VOLUNTEER TO WORK WITH US
FOR A BETTER JUSTICE FUTURE


Invitation to volunteer

for cause of a lifetime

  You are being invited to be a volunteer in going around two to three years from now (February 14, 2010) to ask signatures for the petition for the holding of a plebiscite for the citizens to approve a PROPOSITION TO INSTALL JURY SYTEM, a justice system that will cure almost all of the problems in the Philippines, particularly corruption, criminal impunity and breakdown of morality.

This petition is under the system of People’s Initiative in the 1987 Constitution of the country. This mode is chosen to ensure that the Jury System cannot be dismantled by mere laws passed by congressmen and senators who, almost all the time, are beholden to personal, political and money interests.

 The Proposition

It is INDISPENSABLE for the Philippines to adopt JURY SYSTEM OF JUSTICE to replace the more-than-century-old FISCAL-JUDGE SYSTEM.

Why?

JURY SYSTEM OF JUSTICE is the only justice system that can stop and reverse the monumental corruption committed from top to bottom of government hierarchy.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can stop and reverse the alarming happening of bold and brutal murder committed with impunity for political and other purposes.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can convince rebels to lay down arms and embrace a democratic system of government, either one of socialism or capitalism or a combination of both.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can stop and reverse poverty.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can reverse the seemingly irreversible moral decadence.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can stop “kotong” and “hulidap” victimizing mostly those who have little.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can stop the “lagay” or bribery in our government offices for clearances, licenses and franchises.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM
is the only justice system that can ensure everybody behaves by the law because it instills fear that fiscals’ and judges’ decisions cannot be secured by money or fear.

JURY JUSTICE SYSTEM is the only justice system that can compel the formation of new behavior among the citizens for them to act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith.

How the Jury System works?

The Jury Justice System being proposed by Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement is composed of two bodies.

The first body is what shall be called “GRAND JURY” and the second body shall be called “TRIAL JURY.”

1. THE GRAND JURY  

 The Grand Jury shall be composed of people chosen by raffle from the voters’ list for them to serve for six (6) months and they shall be replaced by another group of persons selected in the same manner.

The Grand Jury shall perform duties similar to the fiscals or prosecutors.  Instead of the present prosecutor’s offices, it shall be the Grand Jury that will say with finality who should be issued charged or indicted and charged in court.

Fairness is assured to the innocent or to the criminals because the Grand Jury cannot be dictated or bought on whether it should charge one person in court or not.

The Grand Jury cannot be bought or dictated because the Grand Jury will not reveal the names and the faces of the jurors sitting as the members of the Grand Jury.

The fact that the members of the Grand Jury cannot be known, they will be independent in deciding every case coming to their exalted office. 

The Grand Jury members who shall be chosen shall be required to have a minimum qualification of being a college level and lawyers are disqualified.  This therefore will assure that the Grand Jury shall be composed of people with sufficient level of knowledge and discernment to know whether the charges are true or false.

The Grand Jury shall be guided on legal issues by its own legal staff.

The Grand Jury shall also be given the power to imprison by contempt witnesses until they agree to testify on crimes at hand.

The Grand Jury shall also be given the power to order law enforcers to investigate and gather evidence and order the Armed Forces to assist policemen or agents of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in performing the duties ordered to be done by the Grand Jury.

Thus, with the Grand Jury in place, it can now be avoided that the Ombudsman does not hail an influential person to court due to its officers’ unwillingness or fear to file charges against persons connected to the Office of the President or other influential offices.

2. THE TRIAL JURY  

 The Trial Jury shall also be composed of people chosen by raffle from the list of voters. Depending on the degree of threat, as in the case where warlords are the accused, the jurors shall be secured in a secret place and be shielded by a one-way mirror in courts during trials to ensure that the powerful accused cannot recognize their names and faces and, in turn, to assure that the jurors and their families against retaliation.

The main function of the jury is to know the facts. The function of knowing what and how laws will apply shall be the duty of the judge, who shall sit as the presiding officer during the trial.

With this system, it becomes difficult for the decisions to bought or influenced by means of threat.  Moreover, the judges are spared from danger because the accused knows that it is not him or her who made the judgment.

And when fairness is assured, the citizens are also assured that the court will convict those who have committed crimes and corruption, even if he were the president, wealthy, a government official, a military or police official,  or the most powerful in a community.

