(Acting) Justice Secretary says it’s lawyer Harry Roque’s fault that Suwaib Upham, said to be a key witness for the prosecution in the Maguindanao Massacre, was left unprotected.
Apparently, Roque, private prosecutor for the victims, didn’t coordinate with the DOJ [thanks, RG Cruz] and frequently canceled appointments with Justice officials.
â€œHow can that person (Upham) be placed under the (Witness Protection Program),â€ said Agra. â€œHe (Roque) never respected the authority of the public prosecutors. The public prosecutors have control over the private prosecutors.â€
Upham was killed earlier this month.
We’re not saying that Mr Roque pulled the trigger himself but you can’t blame the government for not putting Upham under witness protection when you didn’t give them a chance to do so.
Among Mr Roque’s other gallant moves was asking the court to delay proceedings against Andal Ampatuan Jr and his pals (or, as lawyers say, et al) until after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo steps down from office. This was probably under the legal maxim of justice delayed to make a political point is not justice denied.
On a peripherally related note, a source tells us that he missed a meeting with the Genuine Opposition in 2009 saying he was teaching a class at UP. It was a free cut. Magic. He taught the class with magic.