Sen. Drilon, hindi umaasang maging senate president
admin • May 20, 2013 • 2828
FILE PHOTO: Senator Franklin Drilon (UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines – Hindi umano umaasa si Senador Franklin Drilon na mapupunta sa kanya ang senate presidency sa 16th Congress.
Ito ang kanyang naging reaksyon sa pahayag ng kapwa senador na si Miriam Santiago na posibleng ibigay sa kanya ang pinaka-mataas na posisyon sa senado bilang gantimpla sa tinamong tagumpay ng Liberal Party sa katatapos na halalan.
Sinabi ni Drilon na nagsilbing campaign manager ng partido na ang naturang posisyon ay pinagpapasyahan ng mga senador at hindi ng iisang grupo lamang. (UNTV News)
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cancel the passport of alleged “drug queen” Guia Gomez Castro.
Drilon said that under Philippine Passport Act, the foreign affairs secretary is authorized to cancel a passport “in the interest of national security” or when the holder of the passport is a fugitive from justice.
Castro, a former village chief in Manila, was earlier confirmed to have left the country last Sept. 21 on board a flight for Bangkok, Thailand.
“It appears that Mrs. Castro does not intend to return to the country and face the warrants of arrest issued against her since 2002 for violation of Republic Act 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act. Hence, she is a fugitive from justice,” Drilon said in a press statement.
The lawmaker said that well-settled jurisprudence defines fugitive from justice as a person, who, having committed a crime, flees from jurisdiction of the court where crime was committed, departs from his usual place of abode and conceals himself and is found within territory of another.
Based on jurisprudece, Drilon said that conviction is not a requirement to consider a person as a fugitive from justice, saying that filing of charges prior to flight is not always an antecedent requirement to label one a “fugitive from justice”.
“The jurisprudence clarifies that mere commission of a crime and subsequent flight thereto sufficiently meets the definition of a fugitive,” he said.
“Hence, the DFA, to avoid miscarriage of justice and by virtue of the Philippine Passport Act, can validly and lawfully cancel her passport so we can restrict Castro’s movement, and summon her back to the country to face charges against her,” he added.
Castro has been accused of having links to a network of so-called “ninja cops” or police officers who are engaged in the recycling or reselling of illegal drugs that were confiscated from legitimate police operations.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon expressed disappointment after Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino admitted that ‘recycling’ of illegal drugs is still rampant.
According to Drilon, the said admission is a “sign” that the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs is not working.
“Given that admission, I am not very optimistic about the success of the anti-drug campaign, in general,” he said.
Drilon also expressed dismay that the very people who enforce the law are the ones violating it.
“This is worrisome. This is a decades-old case of bantay-salakay, wherein the people who are given the task of enforcing the law insofar as drug trafficking is concerned are the ones who lead the anomalous practices,” Drilon said.
In order to prevent the “horrible” practices, according to Drilon, he will request the Office of the Court Administrator to strictly enforce the law on the burning of drugs confiscated.
The senator will also propose to reopen the PDEA unit in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, after its old unit was closed.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) has legal and valid basis to seek the re-arrest of 1,914 inmates serving a life sentence but were “wrongfully released” by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Drilon made the statement amid a Senate inquiry into the aborted release of convicted rapist-murderer, former mayor Antonio Sanchez and the alleged questionable application of the Republic Act 10592 or the law that increased the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) given to inmates.
“The law should be interpreted to give justice to the victims. An interpretation that unqualifiedly and unjustly favors the oppressor, rather than the victims, may cause people’s trust in our justice system to erode,” the senator said in a statement.
Drilon said the re-arrest of released convicts can be done as it was clear that the rules and procedures in applying the GCTA law was not followed.
“On that basis and in accordance with the case of People vs. Tan, they can be re-arrested. Let them question it in the Supreme Court,” he said.
“Ultimately, it is the Supreme Court that will decide on this,” he added.
Drilon was the Justice secretary when Sanchez was convicted in the rape and murder of Eileen Sarmenta, and the murder of her friend Allan Gomez in 1995.
Malacañang on Tuesday ordered the DOJ to study the possibility of re-arresting convicts who were ineligible of availing the GCTA law but were nevertheless released, such as those convicted of heinous crimes.
The Palace also pointed to the case that was earlier cited by Drilon, People vs. Tan, where the Supreme Court ordered the re-arrest of a person who was erroneously released by a jail warden based on a GCTA, as a good legal basis for the re-arrest.
The Court in that case stated that “the prisoner’s re-arrest would not place him twice in jeopardy because his re-incarceration is merely a continuation of the penalty that he had not completely served due to the erroneous act of the warden; it is not a new or subsequent conviction. Neither would his re-arrest deprive him of liberty and without due process of law, because he was not yet entitled to liberty at the time he was released.”
Drilon noted that the release of these prisoners was erroneous due to the wrong computation of good conduct as none of their bad conducts were reflected in their carpetas, and some of the release orders were signed by officials who are not authorized under the law to do so.
Under the 2015 Department Order No. 953 issued by then acting justice secretary and now Supreme Court Associate Justice Benjamin Caguioa, the release of prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment or reclusion perpetua or high-risk inmates, including Sanchez, shall only be implemented with the prior approval of the justice secretary.
He stressed that the said department order is in keeping with the provision of the Bureau of Corrections Act of 2013 which clearly mandates the DOJ to retain authority over the power to review, reverse, revise, or modify the decisions of the BuCor in the exercise of its regulatory or quasi-judicial functions.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said he did not approve the release of the prisoners nor did it go through his office.
The DOJ may also seek a warrant of arrest from the court, Drilon said.
“They can order the re-arrest of these prisoners, they can go to the courts that convicted these heinous crimes prisoners and seek a warrant of arrest,” Drilon said.
“But what is important is we use the law to give justice to the victims, not to side with the criminals. We can show it to the public by excluding those sentenced to heinous crimes from the benefits of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law and by re-arresting these prisoners who were wrongly released,” he said.
Drilon also expressed sadness over corrupt officials exploiting the grant of good conduct time allowance to inmates, which has been part of the country’s reformative justice system.
During the continuation of the Senate inquiry on Tuesday, it was revealed that the carpeta of Sanchez listed no violation despite being caught smuggling drugs in 2006 and 2010, not wearing the prison uniform, among other violations.
“Either there was corruption or there was negligence because it is obvious that there was a lot of violations,” Drilon said.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.