Wednesday, 11 March 2015 13:29
(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy…” (Proverbs 12:22, the Holy Bible).
LIBEL IS ALREADY DECRIMINALIZED BY THE CONSTITUTION: Here is an argument I submitted to the Supreme Court to prove that there is a part of the 1987 Constitution which has decriminalized libel, making it a purely civil action, urgently warranting the dismissal of all libel cases nationwide: the Constitution, in its Section 2, Art. II, has actually decriminalized libel since 1987.
In gist, Section 2, Art. II is saying that all generally accepted principles of international law, such as international agreements that the Philippines entered into, shall form part of the law of the land. This means that, much like the Civil Code, or the Revised Penal Code where the crime of libel is defined, international agreements where the Philippines is a signatory constitute laws that must be complied with locally.
Now, one such international agreement which the Philippines signed is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which provides as follows: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice…”
INTERNATIONAL ACCORD ON DECRIMINALIZING LIBEL IS PART OF RP LAWS: This particular right to freedom of expression in fact carries a special mandate on a State Party, like the Philippines, which is a signatory to the Covenant, to ensure that it is respected, observed, and carried out.
Thus, a State Party, like the Philippines, is given the obligation to “respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status…” In fact, a State Party, like the Philippines, is also required by the Covenant “… to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant…”
MR. PRESIDENT, LOOK WHO IS LYING! Assuming that President Aquino was telling the truth—that Gen. Getulio Napenas, like resigned Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, lied on what was happening to the 44 officers and men of the SAF on January 25, 2015—why did he not simply call, directly and expeditiously, other officials from the police and the military to immediately confirm what was happening to the Marwan operation?
The problem is, many Filipinos now believe that Aquino is the one not telling the truth about the Mamasapano, Maguindanao operation, denying what the entire country already knows: that he, Aquino, was the one who ordered the execution or carrying out of the Marwan operation; that he, Aquino, was the one coordinating the raid on Mamasapano; and that it was he, Aquino, who should therefore be held liable for the death of the 44 fine SAF officers and men.
The general perception now is that, while Napenas and Purisima may have fooled him, even if he is the President and their commander-in-chief to the extent of lying about the help for the fallen SAF commandos, it was Aquino himself who fooled the country with his refusal to disclose the truth, and with his denials of course, about the failed operation to capture or neutralize Marwan, the Malaysian terrorist officially known as Zulkifli bin Hir.
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