Evidence. & what a principal is, an accomplice, an accessory (the Kidnapping of the ABS-CBN news team in Sulu)

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      In the early stages of the kidnapping of the ABS-CBN news team, the PNP thru  Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman, released the sketches of Sulayman Patta alias Amah Ma’as and Abu Haris; and Walid alias Tuan Walis, who each carried a P500,000 bounty as suspects to the kidnapping based on what the PNP called a “reliable source”. The two were said to be members of the Abu Sayyaf.

              None was ever heard of these two again. They are not being charged for the kidnapping of the ABS-CBN news team, although they are still on the “wanted list”, as i understand it, for other crimes.  The government lawyers probably told them they need specific evidence, and that “intel reports” do not constitute evidence, and the moral of the story here is, the necessity for the PNP to  conduct the tedious work of evidence-gathering. (i already said my “thank you’s” here to the PNP yesterday. I hailed them yesterday.)

          Principal, accomplice,  accessory.

     The crime of kidnapping is punished as follows:

       Quote “Revised Penal Code, Art. 267. Kidnapping and serious illegal detention. — Any private individual who shall kidnap or detain another, or in any other manner deprive him of his liberty, shall suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death:

     Quote “1. If the kidnapping or detention shall have lasted more than five days.

   Quote “2. If it shall have been committed simulating public authority.

    Quote “3. If any serious physical injuries shall have been inflicted upon the person kidnapped or detained; or if threats to kill him shall have been made.

       Quote “4. If the person kidnapped or detained shall be a minor, female or a public officer.

       Quote “The penalty shall be death where the kidnapping or detention was committed for the purpose of extorting ransom from the victim or any other person, even if none of the circumstances above-mentioned were present in the commission of the offense.”closed-quote.

     (blog admin’s note: by law, the death penalty is no longer imposed).

       Those gunmen  who seized the ABS-CBN news team and the prof can be charged as principals, or principals  by direct participation. All those who planned the kidnapping can also be charged as principals  by direct participation.

      Since none of them could be named by the PNP, they’ll be designated as John Doe’s.

     People vs. John Doe’s for kidnapping. I don’t know if they’re going to put the name of Mr. Sulayman Patta or Mr. Walid (those in the carto sketches) in the charge sheet, but there you are, it’s People vs. John Doe’s unless you have other suspects. Who have a name.  A face.

       Who are other principals?

       Quote “Revised Penal Code. Art. 17. Principals. The following are considered principals:

       Quote “1.Those who take direct part in the execution of the act;

       Quote “ 2.Those who directly force or induce others to commit it;

       Quote “3.Those who cooperate in the commission of the offense by another act without which it would not have been accomplished.”closed-quote.


     For principals by direct participation and principals by cooperation: those persons who knew of the itinerary of Ces Oreña-Drilon and her news team, the exact hour and the exact patch of road where they would be, and who gave that information to the perpetrators, are principals by direct participation or principals by cooperation.

     Currently under “tactical interrogation” right now by the CIDG in Jolo, or what the Rules of Court call custodial investigation, is the guide, Juamil Biyaw.There seems to be publicly known circumstantial evidence against him (he was also earlier tagged as “military informant” but was disowned/ denied by the AFP). The publicly known circumstantial evidence against him is:  he led the news team to the spot where the gunmen were, he walked briefly with them, then he left them, he went home, took a bath, went back to the driver and told him he could leave, then was never heard from again until the PNP said they were looking for him. The evidence is circumstantial, on the other hand, the Court has ruled in many cases that an accumulation of circumstantial evidence can be enough to establish a prima facie case.

     In what courts call “the ordinary experience of man”, ordinarily, when your companions are seized by gunmen and forcibly taken but you yourself had been let go, in the “ordinary experience of man”, you would immediately run to the authorities and get help and immediately lead them to the area so you could help in retrieving your kidnapped companions. Here, the kidnappers were given a lead time of two days.

       As for Mayor Isnaji and his son, i don’t know yet, i don’t know what pieces of evidence the PNP has against him, let’s see tomorrow.