“Justice chief Menardo Guevarra was jubilant over the SC ruling that favored him and his department and bureaus.
Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the issuance of Precautionary Hold Departure Orders (PHDO) against mere suspects is now allowed.
The difference between the PHDO and the non-court issued HDO its originator, now detained Sen. Leila de Lima is that it was she, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) chief who had issued her own version of HDO, which power she had usurped from the courts of law.
This time around, the SC has given the greenlight to the DoJ for the issuance of the PHDO on mere suspects although it will have to be a court that will have to issue the PHDO for DoJ or police/military to use against “suspects.”
However, while Department of Justice Chief Menardo Guevarra was jubilant over the SC ruling that favored him and his department and bureaus in stopping mere suspects who have no cases filed against them at the time the “suspect” is apprehended for “trying to escape,” he says, almost in the same breath, that his former yellow boss, then President Noynoy Aquino and other yellows who are covered by an existing Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO) in relation to charges of multiple homicide and physical injuries through negligence and malversation, graft and more, will not be subject to the PHDO as Guevarra said the DoJ is keeping the LBO.
In the LBO, it is the DoJ chief who can lift it and allow at his discretion to travel.
So why does he treat his yellow bosses differently from the mere “suspects?” Do they get special treatment while those who are merely suspects and have no charges filed against them stripped of all their rights?
Expect abuses that will mark the issuances of the PHDO, which personally, I find unfair and unjustified, despite the SC having allowed this type of HDO on mere suspects.
Under a democracy, even an accused is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Yet here comes the SC-approved PHDO that is slapped on mere suspects and on the say so of law enforcers with the suspects treated as the accused for a crime that law enforcers are not even sure that suspects are the probable felons.
A mere suspect who has not been charged of the crime—as the evidence the law enforcers probably has against that suspect consists only of a hunch or some claim by a neighbor or any person who has an ax to grind against that “suspect.” The suspect is then made to appear as a fugitive from law who moreover has to be barred from leaving the country.
What may even be worse is the possibility that, as the cops or DoJ find that they had made a mistake, they could easily make their story stick and would go as far as to manufacture evidence.
In the meantime, just what is to happen to the “suspect” who has been stopped at the airport from leaving?
Obviously, that “suspect,” despite having been stopped at the airport cannot be arrested, as there is no warrant of arrest since he has not been charged with any crime yet that suspect being treated like a criminal.
What then? He cannot be detained either, since no crime has been proved to have been committed by the suspect, nor for that matter, is there any solid evidence the law enforcers have on that specific suspect they have been stopped from leaving the country?
One thing sure. These law enforcers will certainly be slapped with a lot of lawsuits and made to pay for damages which could be a whole lot of money.
“In the LBO, it is the DoJ chief who can lift it.
The DoJ, CIDG, NBI and our police and military have just been given by the SC the license to abuse their powers, apart from giving them virtual carte blanche to extort money from persons whom they could easily claim to be suspects and stopped by Immigration Officers in cahoots with these extortionists to fleece businessmen as well as returning OFW or those ready to leave the country.
If the Customs can easily plant the “evidence” of bullets in a suitcase of an arriving or departing passenger and fleece them, what makes anyone think that no abuses can arise from the SC-approved PHDO on a mere suspect?
It will be recalled that de Lima ordered the Immigration Bureau to stop Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving for abroad, despite the fact that at the time, Arroyo was not charged with any criminal offense.
There was nothing by way of arresting Arroyo at the time, and there was no choice but to keep watching for Arroyo to try leaving aboard another airline.
She was later ordered arrested after de Lima quickly charged her with the non-bailable offense of the trumped-up electoral sabotage then charged with plunder.
But the DoJ chief hailed the SC ruling that now allows the issuance of the PHDO, with Justice chief Menardo Guevarra saying that this SC directive will empower the DoJ to “prevent the flight of persons found probably guilty, during the preliminary investigation stage.”
Huh? If the person is already found probably guilty of whatever crime, why resort to the PHDO since he can already be indicted, charged and arrested. And why then does Guevarra not slap PHDO on his former yellow bosses?
Yellow ribbons are the ties that still bind?