Below is the transcript of the answer of President Benigno Aquino to a reporter’s question regarding the DOJ’s review of the case of the Morong 43. This was issued today.
ON MORONG 43:
Reporter- Ano po laman ng review ni Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the case of the Morong 43 at anu-ano na po ang magiging action ng Executive dito?
Aquino – Well, we had a national security cluster meet yesterday. There are issues of ano ‘yung…medyo teknikal nang konti ‘no. Pero bottom line, when you ask for a warrant, there are certain specifics that you have to put in—what do you hope to find? When do you hope to find it? The review basically stated that there was a person that they were reserved a warrant against. That person was not in the resort that was raided. The firearms in particular would fall only in a general classification. ‘Yung explosives were not part of the warrant. So I emphasized to both the Chief of Staff, the Undersecretary representing the Secretary of DND and director-general Bacalzo that we, who are upholders of the law, must be different from those who are beyond the pale of the law, who are outlaws. So it is a generally accepted principle that…’yung concept ng lawyers is called the fruit of the poison tree. ‘Yung evidence that are wrongly gotten cannot be used, therefore, it cannot prosper. However, the matter is before the courts. Again, nasa jurisdiction nila. So ‘yung courses of action and we would want to rectify that situation but that will have to undergo sanction by the courts that have already taken cognizance of the case.
Reporter- Korte na lang ang makapagsasabi kung lalaya na sila anytime soon?
Aquino– Hindi naman pwedeng i-utos ng Executive na lumaya sila without the courts’ sanction.
My view of the above transcript is that the President seems to acknowledge that the search and arrests of the 43 were illegal and that any so-called evidence resulting from those is inadmissible. This seems to be the positive aspect of this interview. Aquino seems to agree with the DOJ’s de Lima on this one. However, it is not clear what actual action the President will do to correct this injustice, though he said they would want to RECTIFY THE SITUATION but it would have to go through the court processes. What the Executive can do is to order the DOJ to withdraw the cases against the 43 so that the courts can immediately order their release. This can be done ASAP. Mercy Castro, one of the Morong moms is set to give birth anytime soon. The Palace can right a grave injustice and free the 43 before Christmas!
Kung gusto palaging merong paraan.