Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Senator Trillanes and "Sheik Omar" May Be Culpable Under Human Security Act

It is now a virtual certainty that last Friday's Makati mall blast was an "industrial accident" (most likely a diesel-methane gas explosion of the deflagration type) and NOT a terrorist attack by either the Rajah Sulayman Movement or a rogue AFP unit. No credible evidence supporting these two scenarios has been discovered by Philippine investigators working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Australian National Police, whereas evidence is building for an accidental gas explosion.

However, I believe that the Human Security Act criminalizes the attempt of someone posing as "Sheik Omar" to claim last Friday's deadly explosion was the work of terrorists. By parity of reasoning Senator Antonio Trillanes may also be culpable for accusing National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon of masterminding and carrying out what would amount to a terrorist act based on alleged evidence he has from a network of informants or allies within the police and military. These are intrigues and possibly false testimonies outlawed by the following provision of the Human Security Act (Republic Act 9372), the Philippines Anti-Terrorism Law:
SEC. 47. Penalty for Furnishing False Evidence, Forged Document, or Spurious Evidence. – The penalty of twelve (12) years and one day to twenty (20) years of imprisonment shall be imposed upon any person who knowingly furnishes false testimony, forged document or spurious evidence in any investigation or hearing under this Act.
Although Philippine National Police Chief Avelino Razon, talking to Pia Hontiveros on ABSCBN News Strictly Politics tonight, described as a "prank" the text message and phone calls from someone posing as "Sheik Omar" of the "Rajah Sulayman Movement" and claiming responsibility for last Friday's Makati mall blast, the above provision ought to be applied against anyone who attempted to portray the incident as a terrorist attack. The accusations of Senator Trillanes against top national security officials and the claim that he has evidence against them, could lead to his prosecution for violation of this same provision if that evidence turns out to be "spurious" as in being nonexistent or untrue. Morally, and for the purposes of upholding the spirit of this anti terrorism law, all these hoaxers and false accusers should be prosecuted, in my humble opinion.

There is only one fly in this ointment: The Human Security Act, which I now prefer to call the Terrorists Bill of Rights is currently SUSPENDED for three months because of the barangay elections.
Section 62. After the publication required above shall have been done, the Act shall take effect two (2) months after the elections are held in May 2007.

Thereafter, the provisions of this Act shall be automatically suspended one month before and two months after the holding of any election.
Sheik Omar and Senator Trillanes can therefore thank Comrades Jamby Madrigal and Nene Pimentel for putting these provisions in the law! Trillanes, has until December 30, Rizal Day, to prove his allegations or withdraw his so called evidence, if any, or be culpable under this law, which comes out of "suspended animation" around then.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Sir:

I agree that the Sheik is actually a bogus operator. He should be called a Shrek ( no offense to my favorite film )