will happen to her accomplices like former Agriculture Secretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.

Sources said the amnesty proposal is actually designed for Arroyo. Estrada, Miranda and Trillanes et. al. would just be collateral beneficiaries.

By the way, concerning Trillanes, the critical camp has its exponent in Solita Monsod; blogger Quixotic Kibitzer points out flaws in the arguments of those (including me) who criticized the court’s decision to refuse Trillanes permission to attend Senate sessions.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Manuel L. Quezon III.

123 thoughts on “The renegade and the insider

  1. “How can we implement? There are no papers. Show me the contract,” Apostol said when asked about the status of the ZTE contract.

    I attended the forum where Usec Formoso announced the contract was stolen. The theft was meant to explain why the contract was not made public after it was signed.

    Formoso then said, the contract had been reconstituted and was available to the public at the DOTC website. It’s been more than six weeks and no one has seen a copy of the contract, not even in its reconstituted form.

    What are they hiding again?

    The ZTE contract is the first thing Cayetano should investigate.

  2. I hope Alan Cayetano can do honest to goodness investigations that can bring closure to many issues.

  3. Hi MLQ,

    Was listening to the radio this morning and found out that the Blue Ribbon Committee has a zero conviction rate since the time of Saguisag and Maceda. All its findings never gained any ground in the courts. Are we spending so much time and money over nothing?

    By the way, I went to this page to thank you for generously publishing an old article ( that you found regarding the flag law. That was a good one.

  4. ” …Madsen claims there is a connection between PGMA’s “ordering the repatriation of Filipino workers from Iraq and Kuwait, and the discovery that US Marine Corps and FBI spy Leandro Aragoncillo, a Filipino-American who worked as a Marine security aide inside Cheney’s office… ”

    They forgot to mention the evil green space aliens, the UFO technology hidden in area 51 and how all this is connected to the Philippines.

    The pay, treatment and living conditions Mayberry witnessed among Filipinos in Iraq is a common reality to how most Arab companies operate. Can these companies do without hiring Pinoys? Yes, Indians and other nationalities dominate the job market in Iraq. Workers that strike easily get deported. How can we put a stop to this abuse? As long as Filipinos are forced to work out of the country just so they can provide for their families, The OFW will unfortunately experience these conditions.

  5. cayetano in blue ribbon! wow kakaimpress si villar ah. sana lang di na pinatagal. he might have scored bigger.

    with all that power in cayetano, I expect no less than the head of Mr arroyo as he had all been dangling in public for so long.

  6. It is clear that Solita Monsod has lost the ability to think straight when it comes to the issue of Trillanes. When Monsod says that…

    Eighty-five million Filipinos trump 11 million voters (not even half of the total number) any time.

    …she is committing a basic categorization error when by comparing the ’85 million’ with the ’11 million’. First of all, the 11 million Filipinos are real-life voters who actually went out and exercised their Constitutional right to vote.

    The 85 million, on the other hand, is simply the total estimated population of the Philippines. This bigger number includes thirty million children who cannot vote. More importantly, the 85 million also includes the 11 million who voted for Trillanes. This ill conceived comparison with its miscategorization and double counting is intellectually dishonest and not worthy of an economics professor.

  7. Let us all hope for a productive blue ribbon committee under Cayetano.About conviction,that is not the senate’s job,it is the court’s job(Sandigan), as to how many were passed to the courts, I am sure it is not a big fat zero.

  8. My apologies to the commenter,re conviction…
    That wa yoour point exactly,that it never gained ground in the courts.

    But, I still believe that the committeee should remain.

    What was the term coined by a certain commnter in the previous blogs?…..

    As part of our spring cleaning.

  9. I read cvj’s comments on the Quixotic Kibitzr’s blog: re:presumption of innocence

    And I saw a rebuttal that how can some one on appeal be innocent…

    Who is under appeal?

    under appeal is the motion for the senator to attend sessions,not an appeal to reverse a verdict.

    So maany genius bloggers around.

  10. Medyo di ko na naman nacheck kung me brake fluid ako…

    Mail ang analysysis ko sa sa sagot ni Jaxius..mas malala pala.

