NO one in government is immune from suit. What is immune relates to acts. PNoy cannot say “You cannot sue me, I am President. So what if I rape or kill?” Neither is in a president’s job description. Immunity is very limited in an egalitarian society without royalty. Thus a lawmaker may defame me in Congress and I may not sue him. Otherwise, one has to take responsibility
Vice President Aaron Burr was charged criminally for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Indicted while in office, the filed case did not prosper but not on the basis of immunity.
Nixon and Clinton learned they could be charged while sitting as presidents, who are busy. What is a Vice President busy about here? In the US he presides over the Senate and can vote in case of ties.
Jojobama may be indicted then, along with any impeachable constitutional official. No one can claim what Veep Burr and Prezs Kennedy, Nixon and Clinton could not. Walang dugong bughaw.
Jojobama tantalized Digong Duterte with being Veep but he is not biting. Digong is no fave of the human rights community. He is a fellow Bedan. Jojobama, of UP (not Useless People) Law, also reviewed in San Beda in 1967. Now, Digong can confess to a hundred murders but the state still has to prove the corpus delicti. He and I can confess to having committed all the unsolved crimes in the books to help clean same but our fellow Bedan Lei de Lima must still prove our guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An admission is no more a proof of guilt than a denial is of innocence. I am 75 and may confess to something my five children or my nonexistent kulasisis did. (Apos too young, eldest, six and a half.)
Ka Pepe Diokno narrated his experience in two cases where the accused who had confessed were in fact, it turned out, covering up for loved ones. Maybe Digong is covering up for his kulasisis.(?) I marched with his tough Mom on the streets of Davao in protest over Ninoy’s salvaging.
Today, I understand is the last day for human rights victims to file for compensation. I don’t know if the Aquinos, Tanadas, Dioknos, Rodrigos, Salongas, Arroyos, Pimentels, Guingonas, et al. have so lodged. I hope they have, to show the extent of the violations, and as a deposition for history. Fil-Am lawyer Chuck Medel and I are helping Au Pijuan. I drafted a supporting affidavit (one of three) as follows:
“1. I am human rights lawyer, and have been so since I returned from the U.S. on December 30, 1970, following graduate studies and work/training in the U.S.. Attached is a copy of my resume.
“2. I organized the San Beda Free Legal Aid Clinic early in 1971, shortly after my arrival. Along about the time, I read about Aurora `Au’ M. Pijuan becoming Ms. International. I had known her only from afar. I was not to meet her loveliness until 1984 when she ran against Mayor Nemesio Yabut in an exercise marked by fraud. I tried to assist her and her lawyer, Atty. Reynaldo `Gerry’ Geronimo.
“3. Earlier, I joined the Free Legal Assistance Group in 1977 founded by the venerable Ka Pepe Diokno. I co-founded MABINI in 1980 without leaving FLAG, with which we kept very close relations helping each other in human rights cases before Edsa’86.
“4. I edited the MABINI Newsletter. One issue featured the disappearance of Tommy Manotoc, Au’s hubby. A copy of the issue dated January 31, 1982 is attached. I wrote: `If Tommy however is no longer with us, . . .’ Also, “Mrs. Marcos said she would resign all her government posts, `[i]f they would kill that boy,’ as if she had known who “they” were.
“5. I have read the human rights compensation law (R.A. No. 10368). I most respectfully submit that the disappearance of an abducted husband comprises a gross human rights violation, the father of children with Au, who all suffered psychic torture. Most analogous to disappearance, even if temporary. The law speaks generically of `[o]ther violations and/or abuses similar or analogous to the above – an enforced or involuntary disappearance caused on a person who was . . . abducted . . . or otherwise deprived of one’s liberty.’ The Marcoses considered themselves royalty; there was no one to run to for redress. I hold the Marcoses liable; they who caused our unsayable pain could not have been expected to feel and share it.
“6. I believe that for her to be awarded compensation under the law would help prevent the emergence of a new dictatorship. Never again! It would only be right. What she may be awarded would be shared with other human rights victims, then and now, I am sure. The ordeal beyond compare came to pass because of the collective terror and duress that marked the Marcos dictatorship. To my knowledge, no one was prosecuted (as in the Film Palace tragedy). The NPA was blamed but Mrs. Marcos slipped and indicated that the captors were part of the dictatorial apparatus.
“7. Au should be compensated for an amalgam of reasons; to help vindicate the many victims and collect damages; to expose the violators and make their abuses of record; to deter future wrongs; to have a deposition for history, and most importantly, to start the healing process possible only when the gross human rights violators are shamed and punished.”
I cannot predict what the human rights compensation board would do with Au’s claim, instigated by Mely Nicolas, whose BelAir house Raul Roco and I went to early morning of September 24, 1972. The night before, when martial law was announced on radio-TV, he and I slept in his bayaw’s (Bob Malasarte’s) house near by. Au emailed me last May 21: “Had lunch with Mely Nicolas 2 weeks ago and she happened to mention this issue [of human rights claims]. She prodded me to file a claim based on kidnapping of my ex-husband but I don’t really know if I should and how I should go about it. She and others believe I have nothing to lose hence I am going to go for it. Can you advise me how to do this? Extended deadline is next Friday [today]. I should file it asap. Hope you find time to talk.” Au, Chuck and I burned the wires and my hope is that we beat the deadline today. We also helped prepare the supporting affidavits of Sylvia Mayuga and Cindy Cruz.
We cannot forget the past lest we be condemned to repeat it. – Santayana. I hope we can get justice for the 169 reported in the foreign media to have been buried alive cuz of Imelda’s capricho. She had work done round-the-clock for the Film Palace Festival early in 1982, starring George Hamilton, Brooke Shields, et al.
In shafting the Binays, not to forget the Marcoses. If left standing are BongBong and Jojobama, the latter has my 2016 vote.