DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SEC. ALBERTO C. AGRA’S clearing of two Ampatuans in the multiple murder cases is not only a blunder of an alter-ego, but a total reflection of incompetence not only of the DOJ but of Malacanan, as well.
In our country’s political hierarchy, the Secretary of Justice is an alter-ego of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Ergo, the Secretary’s official acts will always bind the person of the President, even if Malacanan had issued a hands-off policy on the controversy.
Also, in our judicial system, which no doubt Secretary of Justice Agra himself fully knows, ALIBI is regarded as the weakest among all defenses available to an accused.
Sec. Agra could have opted to follow the findings of his own prosecutors who, having had personally conducted the preliminary investigation of the cases themselves, necessarily did come to know the facts, far better than him as the reviewing authority. That is why the investigating prosecutors were more than surprised by the Secretary’s resolution and, therefore, have rightly shown their own indignation by walking out of their offices, in protest of the resolution clearing ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan and Mamasapano Mayor Akmad Ampatuan in the massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao.
Instead of allowing justice to prevail in a full blown trial of the murder cases in court, wherein both parties would be given the opportunity to present their evidences, Justice Sec. Agra had terminated posthaste the cases against the two Ampatuans: a very simple and easy act of the pen but a horrible act of injustice to the victims. In fact, by so doing, the Secretary had relinquished the very reason for existence and mandate of the Office he himself represents and even created a cloud of suspicion over the highest Office in the land for whom the Secretary is an alter-ego.
This questionable act of Sec. Agra is plain and simple blunder on his part. However, in the deepest sense, it is also a blunder of the Department of Justice which the Secretary represents, and in fact, but ultimately, the resounding effect will traverse to the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, to whom the Secretary is directly responsible to.
This is another dark moment in the history of the Filipino people.