    Calling it a moral principle that it is better to set free twenty or so guilty persons than to convict an nnocent one,although a reality should not be called a principle at all.

    The appellate courts all over the world can be bought and that is a sad reality too.

    Now where can the principle of the nation of laws not of men fit in there?

    I apologize that I am taking the trillanes article too personally.

  11. (my lawyer friends are unavailable…)

    When the SC finally affirms the conviction of the lower courts, the length of imprisonment of the convicted (while on appeal) is taken from the total sentence. This means that conviction by the lower court has operated and that the convicted has already undergone sentence.

    When conviction operates does presumption of innocence prevail?

  12. cvj,

    I agree with your conclusion but here is how i would argue it…

    The two quotes she wags at the reader are both lifted from the Jalosjos case–in which Trillanes condition is equated to that of a convicted child rapist, whereas the Senator is charged with a serious crime but the case has not even gotten to first base!

    Solita’s fallacy is that of comparing apples to oranges. with the essential difference being that Sonny Trillanes has NOT lost the PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE, unlike Romeo Jalosjos, who criminal conviction for child rape was final and executory.

    Trillanes case is as far away from Jalosjos case as it could possibly be because for him to LOSE the presumption of innocence three things must yet happen:

    (1) He must be found guilty of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt by a Regional Trial Court Judge (one vote to overthrow the presumption of innocence.)

    (2) On appeal, a majority of a Division of the Court of Appeals must find him guilty beyond reasonable doubt AND that the RTC tried him properly; (a second vote to overthrow the presumption of innocence.)

    (3) A majority of the Supreme Court must affirm a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and that all lower courts had acted properly. (a third vote to overthrow the presumption of guilt)

    It is merely my quirky academic view, but it certainly looks like under Philippine Law, “a unanimous vote” of three Courts finding guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is necessary and sufficient for conviction to be final and executory.

    At ANY of the three stages, if the Court cannot overthrow the presumption of innocence by a finding of culpable guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused immediately is set free!

    The difference between APPLE and ORANGE in this case is that Jalosjos had already been UNANIMOUSLY CONVICTED by all three levels of the Justice System, whereas Trillanes has not even one verdict against him.

    Even if Pimentel finds him guilty, I claim he will not have lost the presumption of innocence.

    And even if the Court of Appeals finds him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, yet, his conviction would not be final and executory.

    Only after a third, unanimous verdict is rendered by the Supreme Court does Solita Monsod have a right to her analogy.

    of course she is right: 85 million trumps 11 million. But only AFTER conviction is final and executory.

    If you believe this line of reasoning however, you will see it applies to all accused, including Daniel Smith in the Nicole Rape Case, Joseph Estrada for plunder, and Tony Leviste for murder.

    the only people the system does not apply to are the beheaders of Basilan, who are vouchsafed by Peace Talks.

  13. Correction: In step (3) the Supreme Court must overthrow the presumption of innocence with finality by casting a third unanimous verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt as well as affirm the propriety of the RTC and CA’s adjudication.

    Throughout this process, the burden of proof never shifts from the Prosecution to the Defense as even after RTC conviction and upon Appeal the accused is not expected “to prove his innocence”.

    I guess the applicable case is that of Justiniano Montano as MLQ3 pointed out a few days ago.

  14. DJB, once you brought up ‘presumption of innocence’, i could already visualize Daniel Smith’s name even before scrolling down:-) Anyway, I do appreciate your similar defense of Trillanes but i think just like Monsod, you are conflating the legal system with the political system. While the two are structurally coupled, they are nevertheless distinct domains.

    That means that there is no one to one comparison between the metaphorical 85 million protected by the justice system and the real life 11 million voters who elected Trillanes. For one thing, the legal system should not even care whether it is 1 person or 85 million people.

    Whether Trillanes is guilty or not is a question for the judges. Whether he should serve as Senator or not is a matter that should be left to the political system.

