Commentary

Gihikap ang lubot Part 2

I don’t have time to respond individually to each comment on my previous Facebook post re responsibility for our postings, but here are some points I would like to raise to address certain matters:

1. Re evidence – the point is not that someone has no right to file a case if he/she has no evidence. The point is, you file a case without any evidence, it is bound to be dismissed. Also, you file a case before the prosecutor or the court, not before FB, subjecting those you accuse to public ridicule. ESPECIALLY when you do not provide any evidence except your self-serving allegations which are not even sworn.

2. It was not sexual harassment, which has a very specific definition in our laws. There is a proposed law to criminalize street sexual harassment, which would cover touching somebody’s butt in public streets, but as of now it is not yet a law. What the student did, assuming for the sake of argument that it was true, would be unjust vexation – not even acts of lasciviousness because the publicity of the space would negative the element of lewd design.

3. I totally understand those who empathize with the girl and was angry with what allegedly happened. But what I would like to emphasize are the following: (1) there are always two sides to a story, and unfortunately the girl routinely blocked and deleted the comments of those trying to defend the guy; (2) the Facebook court is simply not the proper venue for such.
Let us say the girl was telling the truth. Would her posting about the incident on Facebook have any use? No, because Facebook does not have power to send the guy to prison.
Let us say the girl was not telling the truth. What use then was her posting about the incident on Facebook? Nothing, but to defame the guy.

4. What would have I done if she were my sister or niece? I won’t post it on Facebook, but comply with the legal process of filing a case.

5. On the allegation that there is a CCTV footage: two days from the incident, and we have not seen it. By all means, publish it, if it exists. As we say in court, failure to produce something allegedly existing could only mean two things: either it does not exist at all, or it would actually help the adverse party.

6. “Stop hiding that maniac.” Nota bene, EVEN IF THE ALLEGATIONS ARE TRUE, you cannot define my former student as a maniac. You won’t be able to prove the element of lewd design. No lewd design, no lewdness, no maniac. I know that might be difficult for you to understand, so please repeat after me: No lewd design, no lewdness, no maniac. One more time: No lewd design, no lewdness, no maniac. Yes, one last time: No lewd design, no lewdness, no maniac.

7. “The girl would not have posted about it if she had not been molested.” Wrong. In fact, her posting about it in social media works against the veracity of her claims, because no sane woman (and sanity is presumed) would publicly cry out molestation. In my experience prosecuting alleged rapists (and yes, I’ve already convicted two), it is quite difficult to obtain testimonies of molestation, even with the confidentiality protection of our laws.

8. That my post is not the proper forum for a “condemnation” of the girl: If my post came across as a condemnation of the girl’s actions, so be it: her actions were condemnable. If a public Facebook post is not the proper forum for pointing out that a public Facebook post is wrong, what would be the proper forum? I cannot anymore report the post, because she had since deleted it. Certainly, I should not be stopped from commenting on her actions simply because she had already deleted the post – deletion of the post is not deletion of the damage.

I could also not file a criminal case of libel against her because I am not the offended party. But it does not mean that I could not point out what is wrong with what she has done.

In the same manner that by making some of my posts public I expose myself to potential comments from others, even from people I do not know and would never meet in our lifetimes, she has subjected herself to the collective commentary of the social sphere when she made the post public.

In any case, unlike her, I will never delete comments to my public posts, nor ban those who make those comments. So if you think my post is wrong, by all means point it out. But those who agree with me are free to chime in.

9. That I am also a [sex] maniac – Ask your sis- no, just joking. But for Pete’s sake, stop reminding me that I don’t have a sex life, which is why I am able to write mile-long posts even as I have 100+ active cases.

10. I am tolerating my former student’s mistake – no, I am defending his right to be presumed innocent. I am trying to inform the public that there is such a concept as “proper forum”, and that Facebook is not a proper forum if you have allegations against private individuals.

11. Burden of proof – to make it simple it is this: allegata et probata. Those who allege, must prove. The burden of proof is on the one alleging. This is where presumptions come in… and there is such a thing as presumption of innocence.

12. Victim-blaming: First requisite for victim-blaming, there must a victim. What we have here is someone who claims to be a victim, but could not show any proof other than her self-serving allegations, which are not even notarized.

13. In my opinion, the partisans for the girl are bluffing when they say that there is a CCTV footage. I happen to know where are the possible CCTV cameras in the area because of an accident I figured in a week ago in a nearby site. If I understood correctly where the alleged incident allegedly happened, the only camera which would be able to capture the supposed incident would be that of BPI, and I don’t think it would accurately show what happened because there would be a rush of people passing by at that time. There’s a concept in law known as multiple window theory: even if the CCTV shows that at one point the girl and the guy did cross paths, unless it is very clear that he did grab her butt, you cannot conclude that he did.

And even if the CCTV did show the guy grabbing the girl’s butt (you hokage student of mine!!!), in my opinion, it would not still exonerate although it would mitigate the charge of libel against the woman, because the guy is not a public figure.
Anyway, I think this comment perfectly captures the incredulity of the girl’s post: “Mas naka huna2 pa syag picture ug post sa facebook nga gikumot man kaha iyang lubot ?! dili kaha dapat pagkakitah niyas laki gitamparus na niya tungod sa gbuhat aneh ?!” (Ms. Virginia Decipulo Pino)

Ciao everyone. Ayaw kaayo mog usik oras sa Facebook, labi na tong wa pa ka-quota this month!

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