Proposed
FIRST AMENDMENT
To the Philippine Constitution
By Atty. Marlowe Camello



This is a proposed amendment to the Philippine Constitution to enshrine the Grand Jury and Trial Jury systems in the Bill of Rights of the Filipino people. It shall be known as the "FIRST AMENDMENT", if approved in a people's initiative for that purpose.

We, The People, hereby propose a Constitutional Amendment Initiative pursuant to RA 6735, which shall be added as Section 23 to Article III, the Bill of Rights, as follows:

"Section 23. No person shall be held to answer a serious offense defined by law, unless upon a Grand Jury Indictment. In all criminal prosecution, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. In suits for civil damage or money, exceeding ten thousand pesos, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved. No finding of fact by a jury shall be reexamined in any Court.”

ADVANTAGES AND ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR
OF ADOPTING THE JURY SYSTEM

  • Adoption of the Jury system will enable the common people, or people in the private sector, to have a deciding vote in the administration of justice. The common people in the private sector will not be afraid to decide in justice because their livelihood or employment with their private employers is not under the control of, and cannot be sabotaged by, any powerful public official.

  • Jury adoption will strengthen the prestige and bring the true equality of the Judiciary at par with the Legislature and the President. Why? Because the acts of the Judiciary to enforce justice shall be directly supported by the vote of the people through their jury ballots just as much as the election of the officials in the Legislature and the President are directly voted by the people with their ballots.

  • Jury adoption will enhance loyalty of the people in their government. It will make them feel that they are part in the management of their government inasmuch as they can "vote in" whom to serve them and they can "vote out" a corrupt servant through justice who is not worthy of their trust.

  • The jury system shall make the people feel that they are the "joint owners" of their government when they are summoned randomly by lottery and seated in the jury regardless of color, creed, wealth, poverty, or gender. The effect of this is that the people shall become united without knowing it. The jury system will eventually unite the Christians and Muslims in the Philippines as they become "co-workers" and "co-makers" in making Philippine Democracy as their common government ideology.

  • The jury system is, in fact, the greatest factor that has united the American people and their states in the United States for over 200 years now in spite of the great ethnic diversity and culture of its people which is unequaled compared with other countries around the world. However, many Americans, as well as most peoples around the world, do not realize that the jury system is the binding spirit behind their unity and the unity of their different states.

  • By the jury adoption, rich and powerful public officials and all tyrants of Philippine society will be forced to respect the rights and freedom of the poor and common people knowing that they, the powerful and the tyrants, will eventually be judged of their conduct before the bar of justice in the hands of the common and ordinary people.

  • By creating the Grand Jury system, the common people will gain the power on their own independent decision to secretly investigate and indict in court any or all powerful corrupt officials and other tyrants in their community. They will no longer need to wait for, or to ask permission from, any government official, whoever he is, to begin an investigation, or to indict in court, a crime offender.

  • By Creating the Trial Jury system, it will enable the common people on their own independent judgment to convict guilty (or acquit innocent) any accused crime offender and send to jail for imprisonment if convicted.
  • DISADVANTAGES AND ARGUMENTS AGAINST
    ADOPTING THE JURY SYSTEM

  • Keeping the affairs of justice with the jury system will incur massive involvement with large number of the people. This will entail great expenditure of funds and much of the government funding resources will be "eaten up" just to maintain an "army of jurors" to man the jury system of justice.

  • Filipinos have great and intelligent leaders and they are capable of instituting and planning productive public work projects that can improve the country and uplift the welfare of the poor people. Much of the beautiful roads, bridges, and many public buildings we see around today in the Philippines have been built as the result of the ingenuity of our past leaders such as presidents Aguinaldo, Manuel Quezon, Jose Laurel, Sergio Osmenia, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

  • The common Filipino people, specially the poor, are so ignorant about Philippine laws. Perhaps it would take 10 to 20 years for them to learn our laws. It would be impossible for them to understand how to decide in justice at this time.