  15. DJB,

    You did not have your facts correct. At the time the SC decision came down denying Jalosjos the alleged right to represent his constituents in the House of Representatives, his conviction for rape was still on appeal with the Supreme Court. Thus, he remains at that time an accused clothed with the right to be presumed innocent.

    The right to appeal, on the other hand, technically is only a matter of right the first time, i.e. from MTC to RTC or from RTC to CA. The subsequent appeals, petition for review to the CA of decisions of RTC in its appellate jurisdiction or appeal by certiorari to the SC of decisions of the CA are discretionary upon the courts. They can immediately dismiss the petition if patently without merit, unsubstantial or made to delay.

    The Montano vs Ocampo is also not in point because the issue there is the granting of bail. In the Trillanes case, he and his counsel merely by motion, wanted the court to grant special privileges to Trillanes on the erroneous presumption that the Misuari and Erap privileges granted by other courts should also apply to him. Up to that point, there is no problem.

    The problem arose when Trillanes and his counsel imposes upon the court the idea that the Misuari and Erap cases were precedents. For a layman, the idea is forgiveable. But for a lawyer to insist so, nakakahiya.

    Instead of being supplicatory, their tact was of insistence that Trillanes’ special privilege of temporary liberty is a matter of right. Nakikiusap ka nga sa korte na bigyan ka ng pribilehiyo, sinigaan mo naman. Ang usapan sa korte, logic and reasoning, hindi sigaan.

    Again, take note that their request was not a motion to be granted bail. If you read the Montano vs Ocampo case, you will find a single sentence there that qualifies why the late senator was granted bail. The prosecution failed to adduce strong evidence to justify his continued preventive detention.

  16. cvj,

    It is a dictat in law that the courts shall not meddle with political questions or those that should be left for the representiatives of the people to decide or to be directly exercised by the people in their sovereign capacity, the sole exception being of the power of the SC to review the acts of the political departments (executive and legislative) when allegedly done with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

    Corollary to this is principle that the courts shall not take into account political considerations in making decisions. It should only be based on law, the rules of procedure, and in case the law is vague, the principle of justice and equity. As far as Judge Pimentel is concerned, Trillanes remains a Senator. However, he is also an accused in his sala. Being a senator does not give him any right to be treated differently from others who are similarly situated.

  17. It is a dictat in law that the courts shall not meddle with political questions or those that should be left for the representiatives of the people to decide or to be directly exercised by the people in their sovereign capacity…Jaxius

    By preventing Trillanes from exercising his duties as Senator, the court has already violated this dictat.

  18. cvj,

    there is no law that says a winning senator who stands accused for a crime is exempted from the rules of procedure for the disposition of criminal cases.

    such a law properly falls under the concept of a political question. maybe the people who voted for Trillanes can petition their representatives to make such a law and make it retroactive to apply to him. They can even make such a law through initiative.

  19. cvj:procedure does not trump the doctrine on political questions. the question you should be asking is whether or not trillanes being able to attend senate sessions is a political question which the courts ought not (but frequently enough do) touch.

  20. DJB,

    Daniel Smith was convicted of rape.

    He is appealing his conviction.

    It’s up to him to convince the appeals court that the lower court’s decision was flawed.

    If the appeals court upholds the lower court’s decision then he has to go to the Supreme Court and convince them the decisions pf the two lower courts were flawed.

  21. cvj,

    “It is clear that Solita Monsod has lost the ability to think straight when it comes to the issue of Trillanes.”

    Also when it comes to the issue of Gloria’s election.

  22. Manolo,

    for some reason, I have been pushed to back-read the entirety of your blog, and started with the very first post you published online. (i am not yet finished, lol)
    One of your links led to Mabini’s account of The Philippine Revolution and I just cannot help but be amazed at how much his summation of the revolution’s failure is exactly alike at what happened at Edsa 2.

    And replacing “revolution” with EDSA 2 and “he/his” with “she/hers,” Mabini’s words ring with such truth I itch to slap his book to Mrs. Arroyo”s face.

