DUE PROCESS DENIED HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
The Constitution is clear that due process is a sine qua non in one’s defense for life, liberty and property. At the same time, according to former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban: “…An impeachment proceeding is sui generis; has its own unique genre, and is equal to no other.” (“More political than legal”. PDI, January 8, 2011, p. A13) The process then that is due the defendant in the impeachment case is laid down by the Senate jurors.
The impeachment provides the people an extraordinary opportunity to be sensitized to the different kinds of due process, an integral component of obtaining justice. Due process must be ensured not only to a Renato Corona but to every Juan de la Cruz.
Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie in fear for his life but ready to face trumped-up criminal charges petitioned the Supreme Court for a transfer of venue ( A.M. No. 11-4-75- RTC). The Supreme Court, Third Division, issued a Reso dated 13 June 2011 which stated:
“… that continuing with the trial of the subject criminal cases in the RTC, Jolo, Sulu, can lead to a miscarriage of justice…”
The Court then resolved to:
GRANT the petition of transfer and TRANSFER the said cases to RTC of Davao City and
a. The Clerk of Court of the RT, Branch 3, Jolo, Sulu, to forward the entire records of Criminal Case Nos (07-09) 1648-3 and (07-09) 1649-3 to the office of the Executive Judge of the RTC, Davao City for the raffles of the cases among the courts in the station and
b. The judge to whom the cases may be assigned to hear and decide the cases with utmost dispatch.
PAHRA expresses grave concern that, despite the Supreme Court’s reiteration of its June 13, 2011 decision, Judge Betlee-Tan Baraquisas of the RTC, Branch 3, Jolo, Sulu, stubbornly taken responsibility to have Mr. Tulawie returned to Jolo…with the high risk of harm and even of losing his life. The assigned PNP and other law enforcers should have taken these facts into consideration and the Constitutional right to due process.
PAHRA is equally apprehensive of the action of Judge Baraquisas which to our perception erodes the integrity and credibility of the highest court of the land. Such actions do not bode well for the renewal and strengthening of the judiciary.
RESPECT AND PROTECT THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS OF EVERY CITIZEN.
ACT ON THE JUNE 13 RESOLUTION OF THE SUPREME COURT;
TRANSFER IMMEDIATELY TULAWIE’S FILES TO RTC, DAVAO