• Little Dexter and Brian, 1-yr old lives unspared


    BRIAN Jay Agustin is arguably another good reason why the government should exercise its mandate to protect its people, most especially children, to the absolute extent that the law would allow.

    Brian Jay was just one year old but that did not stop his aunt Maria Ruth Mariano, 23, from reportedly “gagging” and “stuffing” him inside a cabinet in Caloocan City because his prolonged crying “annoyed” her.

    When Mariano did remember what she had done, Brian Jay was already dead from suffocation.

    She then decided to throw the body of the boy into a canal but she was spotted by a neighbor, who told the baby’s parents about it.

    The aunt whom you would never leave your child with in a million years later admitted to police that she was “high” on shabu when she caused the death of her nephew.

    It has become predictable for homicide or murder suspects to blame shabu, or whatever their preferred outlawed drug of choice, for the unspeakable pain their criminal acts bring to families of their victims.

    But that was exactly what Mariano did and, before her, Carmelino Ibañes—accused rapist and murderer of five, including three children, one of whom was also one year old—when it dawned on them that they had just become certified killers.

    The Revised Penal Code, however, does not recognize as a defense an accused being under the influence of drugs when he committed the crime of which he is being accused.

    So why do suspects or the accused keep using the drug card to escape likely punishment when the courts would just laugh it off as a lame excuse?

    Maybe they are being prodded on by parties who stand to gain from their admission that shabu made them kill Brian Jay or Dexter Carlos Jr., the other one-year old who died at the hands of Ibañes in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, last month.

    (Ibañes on Thursday recanted his confession that he had massacred the Carlos family, saying he had been tortured by the police into confessing even as evidence and eyewitness testimony have linked him to the murders.)

    If you are toying with conspiracy theories, such parties could include the usual suspects, such as the police who want to end all criminal investigations as early as possible, not wanting to be buried in tons of reports and police briefings.

    They could also include anonymous vigilantes playing good neighbor Sam and who may have had enough of mindless violence. They particularly come to mind in the case of the two “persons of interest” in the Bulacan massacre who earlier this week were killed by still unknown assailants.

    But in seeking sanctuary under the shabu umbrella, these suspects or accused open themselves up to “justice” beyond the penal system that is “served” also by the relatives themselves of the families of the victims who get “even” via a third party because waiting for the law to take its course in this country would set them back further emotionally and financially for who knows how long.

    Or, maybe they are not read their Miranda rights but, instead, are slapped with the riot act, forcing them to fish out of their addled brains the drug defense.

    Miranda rights or the riot act would only matter on the presumption that the police know by heart such rights or act in the same way that doctors also take piously the Hippocratic oath.

    What should really matter is that there is a law guaranteeing survivors and families of victims of heinous crimes that those who cause them anguish and torment would never get away with murder.

    Meanwhile, those who think that mass murderers should be given a second chance or an opportunity to repent should hurry up in getting the legislation of the death penalty aborted.

    The law is on their side as it is, and particularly, on Ibañes’ or every Filipino’s side.


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