The findings of the Trial Jury as to the facts, or what really happened, cannot be appealed because the judgment of the jury is final.  What can be appealed by a convicted person are questions relating to whether laws were correctly applied upon the instruction of the judge in a court.

Jury System was born because of
corruption, brutality & impunity

On June 15, 1215, rebels in England led by nobles and barons defeated King John and compelled him to sign what was, and is, known as the Magna Carta. 

The most substantive clause of the Magna Carta was giving the subjects or the citizens the right to be tried first by their fellows or peers before they can be imprisoned or beheaded or deprived of property or freehold or liberty.

Since then, English people lived a peaceful life for the King or Queen had no more power to adjudge his or her enemies guilty although the truth would always come out that those hanged or guillotined by the King or Queen were actually those who criticized his rule.

Since then, no more King or Queen became despotic or abusive and those who were punished by the jury were only those who were truly guilty.  Thus, Winston Churchill later said that there can be no government that will be abusive if there is a jury that exists.

When the United States of America (USA) was born on July 4, 1787 in Philadelphia, the leaders led by General George Washington made it sure that the jury systems were installed to ensure that the Whites would not discriminate against the Blacks and other races.  Thomas Jefferson said of the jury upon its founding that jury is the anchor by which the nation can hold together. 

True enough, unity in the USA was fostered until such time discrimination has been reduced to a negligible extent, seeing Blacks shining in the fields of music, sports and politics: Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson as well as Michael Jordan in basketball, Oprah Winfrey in television talk shows, Michael Jackson in music, and Barack Obama in politics.

In all other countries that spun off from the Crown of England, such as Australia and Canada, jury systems were established right from the start of the existence of their nations. You can look at these countries as among the most developed in the world.

Actually, all countries that have embraced jury system are progressive, including those in Europe.

Tool to stop abuse & impunity

There is no other effective system of stopping abuse and corruption usually committed by politicians and warlords.

As proven by time, since the birth of the Jury System on June 15, 1251 in England, the establishment and the operation of the Jury System completely stopped abuse and impunity by the King of England. 

It truly worked effectively as intended by the rebels when they forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. Although they were victorious and they could have killed or imprisoned or dethroned the king, the rebels allowed him to rule again as long as he signed the Magna Carta.

It is also the operation of the Jury System that has caused a stop to the major discrimination among the Whites against the Blacks in the US and ensured that corruption is an exception and a few rather than as a rule and rampant as in the Philippines.
The White supremacists or the Ku Klux Klan were punished by the jury for killing Black people. Eventually, the demands of conscience reigned by the power of the jury to compel the US government to dismantle segregation facilities: Where there were separate toilets for the Blacks and the Whites, schools for the Blacks and the Whites, separate bus seats for the Blacks and the Whites.

The bottom line for all Jury System is that due to its inherent strength against power and money influence, those who are in power and money will fear the law because they know that the laws will be implemented strictly by the Jury System.

Therefore, if it caused the stop of despotism by the Crown of England, it is argued that it can also stop the abuse and brutality of politicians and warlords in the Philippines.

Jury System can be established
even with strong corrupt culture

Even if the culture of corruption in the Philippines has become ingrained and deeply-rooted, Jury System can be established.  As such, it is not corrupt for others to argue that this cannot be feasible.

The fact that the jurors in the jury system are kept secret and their names and faces are not disclosed to the public completely removes any opportunity to corrupt the members of the Grand Jury and the Trial Jury.

Upon the installation and operation of the Jury System, those who exist by the power of fear and money will realize immediately realize that they cannot use their money or influence to buy decisions of the Grand Jury and the Trial Jury.

They will realize that even if they could talk to all jurors, the corruptors and power wielders cannot buy all 23 members of the Grand Jury and all 12 members of the Trial Jury.  They cannot do like what they do in the present by giving money or threatening the fiscal or the judge to get favorable judgment.

The members of the jurors are strictly warned not to talk to anyone or among themselves while they are serving as jurors except to deliberate on their decisions.   Anyone caught will be imprisoned. After serving as jurors, they are also prohibited from telling anyone that they have served and their names in the records shall be removed to ensure that retaliation against them or their families are avoided.

Is Jury System effective against
the President who is corrupt?

The experience of the United States shows that its presidents are no match against the Jury System.

