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Evidence on EJKs, riding-in-tandem, can be obtained in the US?

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LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing,  whether it is good or evil…” (Ecclesiastes 12:14, the Holy Bible).

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EVIDENCE ON EJKs, RIDING-IN-TANDEM KILLINGS, & OTHER HEINOUS CRIMES CAN BE OBTAINED IN THE US? Here is something for the relatives of people who have been victimized by riding-in-tandem assassinations, or extrajudicial killings, or those who suffer because of illegal logging, open-pit mining, or any other illegal activity anywhere in the Philippines: there appears to be a possible source of evidence that could show what really happened to the victims, or who were responsible for those killings, illegal logging, or open-pit mining.

In a lecture that my family (former Judge Angelina Mauricio, and our daughter, Atty. Maria Luisa Mauricio of the Office of the Solicitor General) and I attended on Thursday, August 02, 2018 (US time), we learned that there is an agency in the United States which can retrieve videos of events taking place in the world which were previously recorded by satellites in the atmosphere.

This agency is known as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which officiated in the giving of the lecture at the Jerome Greene Hall of the Columbia Law School in New York, NY 10027, entitled “Geospatial Evidence in International Human Rights Litigation, Technical and Legal Consideration”. Participating in the lecture were the Human Rights Institute of the Columbia Law School (HRICLS), and the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program (SRHRLP) of AAAS.

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“GEOSPATIAL EVIDENCE”: PROOF FROM SATELLITE VIDEOS: The lecture was a collaborative effort of Theresa L. Harris, Project Director of AAAS SRHRLP; Jonathan Drake, Senior Program Associate of AAAS SRHRLP; and Brad Samuels, founding partner of SITU Research. Moderator was JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Director of Human Rights in the US Project of the HRICLS.

The four basically focused on what they called as “geospatial evidence”, or the evidence provided by video footages captured by satellites in outer space. They said that now, video footages taken by satellites orbiting in the sky are now being used in the prosecution of human rights cases, such as the burning of a village in Darfur, the shelling of areas reserved for civilians in Sri Lanka, the damage caused by the oil spill in Nigeria, and in the destruction of mosques and ancient monuments in Syria and Iraq.

As explained by Harris, Drake, and Samuels, any interested party can now ask for copies of video footages captured by the satellites from the places where human rights violations were committed, through AAAS. While these footages were originally categorized as “classified” materials---meaning no private person or entity can even look at them---they can be obtained through AAAS, as soon as they are declassified. Surely, this gives hope in the identification of criminal offenders in the Philippines.

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PREAMBLE OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION: Today, the second day of our discussions which seek to enlighten our people on the matters contained in the proposed Federal Constitution, let us look at the way the Preamble was crafted by the Constitutional Commission. It is a little bit lengthy, if you ask me. Here it is:

“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, to build a permanent and indissoluble nation and establish a just, humane, united, and progressive society under a government that shall embody our shared ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution of the Federal Republic of the Philippines.”

Tomorrow, or in the next issues of Kakampi Mo ang Batas, God willing, our lawyers from BATAS (or the Buklod ng mga Abogadong Tagapagtaguyod ng Adhikaing Sambayanan, a free legal aid group started in 1994) shall endeavor to give their thoughts on this proposed explanation behind the enactment of a new Constitution to replace the 1977 Charter.

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FOR QUESTIONS, REACTIONS: If anyone would like to ask me any question about what the burning issues of the day mean, or what we have discussed here, or to consult on any problem, whatever it may be, please call 0917 984 24 68, or email me at batasmauricio@yahoo.com, or post your concerns at www.facebook.com/attybatas.  Promise, I will answer right away. Thank God in the name of Jesus, Amen! (By Atty. Batas Mauricio)  -30-




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