Monday, September 26, 2016

‘Rule of Law’ defined - Manuel Caballero, The Filipino Reporter, NJ, USA.

"x x x.

‘Rule of Law’ expounded

Atty. Manuel Laserna, Jr. (all lawyers this week...Secretary Yasay is also a lawyer), 3rd placer in the 1985 Bar examinations in the Philippines and former law professor, sent us his “thesis” on the much mentioned phrase “Rule of Law.”

We have been reading this phrase in relation to Extra Judicial Killings (EJK) in the native country.

I am using the essay in its entirety for information showing that EJKs happen in the Philippines contrary to the claim of some.

“Death under investigation” is a deceitful cover-up euphemism and play of words for “extrajudicial killing,” no matter how much the Philippine National Police and the Duterte Congress hide the truth.

“Vigilante killing” is pure and simple “extrajudicial killing” (murder qualified by treachery, premeditation, etc.).

“Killings during police operations” based on police clichés of “lumaban” and “agaw baril” (“bumunot eh”) is “extrajudicial killing” (murder or homicide, depending on the facts of the case).

Extrajudicial killing is the infliction of death on “suspects” by the State forces without judicial

* warrant of arrest,

* search warrant,

* trial,

* appeals, and

* conviction by final judgment.

It is not lawful to kill outright a “suspect” even if he has allegedly shown “some resistance.”

The PNP manuals command policemen to first “negotiate with” and “disable” the suspect.

This is the international law enforcement norm.

To kill is the last resort.

The first steps that should be taken by policemen are to “negotiate, disable, arrest, and prosecute” the accused in court.

Not to kill outright.

(The CHR [Commission on Human Rights] has been reminding the PNP about this basic rule for many years now.)

Policemen who wrongfully ignore in bad faith the foregoing rules of engagement are not entitled to the “rebuttable presumption of regularity in the performance of public duty” under the Rules of Evidence.

Only a “valid/complete self-defense” allows a policeman to kill suspects.

The Revised Penal Code defines its elements, the most important of which are

* the “unlawful aggression” of the suspect,

* the “lack of provocation” by the policemen,

* the “proportionality of the defensive response” applied by policemen, and

* the “necessity of the counter force or means” used by policemen.

Criminal informations/complaints for the felonies of murder or homicide, as the case may be, should be filed in court against policemen guilty of violating the foregoing legal principles.

That is the “rule of law.”

x x x."

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