"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Change of Leadership in Government to Stop Corruption?

By Atty. Marlowe Camello
Bar member: California and Philippines

The change of leadership in the Philippines, “Obama Style” in the U.S., will never work in the Philippines. The needed change is Justice Reform, a reform to empower every man and woman to have a deciding voice in justice in unison with their fellow common citizens so that, together, they will be able to dislodge from power without seeking approval from the government against those who, through monopoly of justice, abuse their authority. Dismantling this monopoly is the solution to reform the Philippine Government and not mere change of personage of public leaders.

Assuming that a new saintly president will be elected come May 2010 and even adopts a “military type” command responsibility of leadership, the question then is: How will such president stop government graft and criminal activities outside his bed room that are committed, for example, by powerful public officials who are not under his direct control orwithin his sight such as the “honorable” corrupt senators, congressmen, army and police ranking officers, judges, justices, prosecutors, ombudsmen, commissioners, governors, mayors, barangay captains, and many others including their corrupt spouses? Naturally, he cannot stop them from committing graft because it would be impossible humanly for him to oversee or watch all of them personally or physically in all places and at all times.

He will, therefore, need to employ proxies who are absolutely loyal to justice and not necessarily to him. And who can be those proxies that can have exclusive loyalty to justice? They are none other than common and private citizens who are present in all places at all times all over the country. This can easily be achieved by simply summoning them to come to their respective halls of justice of their localities regardless of lack of legal education, creed or color or gender (and those in between) and be seated together to be united under lawful supervision and instruction by a judge in proclaiming justice for all.

The recommended Justice Reform will enable the sovereign people, which means including the poor and the non-legally minded people in the private sector, to have a deciding voice (or vote) in the criminal justice system in order to exercise their sovereign power and authority to vote “guilty” or “not guilty” on the basis of the evidence shown to them at the proper time and place with the assistance of a judge and opposing counsels. This can be achieved by invoking the leading constitutional provision which is Article II, Section 1, of the Philippine Constitution.

Justice Reform shall require the adoption of the Jury System that shall consist of the Grand Jury (GJ) (one in each congressional district) and Trial Jury (TJ) (in every criminal court). It shall be patterned after the jury systems of the United States because the Philippines have copied mostly the provisions of the American bill of rights. The adoption of the Jury System in the Philippines is imperative because a copycat American bill of rights cannot function properly to protect the rights and freedom of the people without juries. With Grand Juries, the people need not ask permission from the government to indict any crime offender regardless of the rank and power of the crime suspect. Juries are the “wheels” of justice that make justice moves. Is it any wonder that Philippine justice could hardly move like a turtle most specially this time when justice is a monopoly of a pandak? The Jury System is also the vehicle that delivers the will and conscience of a government otherwise, without it, a government will have no conscience to protect the people. Although the Philippine Constitution does not specifically express the creation of jury systems, such a system is a mere procedural device, like a “bridge”, for use in the enforcement of the rights and liberty of the people. It can be created nonetheless through
the sovereign people’s power clause in the said Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution.

You may ask: “How can we Filipinos serve in juries since we know nothing about laws?”.

Well, juries are made not for lawyers but purposely for legal ignoramuses to determine mainly
the facts of a case to prevent twisting of facts. Simple people who serve in juries are given simple definition of laws so that they can easily follow simple jury instructions. Lawyers cannot follow simple jury instructions. Why? Because lawyers talk more about technicalities of “therefores”, “wherefores”, and “whereas” of laws until they forget the jury instructions and end up in mistrials because they cannot decide as a jury. In the Philippines, we had one and only jury trial in the form of the impeachment of Joseph Estrada. History will tell us that said trial was not decided by the very intelligent jurors, where during the trial one was dancing like a clown and the other was acting as if she was the chief judge in the entire case, and they ended up with no decision like confused turkeys. Instead, the people formed a “street jury” and decided the whole thing for them.