    Mabini’s word’s with my liberal edit:

    “To sum it up, EDSA 2 failed because it was badly led; because its leader won her post by reprehensible rather than meritorious acts; because instead of supporting the men most useful to the people, she made them useless out of jealousy. Identifying the aggrandizement of the people with her own, she judged the worth of men not by their ability, character and patriotism but rather by their degree of friendship and kinship with her; and anxious to secure the readiness of her favorites to sacrifice themselves for her, she was tolerant even of their transgressions. Because she thus neglected the people forsook her; and forsaken by the people, she was bound to fall like a waxen idol melting in the heat of adversity. God grant we do not forget such a terrible lesson, learnt at the cost of untold suffering.”

    Some would say EDSA 2 succeeded bec it succeeded at its initial goal. Which was to remove ERAP from the presidency. But I’d like to go further and say it failed completely, for it did not carry the revolution to its logical conclusion, which was dismantling of the unjust systems perpetrated by those in power. In the same vein, I could say the same for EDSA 1. We are thus in a state of revolution limbo. In both cases, the people’s revolution were hijacked by the elite, and used to continue their hold on power. Only the figurehead was removed, the rest of the snakes feeding on that unjust system, continue to plague us like locusts.

    And I still am of the belief, like Rizal and Mabini, that unless reforms are instituted that which would satisfy the masses, future revolutions are not far off.

    thus Bastille becomes more and more likely.

  23. looks like trillanes is following the path of hugo chavez. will he be the one? i thought before it would be lacson but after angara and co sabotage his chances, i thought lacson lost whatever remaining chance he’s got at the presidency (just like miriam). if trillanes hurdles the case against him, i think he has a big chance of making it. that is, if he’ll remain true to his convictions. but it’s a long way to go.

  24. djb,

    next time, i may have to consult with you on matters of law.

    but you are definitely wrong to say that after conviction by a trial court, an accused still enjoys presumption of innocence. he does not. on appeal, either to the ca or the sc, he has the burden of proving that the lower court erred in convicting him, else he continues languishing in jail. at that point “presumption of innocence” is irrelevant. should he succeed in convincing the appellate court that his conviction was erroneous, the case would be remanded to the lower court for new trial. this is where the presumption (of innocence) is restored until he gets convicted again.

  25. cvj,

    the conflict is more apparent than real.

    as i said, Trillanes remains a Senator of the republic. however, such position does not exempt him from the rules of procedure for the disposition of criminal cases.

    Some people think that by election to the Senate, Trillanes is suddenly clothed with privileges not available to mere mortals. As the SC said in the Jalosjos case, privileges must be given by law and not inferred from the duties of the position.

    the existence of a law or other justifiable reason that would allow him to attend the sessions, therefore, is a justiciable question, not a political one.

    let me just make myself clear, cvj. i am not totally against Trillanes attending the Senate sessions, having an office in his place of detention and accepting media visits. But let it be according to the dictates of law and rules of procedure. Huwag bara-bara, bay.

    As it stands, I think the chance of his request to attend the Senate sessions is almost nil. What he can do is file a motion for bail and argue respectfully that the Montano vs Ocampo case is in all fours with his situation and not the Jalosjos case. I personally doubt its chances but it is worth a try.

    If that fails, I think he can still get the second and third request, that of office space and media access. But only if he requests the court that he be transferred from the marine brig to another place of detention, probably the Makati City Jail. Esperon has earlier asked the court to determine the propriety of Trillanes’ stay in the marine brig and basing on that, the prosecution would not oppose such transfer. Ironically, it would be the Jalosjos case he would be citing as precedent for that.

  26. i said it once and i say it again. trillianes was voted for as one of 12 senators, not to be absolved from the criminal charges lodged against him. even if the misguided electors who voted for him wanted to do the latter, they did not have the power to do it under existing law. he is still subject to the same law and rules dealing with persons accused of non-bailable offenses.

  27. On a lighter note CVJ…..

    even if Ms. Monsod means the Filipino people by that 85 million numerical representation.
    You are correct there are less than that number of voters .note even half that number.

    and if 85 million trumps 11 million
    then we have a 96 million population.

    a ewan!

