Prosecutors find probable cause to indict Jayme for violation of Art. 142 of RPC

Maris Federez   •   May 6, 2019   •   4433

Rodel Jayme, the webmaster of the website which first shared the “Bikoy” videos

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to indict Rodel Jayme for violation of Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Sec. 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In a press statement, the DOJ said, “the inquest prosecutors found that Jayme’s creation of the website and his use of said website to circulate videos which allege the involvement of the President and his family in the drug trade was used for the purpose of weakening the confidence of the people in government and stir up dissent against it.”

The resolution released by the inquest prosecutors reads that they “likewise upheld the validity of the arrest of Jayme,” noting that the NBI had conducted surveillance on Jayme, “which satisfied personal knowledge on the part of its agents of the lawful acts committed by him.”

The inquest prosecutors further noted that since the circulation of the videos continues, the crime is still unfolding.

The DOJ is set to file an information against Jayme and other John and/or Jane Does with whom he worked and/or transacted with the appropriate court.

If convicted, Jayme will face imprisonment of six years and one day to twelve years, among other penalties.

Go files bill seeking to amend Revised Penal Code, resolve GCTA law issues

Robie de Guzman   •   September 4, 2019

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday filed a bill seeking to amend the Philippine Revised Penal Code to resolve issues in the controversial good conduct time allowance (GCTA) rule for inmates under the Republic Act 10592.

In filing the Senate Bill No. 1003, Go proposes to amend the Articles 29, 97, 98 and 99 of the Revised Penal Code, the same provisions which were amended and rendered unclear by the GCTA law.

Go said the proposed measure recognizes that the said articles gave the notion that prisoners, including recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and persons charged with heinous crimes, are entitled to GCTA benefits.

The senator filed the bill more than a week after news broke out that convicted murderer and rapist Antonio Sanchez could be released earlier for good behavior.

Go said his proposal follows the points raised by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra during a Senate inquiry on Monday (Sept. 2) on what seems to be lacking in the GCTA law and the safeguards that can be provided.

“I have filed Senate Bill No. 1003 to clearly state the intent and policy of the law not to extend the benefits of GCTA to prisoners who are convicted of heinous crimes,” he said.

Through SB 1003, Go added a provision that clearly states that convicts of heinous crimes “will not be eligible to be granted time allowances.”

He also added a list of heinous crimes to further avoid confusion and a provision that all prisoners for release on the basis of time allowances shall be subject for review.

The lawmaker also highlighted that Congress will be informed of the releases, “as the Bureau of Corrections will be required to furnish the Legislature with a report twice a year.”

“All of these will form part of our continuing fight against corruption and criminality, and illegal drugs,” Go said.

“The law may be ambiguous, but what is clear to me is that there is either negligence or corruption in the way our correctional system is being handled,” he added. “I say to the Filipino people – mananagot ang dapat managot.”

Senator Sonny Angara earlier filed a bill proposing to amend certain provisions of the GCTA law, including the clear definition of heinous crimes, the exclusion of recidivists, habitual delinquents, escapees, and persons convicted of heinous crimes from availing of the GCTA and the deletion of the provision making GCTA irrevocable under the law.  

Proposals to repeal the GCTA law were also filed in the Senate following the controversy.

DOJ directs PNP-CIDG to provide complete address of respondents in sedition complaint

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (PNP-CIDG) to provide them complete information of those who were made respondents in the sedition complaint before the agency.

This, following the PNP-CIDG’s filing of complaint for sedition before the DOJ against Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and former Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, in relation to the so-called Project Sodoma on Thursday (July 18).

The DOJ Panel of State Prosecutors who was tasked to conduct preliminary investigation on the complaint issued an order directing the PNP-CIDG to provide them with the complete addresses of the said respondents.

The Panel noted that the complaint filed before it does not state respondents’ complete addresses.

It added that the missing information has made it difficult for the Panel to cause service of the subpoena to respondents.

The complaints filed against the respondents were sedition, inciting to sedition, libel, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice.

The respondents refuted the complaints with one of them even regarding the charges as “hogwash” and “a piece of trash”.   (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

Zubiri eyes raising age of statutory rape to 15 from below 12 years old

Robie de Guzman   •   July 17, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday proposed to raise the age of statutory rape to 15 years old from the current below 12 years old.

Zubiri said the bill aims to provide additional care and protection to children.

“Sa ngayon, ang rape ng isang bata ay itinuturing na statutory rape kapag siya ay may kapansanan sa pag-iisip o ang edad niya ay mababa sa 12 taon,” he said in a statement.

“Ibig sabihin ng statutory rape ay ituturing na rape ang pagkakaroon ng “carnal knowledge” o pagniniig – basta ang edad ng bata ay mas mababa sa 12 taon – at hindi kailangan patunayan na gumamit ng pwersa o pananakot ang maysala,” he explained.

“Sa aking proposal, itataas natin ang edad sa 15 taon gulang,” he added.

The lawmaker believes that there a lot of sexual violence cases involving children aged 12 to 15 years old. However, none of the abusers were penalized when they claim the act as consensual.

“Naniniwala ako na maraming sexual violence ang nagaganap sa mga batang 12 taon hanggang 15 taong gulang. Ngunit hindi maparusahan ang maysala dahil sinasabi ng maysala na pumayag ang bata, kahit sa totoo ay sapilitan ang naganap,” he said.

Zubiri said he based his proposal on the 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC), which found that one in every five children below 18 years old experience sexual violence.

“By raising the age to 15 years, I hope that we could put a dent on the number of children victimized since ‘carnal knowledge’ of children aged 12 up to 15 years will now be considered statutory rape,” he said.

The senator stressed that this amendment to the Revised Penal Code “is long overdue considering that the RPC is 89 years old and should be put at par with the expanding measures to protect children, our most valuable asset.”

“Huwag na nating pahirapan ang mga batang biktima at ang kanilang mga magulang o guardians na makahanap ng hustisya,” he said.

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