Monthly Archives: July 2006

Blog Lecture No. 63: Harboring

The dawg‘s at it again…

This time, he wants the good bishop convicted and sent to jail for alleged coddling of rebels.

But as you can see from this lecture, one can only be guilty as an accessory to a crime:

By harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the principals of the crime, provided the accessory acts with abuse of his public functions or whenever the author of the crime is guilty of treason, parricide, murder, or an attempt to take the life of the Chief Executive, or is known to be habitually guilty of some other crime. (Article 19 (3), Revised Penal Code)

So let’s review first.

What are accessories after the fact?

Accessories are those who, having knowledge of the commission of the crime, and without having participated therein, either as principals or accomplices, take part subsequent to its commission.

They do not participate in committing the crime but their acts come after its commission.

What are the types of harboring in our laws?

There are two types:

1. Harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of a criminal by a public official with abuse of his official functions

2. Harboring, concealing or assisting in the escape of a criminal guilty of treason, parricide, murder or an attempt on the life of the president by a private person.

What is the difference between the two?

The first and most obvious difference is the first one is committed by a public official and the second, by a private official.

In the first instance, there is no qualification as to the crime of fugitive. In the second, the crime is limited to treason, parricide, murder or attempt on the life of the president.

In the first instance, there is no need for a conviction. In the second, the criminals assisted must be guilty first of the specific crimes.

Where type of harboring is the dawg using against the good bishop?

It appears he is using the second type.

But can the good bishop be liable for this one?

No. First, the crime the soldiers are being charged with does not fall within those specifically listed in the law. Second, the soldiers have not been convicted yet.

How can the dawg weasel his way out of this one?

He can use the concept of conspiracy to pin the good bishop. If he proves that there is a conspiracy between them, and the bishop was in it from the very start, then the bishop is liable for rebellion like the soldiers.

Will he succeed?

Probably not. First, the good bishop’s admission is not admissible because it is not sworn to and was done without full advise of his Miranda rights.

If I were the lawyer of the good bishop, I will advise his to remain silent from now on. If the dawg tries to get a confession (the right way), the good bishop can always clam up and invoke his right to remain silent and his right not to incriminate himself.

If I were the lawyer for the good bishop, I will not hand the conviction to the dawg on a silver platter. The dawg has to sweat it out and gather evidence that independently proves the good bishop’s alleged guilt.

Second, assuming the confession is valid and binding upon the good bishop, there is no crime, as stated above. The brand of harboring practiced by the good bishop is not penalized under the provision I cited above.

Finally, conspiracy will be hard to prove. The dawg has to prove, by the the goob bishop’s actions that he was in it from the very start. The act of harboring does not, by itself, prove that.

So, what counter charges can the good bishop file?

Well, he could have them all excommunicated and condemn then all to eternal hell-fire.

Then who will win?

Who do you think?

At this point, class, I would like to apologize because I forgot all about this lecture on obstruction of justice.

Is harboring considered obstruction of justice?

Yes, Section 1 (c) of Presidential Decree No. 1829 imposes a penalty upon any person who knowingly or wilfully obstructs, impedes, frustrates or delays the apprehension of suspects and the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by harboring or concealing, or facilitating the escape of, any person he knows, or has reasonable ground to believe or suspect, has committed any offense under existing penal laws in order to prevent his arrest prosecution and conviction.

Here, there is no distinction between a public official and a private person, and what crime the fugitive

So what then could be the good bishop’s defense here?

Again, he can still say the confession is invalid because he was not apprised of his rights before he made it. (But to retract his admission now would be considered lying, which the good bishop may not want to do.)

Second, the good bishop can always say that he did not know at the time that the soldiers were fugitives. They could be just fearful for their lives back then. But here, once the good bishop knew they were fugitives, he should have alerted the authorities or drove them away. But that would be un-Christian.

Finally, if all else fails, the penalty for obstruction of justice is probationable. So the good bishop will not do any actual jail time, even if convicted.

Once again, class, I forgot all about this. Sorry.