During the early 1970s, then President Richard Nixon was compelled to resign rather than getting embarrassed by the Grand Jury investigating into his involvement in the so-called Watergate Hotel scandal.

So that after Nixon resigned, he was charged or indicted by the Grand Jury in court.  However, succeeding president Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon even before the trial could begin.  The act of Ford in pardoning Nixon caused his defeat in the hands of Jimmy Carter.

During the middle 1990s, then President Bill Clinton attempted to use his immunity from suit but the Supreme Court of the US said that any US president cannot be immune for any criminal investigation being conducted by the Grand Jury. Thus, the Grand Jury commissioned special counsel Star to do the investigation.

The Star investigation led to the impeachment case where Clinton was tried before the Senate.

If the Philippines only had Jury Systems, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo could have not escaped from the $329-million NBN-ZTE scandal, along with her husband Mike Arroyo.

Ampatuan massacre could have
not happened with Jury System

The massacre of 57 persons in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, including the brutal killing of 32 journalists and two lady lawyers, could have not have happened if the Philippines were under the Jury System.  This massacre was so brutal that the victims were even buried along with their vehicles.

The brutal massacre started with the first act of killing done by the killers.  Because no one charged the killers in court, they killed some more. Since they were also not charged in court because the fiscals or prosecutors fear them, the killers became bold because they thought they would not be imprisoned anyway.

The killings became more brutal and bolder where some were even killed by means of chainsaw in public plazas. This is according to the accounts of the locals in Maguindanao province.

If there was only Jury System at the time of the first killing, the killers at that time could have already been in prison. The said first act of killing for sure cannot escape the eyes of the Grand Jury and the Grand Jury can hail the killers to court right at the first killing because the members would never be afraid as their names and faces would be hidden from the public.  Then, the Trial Jury will never entertain fear or they cannot be talked to for money transaction because their faces and names are hidden to the public.

Are the Filipinos prepared
for the Jury System?

Yes, the Filipinos are fully prepared for the Jury System.

This is so because the Americans who founded the Jury system 222 years ago cannot be more intelligent than the Filipinos of today.

Take note that the Britons too had no knowledge about the Jury System when they started that system on June 15 1215.

So that if the Jury System succeeded in Britain when the Britons started it without any knowledge about it, and at the time when their king was despotic, it is argued that it will also succeed when implemented among the Filipinos.

Is Jury System expensive?

While the expenses needed to maintain Grand Juries and Trial Juries in all provinces and cities of the Philippines may reach P500 million to P1 billion, the amount of money that would be saved because corruption would be stopped would even go to as far as P1 trillion.

Thus, there is no question that establishing and maintaining juries is very much feasible.

With Jury System, Filipinos are
safe whoever is the president

As demonstrated above that the Jury System is so difficult to threaten or be bought, the Filipinos, particularly the poor and the underprivileged, would always be assured they will have a fair play before the bar of justice.

Political persecution cannot happen because the politicians cannot control or dictate the juries by reason of the fact that the faces and names of the jurors are hidden. More, even if the case is one where the safety of the jurors is at risk because of the influence and power of the accused, the jurors shall be empanelled or kept in a secret place until the case is decided.

How long is the trial under Trial Jury

Based on the experience of the countries with jury system, particularly in the USA, trial by jury lasts for one week on the average.  If the case is simple, it lasts only for three days.  If the case is complicated, the most it will last is five weeks as in the trial of OJ Simpson accused of killing his wife.

This is therefore an assurance that justice is handed quickly.  It gives true meaning to the dictum that says: “JUSTICE DELAYED JUSTICE DENIED.”

So that if Philippines is under the Jury System, it will not happen anymore that witnesses die before they can testify in court, resulting in acquittal of the accused.

Witnesses compelled to testify
Under the Jury System

The Grand Jury and the Trial Jury being proposed by Hukuman ng Mamamayan Movement, Inc. (HMMI) shall be empowered with the contempt power to imprison witnesses who would refuse to testify.

As such, with Jury System in place, the Philippines can no longer see the common happening where witnesses refuse to testify for fear or for money or that the witnesses are relatives of the accused.

The contempt power of the Grand Jury and the Trial Jury shall be absolute so that both the direct and the indirect insults or acts of disobedience to the court can be punished with imprisonment by the Grand Jury or the Trial Jury right away.