I have personally attended some jury trials in California courts and this is what I commonly hear
from the jury instruction to the jurors by presiding judges (who do not decide cases): “You must not apply or use any law you have learned outside of this courtroom and you must not mention any of such law during your discussion of this case. The only law you must use to decide this case is the law that I will instruct you to apply to prevent a mistrial.

Another common instruction that I hear is this: “Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby instruct you to
sit, listen and shut up” literally. As you see, it is so easy to serve for jury duty and with fun. It is even easier than the job of first year high school students when they report to class for the first time for their orientation. Even much easier than the job of a court witness who will need to read or review records or notes to prepare for questions that he may be asked in the course of his testimony. Doing homework to learn any law to prepare for jury service is totally irrelevant and a waste of time.

Yes, you may be sitting in a jury and shut up like a dumb but you are a very powerful person. Juries are composed of private citizens but do you know that as a private citizen you are a direct
representative of the sovereign people? Do you remember during election time a candidate for president have come to seek your vote and said: “I will be your servant and you will be my master?” This is exactly true. You are the master. In Art II, Sec 1, of the Constitution, it states: Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.” Take it. It’s your right. Exercise it without fear or favor to send guilty grafters to jail. You are powerful.

When you sit in the jury, you are the master, a true and real master, because the decision on the
case belongs to you and not for the presiding judge. Such judge is only there to keep court discipline, to issue instructions, and to rule on admissibility of evidence, but it is you as a true master who will finally decide the case. No one, not even a President, can force to ask you how you decided a case and why. When a master decides, his servants have no right to question their master’s decision. No public servant, even if he is a president can force you to explain your decision as a juror because you were acting as a master. If it happens that the accused is a corrupt President and you were chosen as one of the jurors in the trial, the power to say “Guilty” still belongs to you, because of your sovereign status in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution.

Another fringe benefit for the poor, specially poor and ordinary Muslims, of the adoption of the
Grand Jury Systems is the unification of the Muslims and Christians. Why? Because the so-called Muslim/Christian conflicts is essentially the conflict of the poor ordinary Muslims and the powerful Muslims, resulting to the non-productivity of the Moroland.

The poor ordinary Muslims (referred to as “Sakops”) have two powerful social opponents: Their
government officials and their Royal Blooded Community Leaders (RBCL) such as their Datus, Bais, and Sultans. Of course some Muslim leaders and RBCLs are honest , well mannered and kind but some of them are not as much.

As to how much Muslim government officials allot public funds for public services to serve their
poor and ordinary constituents, only Allah knows.

The “RBCLs” act as “protectors” for their “Sakops” and of course they are at least provided with
food just enough to sustain their daily existence. The larger problem of the sakops arise when different “RBCs” groups come in conflict against each other due to some rivalries in courtships, business or politics. The poor sakops are then further illegally conscripted to serve as fighters for their master RBCL against another RBCL group. As to how much the sakops are paid for their wages in serving their masters, also only Allah knows again. Graduation in the elementary school is the highest education the sakops can attain because once they reach the capability to work, they will then be required to work for their RBCLs like their parents. When conflict arises, legal, criminal or otherwise, for any reason between the sakop and his master, the sakop has nowhere to go but to endure whatever “justice” the master bestows upon the poor sakop. Sometimes he can just be shot at on the spot. The largest loser of all these are the Muslim communities themselves for lack of agricultural productivity because most of their workers, the poor ordinary Muslims, have no interest in cultivating their lands, if they have any. If they make a good harvest, they need to pay some form of tithing to their masters for the “protection” that their masters provide to the sakop.

If we know not what the poor ordinary Muslims are suffering from as SLAVERY what is it?

Due to the poverty that is obtaining in the Moroland as a result of the way of life of its people as
describe above, some RBCLs have form some alliances like the MILF or MNLF in putting their blame against Christians as land grabbers who allegedly dispossessed their ancestors of theirproperty some 30 or more years ago. Unfortunately, those current young fighters against the Christians (and the Philippine Government) are not looking back, or they are not aware of, the true history of how their ancestors were dispossessed of their lands. All they should do, and the Philippine Government must show, is to find out who really signed and notarized the “venerable” powers of attorney that authorized the mortgaging of the lands of poor ordinary Muslims that were auctioned off by the money lending banks whose loan accounts were never paid back. They should also find out who among their ancestors pocketed the loan proceeds from the bank.

