So, it's like this.
If you're a diplomat and you happen to rape and abuse a 19 year old Filipina, chances are you can definitely get away with it. That's according to the interpretation of the Department of Justice on the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Panamanian Erick Bairnals Shcks was accused of raping a Filipina last April 23rd in his rented condominium unit in Makati. According to police reports, aside from being raped, the Filipina was also physically abused. The Filipina sought the help of our police. Yet, Shcks and the Panamanian embassy resisted the suspect's arrest on grounds of diplomatic immunity.
Shcks is not really a full-pledged diplomatic officer. He is a technical officer of the Panama Maritime Authority. He was just granted a diplomatic passport because he was assigned by the Panamanian ambassador to the Philippines Roberto Carlos Moreno as a consultant.
Anyway, what irks me is the ruling of the Department of Justice that Shcks cannot be held liable for the crime of rape due to his diplomatic immunity. When Shcks was arrested, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) says that he does not enjoy immunity.
When the Department of Justice intervened, Shcks got his immunity. Wow.
Are we saying that our criminal code is powerless against an international law? Are we saying that a diplomat, for example, arrested on grounds of sexual abuse or drug trafficking is immune to arrest due to his status as a diplomat?
So, what we are saying is simply, if you're a diplomat, you can do whatever you want here--rape our Pinays, rob everything we have, or even kill as many Pinoys as you want, since, in the end, we cannot prosecute you anyway because of a 1961 Vienna convention?
Shcks just left the Philippines on board a Royal Dutch Airlines flight KL 808 bound for Amsterdam. He was accompanied by Panamanian ambassador Moreno.
Airport personnel said the two checked in quietly and did not avail of the customary diplomatic assistance given to dignitaries at the airport.
Shcks’ alleged victim on Thursday went to the Department of Justice to seek help.
De Lima should be held accountable for this travesty.