  28. The importance attached to conviction is due to the underlying principle that bail should be granted only where it is uncertain whether the accused is guilty or innocent, and therefore, where that uncertainty is removed by conviction it would, generally speaking, be absurd to admit to bail. After a person has been tried and convicted the presumption of innocence which may be relied upon in prior applications is rebutted, and the burden is upon the accused to show error in the conviction. From another point of view it may be properly argued that the probability of ultimate punishment is so enhanced by the conviction that the accused is much more likely to attempt to escape if liberated on bail than before conviction. x x x

    – The Revised Rules of Court in the Philippines – Criminal Procedure (Rules 110-127), 1963 Edition, p. 322.

  29. Presumption of innocence ceases upon a finding of guilt. Now, the burden is on the accused to show error in conviction during appeal…as Bencard has opined.

    Smith, Estrada, and Leviste are still presumed innocent.

    On Jalosjos then, the presumption no longer prevails.

  30. sorry, smith and jalosjos are no longer presumed innocent as they were already convicted of their crimes.

  31. Bencard,

    Yes it is true that election does not win an accused criminal his full freedom. But let us finish the bit about presumption of innocence. I stand corrected by the way, Jaxius on the facts of the jalosjos case, which however, do not change my main claim that Trillanes IS different from Jalosjos on the matter of presumption of innocence, which I think we ought to clarify as a general concept.

    BTW, I am no law expert and approach these things as a pure logical exercise, or pastime in English Composition and Comprehension.

    According to Bencard, an accused starts out being presumed innocent by the Courts but is detained because probable cause was found that he MAY BE guilty. This is the stage of the RTC. We all agree that here, the “burden of proof” rests with the Prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the mind of the RTC Judge enough to get him to agree that yes, such guilt exists beyond a reasonable doubt in his personal and legal judgment.

    If found guilty by an RTC Judge, does the Court of Appeals
    presume the accused IS guilty. If so, then the “burden of proof” is now with the Defense to establish innocence.

    But I ask, what is the quantum of evidence required to establish such innocence. Beyond a reasonable doubt? Via a preponderance of the evidence? Or what?

    Have you ever heard or read of a “quantum of evidence to establish innocence?” under Philippine law? I have not. And frankly have no idea how that is done.

    That is because the “burden of proof” that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the case of a serious crime, NEVER shifts away from the Prosecution, even on appeal. It is more than the lower court’s procedure that the appellate judges weigh, it is also the facts and their treatment thereof, because in the end, the appellate court must find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, with even greater certitude because it requires more Judges at this level, and even more at the Supreme Court. Even if on appeal certain facts are no longer being “tried” the verdict of guilt can and must be given at every level, but one innocent verdict is enough to restore a person to the state before arrest.

    But I only know this because I read it in Fernando’s classic textbook on Constitutional law.

    In fact, have you ever heard of a verdict called “innocent”? declared in a Philippine Court. No! It is always guilty or not guilty.

    The Law says we would rather let a hundred guilty men go free than see one innocent man unjustly convicted. This means that we do not want to infringe unnecessarily on the rights and freedoms of accused persons, beyond their right to have physical freedom, while they are on trial, because they might be found NOT GUILTY.

    After Trillanes won election to the Senate, did he gain additional rights and privileges? Even if we admit these do not erase the charges against him, one might conversely ask, do the CHARGES erase these additional rights and privileges he has indubitably gained through election?

    Surely not.

    And so on appeal, using the right arguments, Pimentel himself knows higher courts would rule against him if he were to now trample on those rights and privileges of Trillanes as Senator.

    So it is all a balancing act. But I think the Law “as it presents itself to be” is on Trillanes’ side in the long run.

    This is clearly a case that will be decided by a proper “balancing of conflicting interests” — those of the State in the simple matter of Oakwood, whose mastermind has already been proclaimed Senator also and was in the Palace Ledac meeting yesterday!

    I think we shall see Senator Trillanes in the Halls of the people’s sovereignty sooner or later because 11 million trumps ZERO votes of guilty any day.

