State prosecutors hit ‘reckless, malicious’ PACC suspension recommendation
A group lambasted the recommendation of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) to suspend the prosecutors who signed the resolution to dismiss the charges against Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.
The State Prosecutors and Prosecution Attorneys Association, Incorporated (SPPAAI) expressed alarm on Monday after the PACC recommended a preventive suspension of Assistant State Prosecutor Michael John Humarang, OIC-Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Rassendel Rex Gingoyon, and Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan.
The PACC also recommended a lifestyle check on former Assistant State Prosecutor Aristotle Reyes.
“Sadly, we find this conduct to be reckless and malicious,” the SPPAAI said in a statement read by its president State Prosecutor Jolly de Claro-Mendoza during the flag ceremony in the Department of Justice.
The SPPAAI said that as prosecutors, they must decide based on facts presented to them.
“We can neither take popular opinion nor public outcry as ground for filing a case or dismissing a complaint. Evidence submitted is the essential consideration that all prosecutors weigh in every case that we resolve,” the statement said.
“Thus, the classic image of Lady Justice with a blindfold, a balance, and a sword: the evidence tilts the scales as she remains unbiased in rendering a decision, regardless of public opinion. Fair play demands that the public observe the same principle before making any action and avoid dampening the reputation of others without cause,” it added.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier tagged the PACC as an agency who was not familiar with the working of the DOJ.
“It appears that they are not familiar with the workings and procedures on how the DOJ conducts preliminary investigations,” Aguirre said.
He also said that there was no basis for the complaint filed against the prosecutors. /je
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