Raymond Fortun posted on Facebook on Wednesday, July 6, saying that President Rodrigo Duterte violated the top police officers’ Constitutional rights when he publicly named them as cops who were involved in illegal drug trade and ordered to have them relieved of their posts.
“Oo nga naman. You just violated their Constitutional rights, that’s all,” Fortun said in his post.
“Wala pa ngang trial or even a single case filed, but now they are guilty until proven innocent,” Fortun further explained.
Fortun also hit Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and his ability as a lawyer when he said, “Now we know where Pres. DU30 is getting poor legal advice from.”
He also issued a challenge to his San Beda Law students.
“P.S. I challenge all my former students in San Beda Law to say that I’m wrong,” Fortun added.
As of writing, his Facebook post has earned around 1,800 reactions and 512 shares.
When one commenter defended Duterte by citing how Duterte is a lawyer himself, Fortun also pointed one thing out.
“Mam, do all policemen know the rules of engagement and/or follow them? Do all accountants know our country’s tax laws? From ur answers to those questions, you can get your answer to your own,” Fortun wrote.
It’s worth noting that Duterte himself has cited the same fact, that he’s a lawyer and former prosecutor, his inaugural speech when he said, “As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not. My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising.”
Another commenter said that Duterte would not have announced the names publicly without probable cause and how helpless everyone felt with the rampant corruption and crimes in the country.
Fortun replied by saying, “I am 100% against drugs. I do not have a single speck of illegal substance in my body. I would like to believe that the President has basis. So… Where is the evidence? If your boss calls you a thief in front of the entire department at your work, would you not say, “you call me a thief but you haven’t even shown me proof!” I fully support the President on his campaign against drugs, but he should follow BASIC rules of fair play. It is easy to understand what I mean if you simply place yourself in the same situation as the 5 generals who are now convicted in the eyes of the public without even an investigation, much less a fair trial.”
Fortun also emphasized the essence of the Bill of Rights when he said this to one of his commenters.
“That is why due process is the highest fundamental right in our Bill of Rights – that one is informed of the nature of the charge against him and is given the chance to defend himself before an impartial tribunal. Right now, they have been convicted before the eyes of the public, and yet, we do not know the details of why they have been so convicted,” he wrote.
Debate is ongoing in Fortun’s comment section.
Fortun’s Facebook post came after Panelo’s when he said that Duterte, as a lawyer and former prosecutor, knows his legal limits and did not violate the law.
“There is no violation of any law. In fact, magpasalamat sila kasi kung tsinismis ka lang wala kang pagkakataon na ipaglaban ang sarili mo,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Panelo also denied that Duterte subjected them to “trial by publicity,” as what Senator Gringo Honasan earlier said.
“Hindi totoo ang trial by publicity. [It] will come only when may inakusahan ka at ang media concentrate on the accusation at ‘di mo pinagbigyan ang kabila to air their side,” Panelo said.
Duterte named five police officers, including two retirees, allegedly protecting drug syndicates in the Philippines during his speech on the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday, July 5. He named former Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo Jr., retired Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, Director Joel Pagdilao, and Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio.
For Fortun, Duterte’s action violated the cops’ Constitutional rights to due process for naming them in public without filing a case first. As he said in response to one of his commenters, Duterte violated the police officers’ right to due process.
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