  • The life and welfare of the poor Filipinos can be uplifted with good and honest leadership because the Filipino people are very good at following orders of good leaders. All that we need is elect the most honest president in the world to give that good leadership. With just one honest and efficient leader we can save all those funds in maintaining the jury system.
  • REBUTTAL IN FAVOR OF ADOPTING THE JURY SYSTEM

  • Costly massive involvement of the people- This is true but it is a massive people involvement that will encourage the people to become watchful against the acts of corruption by powerful public officials and tyrants. Money spent in asking the people to serve in juries is an investment, not an expense, to keep efficiency and good productive government for the people.

  • Filipinos have intelligent leaders- Sure, we Filipinos have intelligent leaders and, perhaps, many of them are around ready, able and willing to serve. The problem with this is that while they are so intelligent, nobody can stop them from misusing and stealing government funds once they get ambitious and anxious to become more rich and powerful. Once they get elected, most of them want to become president for life. They think that they are the only leaders who can build prosperity for the country. From being No. 2 in economy in Asia just after World War II, collectively, all those past intelligent and "energetic" presidents have transformed the Philippine economy into the record holder among the poorest in the world. Why?

    Because of the absence of the jury system, most leaders have become tyrants and opportunists to make themselves and their families the riches Filipinos on earth. The same trend goes in the lower level of government from autonomous regional governments, provincial governments, city governments, municipal governments,and even barrio government, they all want to become "kings-for-life" in their own domain. Some of them would not hesitate to massacre 57 people in an hour's time to keep themselves in perpetual power of government.

  • Filipinos are legal ignoramus- Having knowledge of law is not a requirement for one to serve as a juror. Presiding judges in jury trials in the U.S. or in its states, as well as in other countries like Australia, Canada, Britain, etc. do not care if a juror knows nothing about laws to serve in his jury. Why?

    Because the presiding judge will simply instruct the jury what the proper law is in its simplest definition that has been allegedly violated by an accused. Jurors need not do legal research to find out what the law is. He will even tell jurors to forget about any law they have learned elsewhere. If a prospective juror will try to show off how bright he is about laws during the challenge phase (voir dire) in choosing a juror, one of the trial attorneys will ask the presiding judge: "Your Honor, I would like to thank and excuse Juror No. ___ from sitting in my case." Then off the showy juror goes.

    All that a juror really is required mentally for jury service is that he must be possessed with an average intelligence. Jurors get their education to serve is through "Trial Jury Instruction".

  • Summing it up, jury adoption is an investment in time, money, good government, stability, and great prosperity and unity for the Filipino people. The value of its returns in monetary terms will overwhelmingly outweigh the cost of its investment. Once adopted, the jury system shall make it possible to attract all Filipinos working in dangerous countries to work in to come back to work locally in the Philippines. Why?

    Graft and corruption in the government will greatly abate, a great majority of powerful government grafters will either be removed from office or incarcerated upon the speedy issuance of the verdicts of the juries and this will mean great savings and increased government revenue for the government. As a result, the government will be able to engage in many public work projects that will open up local employment opportunity in the Philippines.

    With the great intelligence and ingenuity of the Filipino people, it is possible that the Philippines can become a high ranking prosperous country in Asia within a short period of time.

  • To learn more about the jury system, please click and browse this link on the FAQ Website.

  • QUESTION: DO YOU APPROVE or DISAPPROVE the above proposed amendment to the Philippine Constitution?

    Please email your response to:

  • Atty. Berteni "Toto" Causing, Email: totocausing@yahoo.com
  • Atty. Cita Borromeo Garcia, Email: citagrc@yahoo.com
  • Ms. Elvie Medina, Email: elviemedina2002@yahoo.com

    or to:

  • Atty. Marlowe Camello, Email: mcamello@verizon.net
  • Thank you. GOD BLESS AND PEACE BE WITH YOU.

    Marlowe in California

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