Fugitive from Injustice

Unang una sa lahat I’d like to thank the members of the media for allowing me a quiet weekend with my family. I thought that was the best day of my life with my family because it was a quiet weekend. We heard mass and I visited the graves of my parents. It felt like Christmas in March.

For 13 months, I was a fugitive from injustice. I have been subjected to the vitriol of arrogance and hatred by my old and new detractors. I have been humiliated, unfairly eviscerated of my dignity and personal honor, even as I am humbled by an experience so surreal I never imagined could happen.

Every single day that I was underground, the crucible stared each time I opened my eyes. For 13 months I lived the life of a prisoner outside a prison cell. The only difference from one who suffers in confinement is that I could on my own free will navigate my movements using the best of my instinctive compass. I had only one rule to follow. Do not get caught.

Since childhood, I have struggled in life. But the last struggle I had for the past year was the most challenging. The worst pain of all is that I didn’t know who my true and real friends were. I still thank God I found a few of them.

Every crime demands justice. But justice means truth and action. Without action to bring out the truth, justice will never be served. With 30 long years of law enforcement experience behind me I dedicated myself in helping tens of thousands of victims of crimes without fear or favor. I risked my life hundreds of times rescuing kidnap-for-ransom victims, battling criminal troops, busting crime syndicates and disciplining the rogues in our country’s police force for various offenses ranging from carnaping to kotong, even jueteng protection fully aware I was creating bitter enemies out of armed and trained malefactors.

My point is, I am all heart and soul with families of victims of crimes seeking justice for their loved ones. But I am also all out against the hecklers and their cheerleaders who want to make me their cannon fodder by strutting their stuff for reasons they themselves may not even understand, or maybe the sheer satisfaction of boosting their ego. Maybe it’s for popularity. Or worse, for selfish and personal reasons, all at my expense.

The unvarnished truth is I was made to suffer for a crime I did not commit. Two former secretaries of justice drove me to become a fugitive from justice. It was made inevitable the moment I was informed by DOJ contacts that prosecutors were allowed to shred the rules on evidence in favor of satisfying a last-ditch effort of an unelected and corrupt regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to put me away for long good years of my life.

On a personal note there were frequent moments I felt the persecution had never stopped even after a new administration took over the reins of power. All I was asking for is a fair share of justice. Correct its miscarriage and trim the excesses of the past regime. True, evading arrest may be legally difficult to justify if not hardly defensible. True, going underground is politically incorrect. And I must admit I was constantly balancing the bigger picture with the issues of the moment.

But at the end of my daily debate with my own wits I decided not to place myself under the jurisdiction of a court whose judicial determination of probable cause and subsequent issuance of a warrant of arrest I was questioning before a higher court of the land. Rightly or wrongly I thought it was the sensible thing to do, given the prevailing circumstances.

Arguably facing trial is not the be-all and end-all of settling and resolving this legal issue. Well-established jurisprudence and legal precedents allow the filing of pleadings and motions even in the absence of an accused petitioner. Thank you and good morning.