  32. “I think we shall see Senator Trillanes in the Halls of the people’s sovereignty sooner or later because 11 million trumps ZERO votes of guilty any day”

    Pinikot iko mo yung usapan! Di ba magkahiwaly nga yung na nga yung 11 million votes at yung kaso nya. Settled and unconstested na nga yung 11 millions and he was elected as senator. Walang ng komkontra dyan.

    Ang pinaguusapan na lang eh kung papayagan ba sya ng korte sa hinihiling nyang especial previliges. May precedent case nga ba na katulad nong sinulat ni Manolo sa column nyang Judicial Limbo or wala. Bencard and jaxius are presenting their arguments clearly well. I was trying to get your point but to no avail haggang ngayon. Sabi mo sa bandang huli papanig pa rin ng korte si Trillanes. But on what basis? Pakiramdam mo lang? Wild guess?

    Eto kasi ang mahirap sa mga nangyayari sa Pinas. Laging lumalabas sa batas, kaya meron tayong extra judicial killing, extra constitutional, parliament of the streets peopel power, emergency power etc, etc, kung anu ano pang palusot at argumento para lang makalusot sa batas…..

  33. Bencard,

    the presumption of innocence extends to the time the case is on appeal. Otherwise, how can you explain that in cases under the MTC, bail is a matter of right before and after conviction pending appeal?

    The accused bears no such burden, Bencard. Well, at least, in this jurisdiction.

    On appeal to the RTC of a case adjudged in the MTC, the RTC shall decide on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings in the lower court, to include briefs/memoranda the RTC may require the parties to submit. Simply put, the RTC is not bound by the findings of the MTC.

    On appeal to the CA of a case decided by the RTC, the CA is empowered to receive evidence, conduct hearings and any/all acts to resove factual issues, including the power to grant or conduct new trials. This is so because the CA is both a trier of facts and a trier of law.

    The case is different at the level of the SC because it is not a trier of facts, it is bound by the findings of the lower court subject to exceptions. However, if in the deliberations of the SC, the majority cannot be had whether to confirm his conviction or acquit him, he shall be acquitted. Ain’t that part of the presumption of innocence?

  34. baycas,

    look again at the date. 1963! The rules of criminal procedure has changed dramatically since then.

    i copied what you wrote and searched google and it seems you lifted it from the case of Yap vs CA decided in 2001. However, if you read the whole decision, you would have noticed that the SC confirmed the CA’s decision to grant bail despite conviction.

  35. Jaxius,
    do you think a plea for bail now based on the gringo matter would prosper for trillanes? Or even on the improbability of flight in the case of Senators as found in Montano?

  36. “Let us all hope for a productive blue ribbon committee under Cayetano.About conviction,that is not the senate’s job,it is the court’s job(Sandigan), as to how many were passed to the courts, I am sure it is not a big fat zero.”


    Oo naman alam ko na ang conviction talagang nasa Sandigan bayan. Pero ang blue ribbon comite na hawak ni Alan peter ngayon ay may katungkulang mag imbestiga para makahanap ng ebidensya at para makagalaw ang tanod bayan at makapagsampa ng kaukulang kaso sa Sandigagan bayan. kung walang matibay ebidensya walang kaso . Kung walang kaso walang makoconvict. At etong mga paratang ng corruption ay habang buhay nalang pag -uusapan at pag dedebatehan.

    Ngayon yung palagay mong wala namang naggawa ang tanodbayan sa mga kasong nirekomenda sa kanila na dapat isampa. Panangutan na nila yun. Pero si Alan Peter ay nakuha ng maraming boto sa kanyang pag usig sa media kay Mike Aroyo. Remember yung parada ng kahon na sa sabi nya ay nag lalaman ng sangkatutak na ebidensya laban sa mga Aroyo. At nangako sya ilalabas lang nya yun sa proper venue kuno. Pwes, he has all the power now para ibuyang yung mga ebidensyang yun. Kung talagang meron! At kung kulang man , he has all the he has all the power now to gather all the evidence that he wants to gather para masampahan ng kaso ang mga Aroyo…

