Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Arroyos and TROs

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies

The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a legal right of every accused in a criminal trial. The burden of proof lawfully obtained and legally admissible in a court of law is thus on the entity who prosecute the accused. These evidences must show guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt persists, the accused must be acquitted.

This is how the court of law thinks and acts, ideally.

Unfortunately, the court of public opinion seems to sway with the wind. 15 November 2011 is a disgraceful day for our nation. The court of law is dragged down as inferior to the court of public opinion - and this is with the instigation of the government. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, accused (by the Aquino government and a large part of the populace) of complexities on a number of unlawful/illegal acts, was barred by the Aquino government to board an airplane to travel abroad and seek further medical help. This is done after a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been released by the Supreme Court with immediate effectivity. A disgraceful public display of a tragic comedy ensues.

Who is at fault?

I heard a lot of voices blaming the Arroyos.  Yet, most of the reasons forwarded by these same voices relate to things outside of the immediate concerns of the drama at the NAIA.  Some question the haste of the Arroyos to purchase plane ticket even before the release of the TRO.  If the lady is truly in need of immediate medical attention, the haste is proper to the need.  They have the money.  The growing suspicion that the St. Luke medical team was not able to diagnose accurately all the medical ailments of the lady is reason enough for a family that has the money to seek the best medical help for their matriarch abroad.

Some asked how the Arroyos know what judgment is about to be served.  That could easily be explained by the real possibility of this family having a person in the offices of the Supreme Court to inform them of what judgment is forthcoming and use cellphones to  transmit such information.  The Arroyos do have the money to purchase expensive plane tickets.  GMA still is an elected public official and enjoys the privileges rightfully connected to that office.  Yet, to imply that the judges owe their positions to the Arroyos and are therefore indebted to give a favorable ruling is destroying one of the three pillars of this government.  Without resolving the burden of proof, a lot of people have assumed the position of a judge and pronounced these justices guilty as charged.

Who is at fault then?!

In this instance, I don't believe the Arroyos are to blame for the tragic comedy in NAIA.  The supreme interpreter of the law of the land has pronounced judgment in favor of allowing them to travel abroad and such order is to take effect immediately.  The Department of Justice has no jurisdiction to second guess the Supreme Court - unless it responds with the necessary legal procedures to reverse the order.  Unjustly, the DOJ challenged the very order of the Supreme Court in a manner unbecoming of an agency of the executive branch of the government.  I don't want to use the word 'idiot'.  I want to use a more descriptive one.  Suffice it to say I don't like one bit of what the Department of Justice is doing on this case.

One cannot fault this family from seeking reprieve from the almost-daily 'assault'.  Even their legal options are being abrogated by the Aquino government.  Yes, the lady could just be faking it, and is likely to just want to escape prosecution.  Yet, as already identified by the same Supreme Court, the executive branch has legal options to bring back the Arroyos to face charges filed against them - without creating another 'incident' that would bring us all to shame. Hindi ito ang 'tuwid na daan'!

The event was disgraceful for us as a nation.  In an avowedly Christian nation, we failed to exercise charity as a virtue.  1 Corinthians 13:13 reminds us that charity is greatest virtue to practice.  Luke 6:27 reminds us further to love our enemies and therefore be charitable to them.  It is our shame as a nation that the world has to see this type of persecution in a nation where the majority are supposedly practicing Christians.

Deus me ignoscat

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