In the interest of justice | Inquirer Opinion

In the interest of justice

/ 04:15 AM December 20, 2022

To secure conviction, prosecutors are required to show “proof beyond reasonable doubt” which, according to jurisprudence refers to “that degree of proof which, after an examination of the entire records of the case, produces in an unprejudiced mind, moral certainty of the culpability of the accused.”

The recantation of the witnesses against detained former senator Leila de Lima definitely creates doubts in the mind of a reasonable person on her guilt as the testimonies of these witnesses were merely based on false allegations to support the findings of probable cause against her arising from a criminal charge involving prohibited drugs.

Unless the prosecution is satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction based on the prosecutor’s objective assessment under oath that the evidence on hand would pass the test of legal admissibility in proving the elements of the offense charged; or that it believes such evidence would be sufficient to secure the conviction of De Lima despite the defenses provided by the accused during the preliminary investigation or reasonably expected to be presented during the trial that does not leave “any possibility for reasonable doubt whatsoever,” it would be in the public interest and the wider criminal justice system for the prosecution to move for the dismissal of the crime charged against De Lima.


After all, prosecutors must always act in the interest of justice and not solely for the purpose of obtaining a conviction.


Antonio de Guzman,

[email protected]

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TAGS: justice

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