Quantcast
Latest Stories

Senate looks into DFA handling of Panamanian diplomat accused of rape

By

MANILA, Philippines—Outraged senators are inquiring into the Department of Foreign Affairs’ issuance of a certification that eventually set free a Panamanian national accused of raping a Filipino woman.

Senator Loren Legarda, Climate Change Act of 2009

Senator Loren Legarda. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“Rape would not fall under the ambit of a diplomat’s official functions,” Senator Loren Legarda said on the floor, demanding that the DFA and the Department of Justice explain if they give precedence to  diplomatic immunity before the rights of the victim. She said such immunity is not absolute.

On a move by Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, the committees on foreign relations, justice and human rights are opening an inquiry into the matter next week.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who referred to the Panamanian as a rapist, backed the move.

“We better look into this. Anybody raping a Filipina, even if he’s a diplomat, at least should be haled to court and answer for it,” he said.

Enrile said the DFA director for immunities and privileges  who issued the certification that Erick Bairnals Shcks has diplomatic immunity  “should be removed.”

Shcks was released from police detention on the basis of the DFA certification.  Shcks, 35, technical officer of the Panama Maritime Authority, was facing a rape case in the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 57. The 19-year-old alleged victim said the rape took place last April 23 at Shck’s place.

Legarda, chair of the foreign relations committee, pointed out that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations grants immunity to diplomats, ambassadors and officials of international organizations, but this is “anchored on functional necessity,” and hence, is not absolute.

The purpose of such privilege is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the performance of a function by a diplomat, she said.

“A close reading of the Vienna Convention privilege does not provide protection and benefits for the diplomat as an individual acting outside of official task,” she said. “Diplomatic immunity can’t be absolute. It does not provide unlimited immunity to all classes of diplomats.”

Legarda said the DFA and DOJ should explain if they held the view that diplomatic immunity takes precedence over international conventions on human rights.

Sotto, in a privilege speech, said he was amazed at the speed with which a member of a foreign embassy was exonerated.

“Is it not that there are crimes that are not covered by diplomatic immunity? As a matter of fact international law has no natural superiority over local laws. Even labor laws in the United States put our ambassadors in hot water if there is an inkling that they harbor an illegal immigrant in their household,” he said.

“This is about the crime of rape, Mr. President. It is not a small matter. Are we so helpless or too kind to foreigners in grievous matters such as these? They say that diplomats enjoy certain privileges and immunities. Is rape a privilege to enjoy?” he asked.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crime , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , Immunity , Panama , Rape

  • jose_rizal11

    Sa sarili na natin bansa ganyan tratohin mga babae natin, ano na kaya kong sa ibang bansa ngyari un!!! lifetime imprisonment dapat or ipagahasa sa mga bakla yan sa muntinlupa!!!

  • tanzangluma

    Kung ang Pilipino na  may immunity na naka assigned sa ibang ibansa ay:

    Rapist
    Murder
    Homicide
    Arsonist
    o lahat na ng criminal case

    ang katapat na hatol ay PERSONA NON GRATA. signatories ang Pilipinas sa Viena Convention.

    kaya nasasaklawan tayo ng treaty na ito.

    Ganoon din ang kaso ng Panamanian. PERSONA NON GRATA lang ang puwedeng ihatol sa kanya.

  • Elio Madama

    So, a filipina said “I was raped” and that’s all?
    Who are you people to call “rapist” a person just because a verbal complaint?
    You want to fight against the whole world.
    Where is the law?
    You are innocent until prove it guilty.
    The girl went to this man condo to watch TV?

     

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JR3XHBEHBOBWRAASFKEEA3QWKM jun_ac

      Are you the person accused?

  • Elio Madama

    This lady went to hospital to have a vaginal inspection?
    Is a doctor report stating that this girl had semen in her vagina?
    How dare somebody can call another person RAPIST, WITHOUT HARD EVIDENCE?



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace