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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