Opinion: Military Practice of Adding Real Names to John Does
ATTACHING NAMES OF REAL PEOPLE LATER DOES NOT DO JUSTICE. Partylist Congressman Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, a lawyer and a brilliant one at that,has moved along with the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) to now eliminate the practice of attaching John Does or fictitious names of people in charge sheets and in the case of cause-oriented groups, attaching the names of oftentimes innocent suspect as a form of harassment.
This has happened in the province and although this has not been a big issue, this is one method of unscrupulous members of military units used to cause the arrest of innocent people especially from cause-oriented organizations in an intent to harass and intimidate them.
This has been done in the case of the burning of the transloading station in Toboso town, where the names of an endless, it seems, number of persons have been attached to allow the arrest of targetted persons. Fortunately, two men whose names were used and who are supposedly witnesses to the burning of the transloading station, denied the official affidavit they had purportedly signed, as their signatures had been forged. FRAME-UP. What the military did was to file charges against alleged suspects in the case and installed a big number of people naming many as John Does. So, whoever they tagged as John Does could be replaced by real names later. This is what happened in the case of the Toboso town alleged burning of transloading stations where John Does were attached to the charge sheet and later replaced with real names who were targetted. It so happened that the alleged two witnesses did not or were not the ones who signed the affidavits, with both alleged witnesses withdrawing their signatures later. This means there would be no cases against those who were accused later. Their signatures were forged.
DROPPED. The judge, one from San Carlos City, would possibly dismiss the case against those named in the charge sheet later. But for those who were named, this would be a lot of hassles because before the dismissal, for one’s temporary liberty, he or she would have to secure cash bonds and at no less than P200,000 later. This is also the same as in the case of the attack on the Victorias Milling Company (VICMICO) compound later where suspects were named. The possibility is that target names would also be cooked up. The accuser, the police, knows that the names of the accused are cooked or framed up.
Those whose names are usually included are leaders and members of cause-oriented groups, sectoral organizations and possibly that of party-list political parties. JUSTICE SYSTEM FLAWED. This only goes to show the flaws of the country’s justice system and which people the likes of partylist solon Neri Colmenares would want to eliminate.
Colmenares is not alone but is one with his colleagues in presenting the demand.
One other thing he would want eliminated is the practice of excluding one if he is a public official, from suspension and sanctions which could be imposed by the Ombudsman if he is re-elected on the grounds that people supposedly elected him and possibly absolve him, which does not really follow. If one stole billions of pesos and he won a reelection bid, he would be absolved from the case. That is one thing that Colmenares and company would also want to eliminate.
For one to win in reelections may not mean he is or was truly elected or reelected into his post. He may have bought votes or used cheating and terror to once more be elected into office.
Tell you me. But, indeed!*