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By Juan L. Mercado
“You can seal truth in a grave. But it will always break free.” Easter hammered that truth over the last 2,000 years. Before Easter 2013, did the entombed truth about journalist Jonas Burgos’ abduction start to emerge in a Court of Appeals decision?
By Conrado de Quiros
Last year, at about this time, close to a thousand law students passed the bar and became lawyers. At the time they did, we were in the thick of the impeachment of Renato Corona. The goings-on in the Senate-turned-impeachment court, in particular the penchant of the lawyers there, current or ex, to obsess on procedure rather than substance, to impress with an ability to quote chapter and verse rather than with a capacity to quest for justice, impelled me to write a column giving a piece of unsolicited advice to the new lawyers.
We denounce the killing of Cristina Jose, the latest victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration. Jose was one of the leaders of Barug Katawhan (People Stand Up), an organization of Typhoon “Pablo” victims in Davao Oriental, that led a protest action at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Davao City. Jose was killed by three men who were aboard a motorcycle, four days before the world commemorated International Women’s Day last March 8.
This refers to the articles titled “Ati Leader in Boracay gunned down” (Inquirer, 2/24/13) and “Dexter Condez: A voice of courage for Ati folk” (Inquirer, 3/2/13).
By Amando Doronila
Since the killing of 13 people at a police-military checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon, on Jan. 6, not a single day has passed without the media reporting a rising tide of robberies and break-ins into shops and homes in Metro Manila. In the Atimonan carnage, the National Bureau of Investigation has determined that the victims died not as a result of a shootout between the police-military team and a criminal group, but, rather, an extralegal execution by state law enforcement authorities.
By John Nery
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ initiative to ban the presentation of suspects without their consent has largely gone unremarked. I happen to think, however, that it is a genuine advance in civil liberties, and may even help improve police performance.
By Conrado de Quiros
Capital punishment is back in the headlines as two countries try to battle crime with it.
THE DEATH penalty can’t reform a dead criminal, true, but it can shock an indifferent society. Nowadays, crime has gone not only unabated but also berserk and more heinous. Criminals don’t only steal but kill; they don’t only kill one but many; they don’t only steal, kill, but also burn—or rape and even chop their victims. To a felon, a rapist, a car thief, a plunderer or a terrorist, death is only hearsay, all bark and no bite, all sound and fury, signifying show biz. No wonder a criminal is never deterred.
By Conrado de Quiros
THE EXPLANATION itself is surreal. “I told them,” Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said, “to be careful because (suspected carjacking leader, Ryan Yu, alias) Baktin is armed and dangerous…. If he surrenders peacefully, that does not involve danger. But once he is arrested and he resists and gets killed, that involves danger to the lives of the arresting officers. That’s why the reward is doubled. I decided to add P1 million more because once he is dead, you cannot bring the body without putting yourself in jeopardy; you’re carrying P5-million worth of baggage in your hands.”
By Solita Collas-Monsod
I personally delivered the following letter to, and had it officially received by, the office of the Secretary of the UP Board of Regents on Oct. 4. Each member of the board was provided an original. I mention the date because public officials and employees are by law (Republic Act 6713) required to respond to communications sent by the public within 15 working days from receipt. I have received no reply—not even a note saying that a reply would be forthcoming—either individually or collectively.
ONE MAN in custody, two others still at large, trial yet to begin one year after the crime. That, in a nutshell, is the depressing reality of the case relating to the murder of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, who was gunned down outside his convent in Arakan town, North Cotabato, in October last [...]
In the Philippines’ developed areas, one can very well take the presence of justice for granted. There are halls of justice for hearing court cases, police stations ostensibly for keeping the peace, and cell towers providing a strong signal to keep everyone connected. But the farther one travels from the big cities, the less one sees of these symbolic and practical structures, and the less one feels the weight of the law.