Rama’s right to due process

By Ricky Poca |August 08,2016 - 09:10 PM

Last Saturday evening, many of us members of the Rama family experienced what we call a sleepless night as we got bothered by the revelation of our President Rodrigo Duterte that former mayor Michael Rama is a protector and a coddler of the illegal drug trade here in the city.

Many in the Rama clan could not believe it. It’s unfortunate that this happened to our cousin Mike Rama, but we must move on and question the president on what were the circumstances that led him to make that accusation.

Like who were the drug lords or personalities that Rama supposedly protected and coddled?
Remember Rama had no police chief because many of the police chiefs here in the city were with Mayor Tommy Osmeña.

How did Rama protect and coddled these illegal drug personalities? And who are these personalities that Rama allegedly protected and coddled?

We would have preferred that a court case be filed against Rama so that he can avail of due process, the opportunity to defend himself by presenting his own evidence to prove his innocence.

Starting yesterday, many public affairs programs discussed this revelation, with some criticizing Rama for his alleged involvement in the illegal drugs trade.

What we can say to them is that you can never put a good man down, because as far as we are concerned, Mike Rama is innocent of the charges leveled at him and we are confident that we can prove his innocence in the court of law.

The Rama family supports the president’s efforts to go against illegal drugs and to stop the illegal drug trade in our country, but we are disturbed with the present status quo where the accused is saddled with the burden to prove one’s innocence.

This is contrary to what we learned in law school in which the accuser bears the responsibility to prove the guilt of the accused. Under our democratic setting, the accused shall enjoy the presumption of innocence.

We are confident that Mike Rama would be able to present himself to the president and convince him that indeed he is innocent.

I just pity my cousin for failing to expect that the president is going to name him as one of the protectors of the illegal drugs trade because Rama is innocent of the accusations against him; he never had the inkling that he will be named by the president.

We, the relatives of Mike Rama, also never expected the president to name him as a drug protector / coddler because as relatives who stay in the same compound that Rama lives in, we are pretty sure that our beloved cousin is not involved in the illegal drugs trade.

The mayor lives in the Rama compound that is open to the public, and anyone could just visit and enter the place anytime. The mayor’s home is surrounded by the houses of his brothers, cousins and other relatives.

The Rama compound and the houses in it are open to the public because we have nothing to hide.

The house where the mayor stays in used to be the office of his brother, the late Congressman Eduardo Rama, and he used to share the house with his younger brother Jayme Rama.

Besides, the proximity of the houses around Mike Rama’s house makes it safe that anyone living in them can see who drops by Rama’s house. I know many are saying that he is done, but I am confident knowing Mike that he is going to bounce back.

I agree with a veteran lawyer who said that personal honor is precious and that the president should have presented evidence instead of rattling off the names of those allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade.

In Rama’s case, it took him quite sometime to build up carefully his name and in one day the president destroyed his honor without presenting any evidence.

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