Cold facts

Would the anti-Marcos protesters consider burning the Philippine flag and curse until they’re hoarse?

Just symbolic speech. But actually the US Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag is symbolic speech hence is OK under their Constitution’s First Amendment (Texas v. Johnson 1989 ). Read here why. Insane! we here might say. But the SC contended, viewpoint should not distract legal rulings.

Exactly. The Philippine SC did just that ie. stick to the issue and facts. Former President, check. Medal of Valor, check. Unconvicted, check.

The same applies to, and as what many commented, the Dayan-De Lima affair- whether or not she had an affair with Dayan is beside the issue (illegal drugs) cited against the Senator. The affair can be tackled at a separate trial, not filed by government but only by Dayan’s wife.

Similarly, it should be the Aquinos and direct victims of Martial Law and not third parties who have a case against the former President but since he’s dead, the surviving authorities of the regime. But for so-called victims, they must know that certain rights are constitutionally suspended under Martial Law, one of which is going on public protest or hatching treacherous acts against the government. In other words Marcos in as far as rounding up protesters and the like was covered under the constitution.

There are of course exceptions. Like, rape and torture. This is why I said direct victims, because who did it to them? The court needs data- names, etc. If the answer is “Marcos”, that’s one going down the drain. One must in criminal cases establish the connection to “Marcos” beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, without these standards, anybody could just accuse anybody.

Unfortunately the media perpetuates this practice. It’s rife these days of articles exposing what is other people’s past cases against the Marcoses and then using those to stick into readers the evil that are the Marcoses. The fact that they are third parties – reporters and not the victims – escapes them. They add to or stretch the story thereby convoluting first person experience and third party interpretation. Journalists, like humanitarian (eg. Red Cross) and medical workers, should be neutral to be effective and relevant. Just as a medical doctor is obligated to attend to all in need of medical care, the journalist is obligated to report all facets of the truth. The audience decides. 

So yes, all those MRs are really dependent on the quality of evidence presented by those they say were victims. Lack of evidence, no case.

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