YOU don’t get a cigar if you can guess who said this: “Peter Lim, kapag nakita kita maski saan papatayin kita (when I see you, wherever it is, I will kill you).”
Of course, that quote would come from none other than our honorable President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,a former prosecutor and an officer of the court. He said this for the umpteenth time, and lately in his trip to Negros Occidental. Duterte issued the warning as the Department of Interior and Local Government is prepared to reveal this week to name names of 83 narco-politicians.
When Duterte took his oath of office as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines, he pledged “I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation.”
Now why would he pledge to kill Lim and local chief executives? As the highest official of the republic, I would expect him to swear he will be working closely with law enforcement agencies to “bring the full force of the criminal law against everyone implicated, regardless of status and leave no stone unturned to ensure that justice is achieved.”
Instead he ignored our five pillars of our justice system that includes the community, Philippine National Police, prosecution, courts and the penology, where one and another must work with each other as a team to resolve issues and concerns.
It needs the community to file a criminal complaint; the law enforcers to act; the Prosecution to investigate and prosecute if there is a violation; the court that will be designated to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused; and the penology where the respondent will be quartered if convicted beyond reasonable doubt.
The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines divides the State into three equal and coordinated branches: the legislative, executive and the judiciary, each of which is supreme within their respective spheres.
Neither of them may encroach upon the function or domain of the other.
Yet under the Duterte formula, the executive has promised to encroach on the judicial territory of determining the guilt of an accused.
I totally agree with Representative Alfredo Benitez and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, who asked Duterte not to name and shame the so called narco-politicians, but to file appropriate charges against them.
“I don’t mind naming those politicians for as long as concerned authorities, like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, have concrete evidence against them,” Benitez said.