Lawyer explains "inciting to sedition"

Ayon sa balita, kakasuhan yung public school teacher ng "inciting to sedition." WHAT IS INCITING TO SEDITION ( Paguudyok gumawa ng sedisyon)? Read more: Dean Mel Sta. Maria (May 16, 2020). WHAT IS INCITING TO SEDITION? fb/melstamaria/posts/10222632164090675.

CONSIDER THIS: Sedition is a crime committed by a person who rise publicly and tumultously in order to attain by force, intimidation or any illegal manner an objective to , among others, inflict any act of hate or revenge upon the person of any public officer. ( Article 139 of the Revised Penal Code) The critical and essential elements of the crime are clear. Mayroong 1.) pagaaklas ([up]rising), 2.) lantaran ( public) ; 3.) kaguluhan ( tumultously) ; 4.)pamamaraang pampupwersa (force), pananakot ( intimidation) o ilegal; 5.) makagawa nang pagkamuhi ( hate) o paghihiganti (revenge) sa isang public official.

For a person to be charged for sedition, there must be probable cause that ALL -- repeat ALL not only a few --- of the elements were committed. Because if there is none, the person cannot be charged. IF it goes to Court, the standard is very high ---- ALL the critical and essential elements must be proven BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. If not, the case will be dismissed because the presumption of innocence prevails.

Therefore, if the crime is INCITING to sedition ( paguudyok gumawa ng sedisyon) ( Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code), the writings or the speeches of the ""inciter" MUST SHOW that he/she instigated people to rise up publicly, tumultously inflaming them to use illegal means to bring hate or revenge to a public officer. That must be the nature of the "inciting".To merely write a short message in a twitter post offering a reward to a person to commit a crime against a public officer, the questions are: upon reading the short message, did it expressly instigate people to rise up? And if so, publicly? and tumultously? Because if none, then, in my opinion, there is no inciting to sedition. Baka what was committed was simply unjust vexation only or some other crime for which the accused,in acordance with his constitutional right, must be duly informed so that he/she can properly defend himself/herself. An accused must be charged with the correct offense. Because if not at ginagawa lang pantakot ang charge, that is weaponizing the law.

ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT POINT. The general rule is that to be convicted under the Revised Penal Code, the accused must have an evil intent. "There can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting." (Magsumbol vs. People G.R. No. 207175 Nov. 26, 2014) no matter how much in bad taste the act was done. "Wanting" means absent. Heto na naman ang isang latin phrase na ginagamit ng Supreme Court: Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea.

Sedition and inciting to sedition come under this general rule. Does the public school teacher have tens of millions of pesos to implement his reward? Was his purpose in making the short tweet --- although truly in bad taste ---- committed with criminal intent or with another intent like to increase his followers in twitter? Was the short message simply a bad joke done in bad taste? These questions will all play out during the trial. To convict, there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt ( katibayan na walang kaduda duda). Duda ba kayo na tunay na makapagbibigay yung teacher ng milyong-milyong pisong reward? Kasi, kung dalawa ang pwedeng maging interpretasyon sa iisang kilos, walang proof beyond reasonable doubt.

"Well-established is the rule that every circumstance favorable to the accused should be duly taken into account. This rule applies even to hardened criminals or those whose bizarre behavior violates the mores of civilized society. The evidence against the accused must survive the test of reason. The strongest suspicion must not be allowed to sway judgment." ( People vs. Ritter G.R. No. 88582, March 5, 1991) Read more: Dean Mel Sta. Maria (May 16, 2020). WHAT IS INCITING TO SEDITION? fb/melstamaria/posts/10222632164090675.

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