Friday, February 17, 2017

Persecution, not prosecution

Existing jurisprudence provides that although the DOJ and the Office of the Ombudsman have "concurrent jurisdiction" to conduct fact-finding/preliminary investigations of crimes committed by public officials and employees "in relation to their offices", in the case of the DOJ, however, its resolutions on the preliminary investigations that it has conducted must be forthwith transmitted by it to the Office of the Ombudsman for final disposition/action because, under the Constitution and the Ombudsman Act of 1989, only the Office of the Ombudsman may formally "indict" a public official either in the Sandiganbayan or in regular trial courts after a determination of the existence of "probable cause".

The malicious insistence of the the DOJ to issue with undue haste its resolution against De Lima, with threat of "immediate non-bailable arrest", is suspicious and illegal because what the DOJ should do, after completing its preliminary investigations, is to routinely transmit the same to the Office of the Ombudsman for final action and not to immediately file, with suspicious speed and ultra vires (beyond its authority), the criminal Informations in the trial courts/Sandiganbayan for "trial on the merits".

Such an illegal act partakes of the nature of "persecution", not prosecution. If unjustly pursued by the DOJ, the same should be immediately restrained/enjoined by the Supreme Court, upon petition of De Lima, in the interest of justice and fair play.

But the Court of Appeals still has to tackle the meat of the senator's petition – which is to prohibit the Department of Justice from investigating her