Corona trial proves Pinoys ready for Jury

Corona trial proves
Pinoys ready for jury


By BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
Editor-in-chief, Dyaryo Magdalo


            Online and other sites have put up polls asking readers, bloggers and listeners to render their judgments: whether Chief Justice Renato C. Corona is guilty or not.
Survey results as of 2:14 p.m. of May 27, 2012
           
Amazingly, all the voters for or against can explain why they render their judgments with keen sense on the evidence presented, including testimonies that they adjudge as believable or not.  

This only proves that the Filipinos are ready to sit in every jury trial that may be established to try big cases like the Ampatuan Massacre

            All these voters witnessed the entirety or the substantial part of the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice and most of them gave intelligent observations on the otherwise boring presentation of documents as evidence.

            Other online citizens resort to making forecasts as to who among the senators they think will vote for the conviction, who will not and who will abstain.  Others present written articles analyzing every issue as against the evidence presented.

            The bottom line here is that FILIPINOS ARE PROVING TO BE READY TO BE JURORS IN EVERY CRIMINAL TRIAL. 

They know how to appreciate pieces of evidence and testimonies whether these are believable or not without applying the Rules of Evidence principles.

            And that ability the Filipinos shows now will surely shine when the most impartial among them are chosen to sit in every jury trial or every grand jury in every province or cities.

            A brief analysis consolidated from hundreds of Facebook citizens, email groups’ members, bloggers and those who post comments can represent well the judgments made by the Filipinos, as written below.

            How, can we close our eyes and conscience to the truth that CJ Corona admitted having deposits of $2.4 million and P80.7 million in banks?

            How can we believe in the claims of the Chief Justice that the P80.7 million in his name in various banks and accounts are in fact co-mingled funds that some of those belong to some other persons, including his children, wife and the Basa Guidote Enterprises, Inc.?

            How can we believe that some of the $2.4 million deposits in his name in various banks and accounts are also co-mingled with the funds of other persons?

How can we believe in his testimonies only when he did not present documents to back these claims or to know how much of those belong to him personally and how much belong to others?

How can we believe in his testimonies to believe that there have indeed been other persons who would entrust their millions in the hands of the Chief Justice?

How can we believe in his testimonies when the only evidence he offered were his tears and a story about his grandson who was angry about what happened?

How can we believe in his opinion that he is not compelled to disclose in his SALN because of the foreign currency deposit secrecy law?

How can we believe in his explanations that the some condo units were not recorded in his SALN?

How can we believe the non-listing in the SALN was done in bad faith if the people saw that the same act has been for ten years?

Wow, indeed, we have matured more than enough!

Let’s us then go for a jury system of justice.

It is the only system of justice where the President, Vice-President, Senators and Representatives cannot make their influence control the results of every search for justice.

Jury trials are like the impeachment court minus the questioning done by the senators. 

In jury trials, the jurors just observe the evidence presented and the testimonies uttered before deliberating to vote for conviction or acquittal.

Grand jury system is almost the same, except that the purpose of its judgment in every case is to decide whether to file a criminal case in court.  In this, the jurors will listen to the prosecutors and policemen present evidence to convince the jurors to authorize the filing in court of the criminal cases being presented.  The jurors may ask clarificatory questions, legal or factual.

As expected, if it were a case of a former president being charged with electoral sabotage, grand jurors will examine the evidence presented to know whether the prosecutors have solid proofs to have a good chance of getting convictions, otherwise they will just reject the case for it would only waste the time and efforts of the prosecutors and the courts.

Now, any decision of a trial jury or a grand juror will not be suspected as politically-motivated because it is the people themselves who will act as jurors, by randomly choosing from them who should sit.

Those chosen by raffle, probably by computers scanning of registered voters, in the first round shall be subjected to further screening to determine the final 12 and two alternates to serve as trial jurors.   Depending on the gravity of the risks, these jurors shall be secretly guarded to avoid getting repercussions from litigants, their faces and names kept secret from the public.

Those chosen to serve as the final 23 and two alternates to serve for six months as jurors of the Grand Jury shall also be kept secret in order to preserve their independence against dangerous litigants like the Ampatuans.

Finally, since it is the people themselves acting as the judges, we can now say that we are truly giving back to the people that power to judge and the power to accuse in court, which powers origin from them along with the power to execute and make laws, it being declared in the Constitution that “sovereignty resides in the people and all powers emanate from them.”

And if Jury System is established, only then we can say that the Philippines will have a government that is truly by the people, for the people, and of the people.

Only then that the rebels will give peace a chance because they would know they would have equal chances in their searches for justice for the discriminations by the rich against the poor and the Christians against the Muslims or vice versa.

Give life to the true Peole’s Justice System.

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