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Wish this was here…

Our Constitution entrenches both civil and political rights and social and economic rights. All the rights in our Bill of Rights are inter-related and mutually supporting. There can be no doubt that human dignity, freedom and equality, the foundational values of our society, are denied those who have no food, clothing or shelter. Affording socioeconomic rights to all people therefore enables them to enjoy the other rights enshrined in [the Bill of Rights].

The realisation of these rights is also key to the advancement of race and gender equality and the evolution of a society in which men and women are equally able to achieve their full potential.

The right of access to adequate housing cannot be seen in isolation. There is a close relationship between it and the other socio-economic rights. Socio-economic rights must all be read together in the setting of the Constitution as a whole. The State is obliged to take positive action to meet the needs of those living in extreme conditions of poverty, homelessness or intolerable housing. Their interconnectedness needs to be taken into account in interpreting the socio-economic rights, and, in particular, in determining whether the State has met its obligations in terms of them.

Rights also need to be interpreted and understood in their social and historical context. The right to be free from unfair discrimination, for example, must be understood against our legacy of deep social inequality.

Sadly, this case is not a Philippine Case. This is the case of Government vs. Grootboom Case No. CCT 11/2000, decided by the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

For a country that is relatively young compared to us when it comes to democracy, they are more progressive when it comes to the recognition of socio-economic rights as equal to civil-political rights.

Here, we are still stuck with the feudal paradigm of property. The better is a balanced one– where all rights complement and inter-relate to one another. There should not be a hierarchy of rights but completeness of rights.

Wish this decision was rendered here.

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Who the hell do you think you are?

No one is above the law.

Just because you are an impeachable officer does not make you such. It does not make you immune from suit. There is nothing in the 1987 Constitution that says you are, unlike the President and members of the legislature. I checked.

And yet, you question the only authority that can investigate you. Congress cannot do that because the impeachment process does not result to jail time.

It only clearly and unmistakably shows that you have something to hide, as you hide behind this flimsy technicality. If you’re truly innocent, defend yourself on the merits.

And with the loss of public trust on the institution you head, you even have the temerity to act like there’s nothing wrong with the system you preside over.

You refuse, naively or deliberately, to admit there’s something wrong when the writing is all over the wall. That’s what really gets to me.

I think you better just resign out of sheer principle. If you had some left.

This is the final straw for me. I have lost trust in you. And I hope a lot of people feel the same way, too.

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Don’t Count on it…

I wouldn’t count on anything moving forward with the arrest of “Joke-Joke” Bolante in the United States.

Sure, he was arrested in the United States for an alleged visa violation.

But what kind of a legal bind is he anyway? I say not much.

The worst thing that he faces in the United States is deportation.

In the Philippines, what charges does he face? Virtually none.

The only standing violation he has right now is contempt of the Senate, for continually snubbing its committee hearings. He can easily take care of this by just appearing there. He can even argue that the warrant is moot and academic because that committee already concluded its hearings and even finished its report.

And even if he is forced to testify, he can invoke a lot of rights (like his right against self-incrimination) and just clam up. The Senate would just end up as fools there.

Which leaves us with his pending charges elsewhere. Obviously, the proper prosecutorial agencies are taking their sweet time charging him with anything. And the people have already been conditioned to “move on” while “time heals all wounds.”

So don’t count on him getting the justice he deserves. And don’t let his denial of assistance from his “former” friends fool you.

I wouldn’t and I’m not, just as I don’t count on getting anywhere with Gen. Carlos Garcia, whose fate we do not know anymore. Last time we heard, he won the perjury round.

Or like Garci, he’ll probably fade into the sunset and the public will eventually become disinterested.

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Ze Reesolts…

Agayn, “ze gerl” wuuz e no-zhow. Four ze feefteeeth zime olredee.

Anozer zree montz end I mek anozer zeport to ze cort…

Wee zhould huv waatchud Zuupermun tooodaeee.

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Ouch! This hurts!

I was browsing for Jerry Seinfeld quotes for a previous post when I stumbled upon this quote from Neil Gaiman:

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.

Ouch! Now that hurt! But it soooo hits the mark…

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