You may be asking: How will these jury systems improve the relationship and unity between
Christians and Muslims?

Well, if we adopt the Grand Jury and Trial Jury systems, the poor ordinary Muslims will eventually be liberated and get protected of their rights and liberty. The Grand Jury with 23 members composed of Muslims and Christians alike will jointly be able to secretly investigate and indict who is fooling who whether he is Christian or Muslim and forced to face a trial jury likewise composed of Muslims and Christians also. If a poor ordinary Muslim suffers criminal slavery from his master, the Grand Jury will be able to vindicate the sufferings of the poor guy with the indictment against the the crime offending master. Once the crime offending master finds that he cannot escape from grand jury indictment and sent to jail by the trial jury, time will come soon, that everyone will just have to obey the rule of law like the way the rule of law is enforced in the United States.

If there is anyone who is manipulating the “venerable power of attorney” for his illegal enrichment and gets indicted by the grand jury and convicted by the trial jury, all these foolishness on both sides, Muslims or Christians alike, will be dealt with swiftly in justice until finally it will become very difficult for anyone to fool his fellow citizens whether Christians or Muslims. Once equal justice between rich and poor, between the weak and powerful, between the RBCL and the Sakop will finally prevail in the Moroland, and the poor and ordinary Muslim acquire main stream status with ordinary Christians like they do in the United States, I believe, there will be no more need to clamor for an independent Moroland where they will become slaves again in their future generation.

If we can only adopt the Jury Systems, the Grand Jury and Trial Jury, you can be sure,government corruption and the illegal jueteng games all around the country will suddenly end once all the offenders in those crimes are indicted by the people through grand juries and convicted by trial juries in their respective localities. Grand Juries will be able to secretly investigate the mysterious Kuratong Baleleng, Dacer, and Corbito murders and the Jonas Burgos disappearance as well as many other crimes such as the killing of many media members. Since jurors will be chosen from among private citizens, they will not be afraid to decide because their livelihood is not under the control of, and cannot be sabotaged by, any accused corrupt official or any RBCL. If the juror is jobless, the more mangangati ang kamay niya upang masabi niya “GUILTY, ipasuk sa jail iyang mga walang hiyang kurakut na mga ‘yan”... “Kaya natin ito!”. Sending grafters to jail, for good, is the only rule of law greedy grafters can truly respect, 100%. Believe me.

By the jury system, President no longer has to lift his fingers to run after grafters . The grand juries and trial juries will already take charge of that matter whether he likes it or not. There is no better guardian of the peoples right and liberty than the people themselves. Currently, the people are like “gentle lambs” under the guardianship of a pack of “wolves” through their monopoly of justice.

Which vehicle will you join for government change?. By the old inutile fashion way of removing
corrupt officials by election or by your decision in the jury system with your votes to investigate, indict, and convict to remove and send to jail such corrupt officials? The writer of this article has drafted and up-dated a proposed “People’s Jury Initiative to create your Grand Jury and Trial Jury systems. You may procure it from him free of charge. Simply write him by email here or here.

Public officials , datus, bais, and sultans, absolutely will not favor adoption of the jury systems because they do not want any molestation from the people to investigate how they misuse public funds such as fat pork barrels, intelligence and discretionary funds. Most lawyers will dislike the jury system because they will feel jealous of the people in getting a handle in deciding legal matters which they think is their exclusive domain. They will be scared to face grand jury investigation in fooling their clients. Do not expect therefore that the President or Congress, RBCLs and lawyers will help legislate the system. Their weapon to defeat this proposition is your failure to know your supreme rights and power in Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution. Only you, the ordinary citizens in the private sector, can be relied upon to enact the system by the people’s initiative in RA 6735. If you are a leader in the private sector would you remain a legal ignoramus forever? “All good men do for evil to triumph is do nothing”... English statesman Edmund Burke.

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