  37. djb, i wish you refrain from making legal presumptions out of logic, pure or not. the problem is you apparently confuses the terms “burden of proof”, “quantum of evidence” and “presumption of innocence”. you also fails to grasp the mechanics of trial and appeal, through you readings of Fernando’s Constitutional Law.

    the presumption of innocence is only present at the TRIAL level before conviction. there is NO trial in the appellate level, whether at ca or sc. there is only REVIEW of the RTC’s judgment of conviction. the appellant (accused) has the burden of proof, not of his innocence, but of his assertion that the RTC’s judgment was in error, and the “quantum” of evidence he must meet is preponderance of evidence. if he wins, the case is remanded to the RTC for appropriate decision consistent with the appellate court’s findings of error. if, at this juncture a reasonable doubt is found by the RTC, the accused must be acquitted.

  38. djb, i wish you would refrain from making legal presumptions out of logic, pure or not. the problem is you apparently confuses the terms “burden of proof”, “quantum of evidence” and “presumption of innocence”. you also fails to grasp the mechanics of trial and appeal, through you readings of fernando’s constitutional law.

    the presumption of innocence is only present at the TRIAL level before conviction. there is NO trial in the appellate level, whether at ca or sc. there is only REVIEW of the RTC’s judgment of conviction. the appellant (accused) has the burden of proof, not of his innocence, but of his assertion that the RTC’s judgment was in error, and the “quantum” of evidence he must meet is preponderance of evidence. if he wins, the case is remanded to the RTC for appropriate decision consistent with the appellate court’s findings of error. if, at this juncture a reasonable doubt is found by the RTC, the accused must be acquitted.

  39. Yes, I got it from Yap vs CA (G.R. No. 141529, June 6, 2001) and from Obosa vs CA (G.R. No. 114350, January 16, 1997).

    As I get it, conviction stays while sentence is stayed on account of bail.

    (my lawyer friends are still unavailable…probably on account of Chedeng.)

  40. As I get it, conviction stays while sentence is stayed on account of bail…while on appeal.

  41. If memory serves me right, Rego… napag usapan na natin ito,nagkataon lang na tama ang hula natin a few months back.

    Abangan na lang natin…

    tama hula mo ke Zubiri,tama hula ko ke Cayetano

  42. Short of saying…a convicted (while on appeal) is presumed guilty after trial unless he shows the lower court erred in the conviction?

  43. ooops, sorry for the double posting. jaxius, i didn’t see your last posting before mine. i defer to your explanation and i stand corrected. in my response to djb, i had in mind appeal by certiorari or writ of error, not automatic appeal (as of right), where the accused must substantiate his allegations of abuse of discretion and/or error on the part of the RTC.

    i think when the sc acquits an accuse, it is not because of “presumption of innocence” rather it is by reason of the prosecution’s failure to establish guilt “beyond reasonable doubt”.

  44. anong mga hula yun di ko a malala ? refresh me please.

    anyways, I feel that the senate is getting more interesting now with Allan Peter in blue ribbon. (Kaya lang bakit parang ako lang ang excited sa pagiging chairman nya. Nakabingi ang katahimikan ng mga die fans nya at bomoto sa kanya ah.

    Sabagay abangan na lang natin.

  45. Bencard,

    It seems eminently illogical to claim that by “a preponderance of the evidence” the accused can prove his innocence on appeal after his guilt was just presumably proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Who’s confused?

    You even admit that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution even on review by the SC when you say, “I think when the SC acquits an accuse[d], it is not because of a “presumption of innocence” rather it is by reason of the prosecution’s failure to establish guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    Correct! The SC must acquit if the Prosecution FAILS to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and so finally overthrow the still standing presumption of innocence. But the burden of proof still rests with the Prosecution, as you say.

    Perhaps this is just a matter of my whimsical interpretation, but it seems what we have here is a kind of of “vertical jury” with voting at three states, a Jury of Three Courts that must find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously (though by a process of simple majorities at each stage).

    No wonder no one ever really gets punished.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.