Jude Josue Sabio .
EVEN if former senator Antonio Trillanes, together with Sen. Leila de Lima and I are of the same personal conviction in the International Criminal Court case, it does not automatically mean that, when Trillanes recruited me as lawyer for Peter Joemel Advincula a.k.a. Bikoy, I would just have blindly relied on his word that the “Totoong Narco Lists” are true.
Trillanes is in a state of contradiction. In his Senate privilege speech not long after Advincula made a turnaround, he lamented that the Totoong Narco List videos were produced without awaiting the result of a vetting process. He further said the results of such vetting would just be announced later in public.
However, up to now, there has been no public announcement yet as to the vetting result. It follows that no reliable conclusion can still be made about the truth or falsity of the Totoong Narco Lists. This contradicts the former senator’s recent televised statement that the Totoong Narco Lists did not pass the vetting process, which necessarily implies that vetting has already been finished.
In any event, in the interest of the truth which shall set us free, I am calling on the former senator to stand by what he boasted in his Senate privilege speech to be his “track record.” If his “track record” means his fidelity to the truth, then by all means he should demonstrate the truth of the Totoong Narco Lists.
Former senator Trillanes should prove the drug links of those cited in the Totoong Narco Lists because I for one am very much interested in such revelation, given the earlier relevant statement of Mina Arcillas to me reduced into the 60-page draft judicial affidavit. Otherwise, he will fall into the abyss with no hope of coming back.
Come to think of it, the turnaround of Bikoy is of no moment because the former senator claimed that the Totoong Narco Lists had come from two different persons whose names he cited in his privilege speech.
The former senator owes the truth ultimately to the whole country and to God to whom we subscribe an oath whenever we testify to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He must present those persons.
However, I am saddened to know from my former UP criminal law professor, whom I met recently by chance, that there is no proof about the truth of the Totoong Narco Lists.
My former professor is still vivid in memory, unlike my other professors who fade in my memory by the long passage of 25 years. This is because of my innate, strong interest in criminal law which made it almost second nature for me to lawyer for Edgar Matobato and in the ICC case in a criminal law controversy involving mass murder.
Having read, as he said, my recent published writings on the Totoong Narco Lists, my former UP law professor volunteered the information that he was asked by a priest, who is closely linked to the cause celebre, to assess the so-called Totoong Narco Lists, but he reacted negatively saying that an assessment would not serve any legal purpose anymore because the videos had already come out.
But what is more significant about what he said as a reliable insider is that there is no proof at all about the truth of the Totoong Narco Lists. He based his observation on Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s publicized claim that police operatives were behind the reported statement of Advincula in 2016 which was publicly debunked by Sen. Vicente Sotto. According to my former law professor, the same could also be true for the current Totoong Narco Lists.
To further buttress the reliability of his claim, he adverted to the fact that he was the one who had earlier detected the falsity of whistleblower Ador Mawanay who, as a result, later made a turnaround by retracting his adverse testimony against Sen. Lacson.
I have a very high regard for my criminal law professor who is my idol. Modesty aside, I always topped the examinations in the two criminal law subjects that he handled. He also happens to be one of the panel of judges who chose me as part of the four-member team of the UP College of Law representing the Philippines in a Southeast Asian debating tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1992, where our team emerged as champion for the first time.
I have yet no reason to doubt his professional view which all the more has jolted me to a further terrifying realization: I was being recruited by then senator Trillanes as a lawyer to represent the man in the so-called Totoong Narco Lists which presumably have not passed vetting, or worse still are unprovable!