Sunday, June 27, 2010

Justice, according to Alberto AGRA (Now known as Agra's Alibi)

OUTGOING JUSTICE SECRETARY ALBERTO AGRA (thank God he's on his ignominious way out) blames Atty. Harry Roque for the death of Swaib Upham, the man whom many called "Jesse". Agra said Roque did not formally "turn-over" Upham to the DOJ, hence, he was not placed under the Government Witness Protection Program (WPP), that's why he was killed. Agra also said (and he said this before Ted Failon and Pinky Webb over at DZMM) that Upham is NOT a state witness because he, himself is an accused and they are "choosy" over whom to get as state witnesses against the Ampatuan massacre case. Agra said Upham might "disrupt" the government case and what kind of "disruption" is Agra referring to? Agra surmised that Upham might be a "planted one".

So, that, my friends, is the logic of Agra. Or, to many, Agra's alibi.

Agra is mimicking Pontius Pilate, washing his hands over the bloody murder of Jesse. He felt compelled to go on a national media tour to tell the whole world that he has nothing to do with the brutal assasination. Jesse is not under our custody, hence, we don't owe anybody an apology. Plain and simple logic.

Probably when Agra was taking his freshman law courses over at the Ateneo, he forgot to take his Legal ethics course. Or, he simply skipped that over knowing that the First Gentleman's classmate is the one lecturing the course.

Or, he probably failed to read the mandate of his department and the very words used to describe the department which he heads---JUSTICE.

For Agra, it is not the responsibility of the Justice department to investigate, let alone, asked for othe material witnesses in this controversial case against the Ampatuans. For Agra, it is unusual for his department to pursue other leads that may improve their chances of prosecution. The police investigation report is probably enough for Agra to prosecute his friends. Or, those spread of photos showing scenes too gruesome even for late night entertainment.

It is AGRA's opinion that the ones they have are enough to take the Ampatuans to the guillotine, even that of History. And another Jesse will just "spoil the broth", so to speak.

When I was at the Ateneo studying law, my ethics and even my criminal law professors always emphasize the duty of a lawyer to know the truth. And that the truth has many facets. Lawyers are like private investigators or puzzle solvers--they need to have even the slightest curiosity of what really happened. They should not be satisfied with just a cursory knowledge of a case--they should at least have the overall picture to determine a judicious rendering of a particular case.

Three months after Jesse went on air, exposing what he knew about the massacre and the Department of "Justice" did not even give him the courtesy of a call. Nor, did they ever tell the would-be state witness that government has adequate resources to protect him from the Ampatuan's swift arm of injustice.

Fact is---the Ampatuans and their sympathizers are even faster than government. It took them just three months before they finally catch up with Jesse and took his life. With his death comes the dissolution of an aspect of the truth. We may never know what really happened in that November 23 massacre.

And even if Jesse was one of those who killed those hapless victims, and probably disqualified him from being a state witness, his life is still material to the state, even for research purposes. Is the state not interested in pricking the mind of a hired killer? Even for that alone, the DOJ should have placed him under the government's custody.

The death of Jesse will be in Agra's memory for years to come. Whatever Agra thinks, this assassination is on his conscience. No amount of crocodile tears shed in public will erase his blood on Agra's hands. Agra will have to live knowing that he was party to a gruesome crime when he failed to protect Jesse. So much for an alibi.