Planting evidence as a weapon


    PLANTING evidence has become a weapon of sorts against criminal suspects. Drug users are patently proficient in lying through their teeth, amply overcome by a powerful and persuasive “spirit” and most arresting officers have succumbed to the dilemma of breaking due process in favor of highly-disputed case solutions. Many courts have learned to live with this but are still struggling with insufferable police testimonies and the “usual” evidence where the truth is ordinarily twisted.

    No one believes NCR chief Debold Sinas who defends the cop who pulled what clearly appeared to be a plastic sachet from his back pocket and who, Sinas insists, was instead handing over a pair of handcuffs to his colleagues as they were subduing Greenhills hostage-taker Archie Paray. Another cop, who was fair-looking and wearing glasses, gestured repeatedly with his outstretched right hand while motioning with his nose, suggesting that he needed something supposedly for sniffing. Sinas also insists that this cop was asking for handcuffs.

    The videos tell an awfully true picture faithful to the prevailing climate of fabrication and perjured police accomplishments on human rights being hugely trampled through blood and gore in the endlessly brutal drug war. No doubt Paray would have easily turned into a notorious drug pusher or trafficker if the scuffle had not been picked up on video and gone viral. It would have been another case of the usual doomed suspect being turned in and in which trumped-up charges had become more difficult to contravene where the word of the police against any credible but indefensible testimony has imposed itself over the criminal justice system.

    Any lawyer from the Pubic Attorney’s Office representing drug suspects is almost always stumped by a good number of defense witnesses, mostly police personnel, standing shoulder-to-shoulder against his client, a jobless and wretched informal settler. The culture of impunity has never been palpable in the PNP as today, and begets the culture of corruption that the current two-faced national leadership with its select wayward police officers and bureaucrats has continued to relish.

    The ABS-CBN franchise issue has turned the House of Representatives in near shambles, with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who remains at the beck and call of President Duterte, unable to reign in the fiery and rapidly-mounting opposition to the looming non-renewal of the operating franchise of the huge and pioneering broadcast network. The rest of the country is now witnessing how the House has defied its lawful mandate to subject ABS-CBN to the proper and legal proceedings, which does not seem possible today as its majority coalition is locked in the stranglehold of the Chief Executive. The other major mainstream broadcast groups such as GMA Network, Manila Broadcasting Co., Pacific Broadcasting System, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Phlippines and TV5 had been treated very fairly.

    Apparently, Cayetano has no teeth to skillfully navigate through the mainly personal agenda of the President clashing with both politics and principles at the House. It seems that presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte has stepped in to try to break the ugly impasse which has now transcended political affiliations. A close ally of Rep. Lord Velasco, she will most likely get a coup going and done even before the start of Velasco’s term sharing agreement with Cayetano.

    It was convenient for the President to openly say that he would not meddle in the growing speakership row because he was sure that no one, including himself, could stop his strong-willed daughter. She got her way in installing a former president as house speaker by masterminding the ouster of the politically-formidable Pantaleon Alvarez, also a close friend of her father. Is she out to bravely digress from the President’s attacks against ABS-CBN and settle with its more popular and politically-tenable franchise renewal?


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