IT WILL no longer be a surprise if Ozamiz City vice mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, his brother, Reynaldo Jr., and their other associates will be released from detention today or in the coming days after that bloody raid took place last Sunday, July 30. Why can’t they when not a single complaint or charges were filed so that they will be tried in court?
Under the Revised Penal Code 125, a person who is detained will be released if “the public officer or employee (police and other government law enforcing authorities) who shall detain any person for some legal ground and shall fail to deliver such person to the proper judicial authorities.”
“Twelve (12) hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by light penalties, or their equivalent; eighteen (18) hours, for crimes or offenses punishable by correctional penalties, or their equivalent and thirty-six (36) hours, for crimes, or offenses punishable by afflictive or capital penalties, or their equivalent.”
The lawyer of the Parojinogs, Ferdinand Topacio (who was also working with other lawyers for the suspects), would insist for the release of Nova and Reynaldo Jr., along with others, after they have been detained for 36 hours and no cases have been filed in courts.
Unless, otherwise, members from Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) would barge into their detention cells on wee hours and a “commotion” took place and there was another shootout identical to what happened to Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., suggesting the latter attempted to cause harm to the authorities, thus, his untimely death.
If indeed the Parojinogs were suspected to be lording Ozamiz City with illegal drugs trade, and that it was necessary for a bloodbath that killed mayor Reynaldo Sr., his wife, his brother and 12 others (more or less), then the next day authorities could have provided affidavits of complaint to be handed over to the prosecution office.
Should the living Parojinogs be released from detention, it is likely that the police will be in for a wild ride, and should they need to apprehend them again, it would be catching flies in an open sea; but this time the Parojinogs and their associates will be fully prepared.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) promised to investigate the Ozamiz raid conducted by the CIDG last Sunday to look into possibilities of mishandling the rules of engagements that resulted to multiple deaths.
Most people are not pleased again, but no matter the rants and displeasure, because why is it that this government agency is faulting the current administration with human rights violations, and appears to be coddling the human rights of the criminals than the human rights of the victims of rape, murders and other crimes were not looked into?
Section 18, Article XIII of the Philippine Constitution, the Commission's main duty is to protect the rights and welfare of citizens in the Philippines. But most people fail to comprehend that this mandate is to protect the rights of all the citizens from the potential abuses made by the State or government.
CHR, for umpteenth time, that their roles are watchdogs to human rights abuses done by the elements of the government. Violated human rights of the innocents, which were committed by non-state forces or private individuals or groups, the police and the prosecution will be the one handling such.
One of the functions of the CHR is to investigate and recommend filing charges; this means that individuals or groups are the ones to file it in court. And no, they have no power to detain or prosecute those people or groups who committed Human Rights violations.
Human Rights is a universal for every human being, sadly so, even to those most vile and hardened criminals can equally enjoy these rights.
Even the chief presidential legal counsel, Secretary Salvador Panelo, is not open to the abolish CHR which means he, too, acknowledge that Human Rights is still important; however he would wish that its current Commissioner, Chito Gascon, should resign on alleged biases towards the current administration. We know that too well that this is all political, Gascon, being affiliated with Liberal Party, an opposition to the PDP-Laban, which the President belongs.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 02, 2017.