Friday, December 17, 2010

Six Stupid Things that Undermine Philippine Justice System

What justice? Justice is for the rich,
none for the poor.
In just three days, we, the Filipino People, were treated with a succession of depressing news. The Supreme Court, Sandiganbayan and a local court in Pasig all gave us deplorable news which seriously undermined the People's trust in the Philippine justice system.


These attacks on the Philippine justice system, I call the "six-peat Injustice scandal".


The Supreme Court rendered a decision which declared the Executive Order creating the Truth Commission unconstitutional. Basis for the ruling? The very tenor of the E.O. violates the equal rights clause in the 1987 Constitution. This is the first attack.


Then on December 14, just eleven days before Christmas, the SC reversed the initial guilty ruling in the controversial Vizconde massacre case, allowing Hubert Webb, son of former Senator Freddie Webb, and some others, to regain their freedom. Lauro Vizconde, the family patriarch, described the decision as a disappointment. The Public Assistance Office (PAO) meanwhile, is thinking of filing an appeal for reconsideration. This is the second attack.


That same day, the SC granted former First Lady Imelda Marcos two mansions which were initially subject of sequestration by government in her hometown of Olot in Leyte. These mansions, which were subjects of graft and corrupt cases filed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), rests in a 46 hectare lot, which is claimed by Imelda as a "family heirloom" prior to her marriage with the former strongman Ferdinand Marcos. This is the third attack.


Also, in that same day, an RTC judge found self-confessed sex maniac Hayden Kho not guilty of the offense of illegally producing a sex video. Reason for the decision? The judge said that the victim, actress Katrina Halili, knew that she was being filmed by Kho, therefore, the video was not illegally obtained. Support for the judge's belief that Halili knew she was being videotaped? The camera was just five feet away from her, and therefore, the judge deduced, Halili would have known that she was being filmed. Stupid. This is the fourth stupid thing.


A day later, the SC squashed the petition questioning the legality of the election of former Pampanga Congressman Mikey Arroyo as representative of Ang Galing Pinoy, a partylist of security guards. The SC said that Arroyo, indeed, represents the partylist organization. This is the fifth stupid thing. 


And lastly, the Sandiganbayan granting Major General Carlos Garcia bail after pleading for a lesser offense of direct bribery. Garcia has been accused of plunder and violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Art which is worth 303 million. With the plea bargain, government is now poised to regain a fraction of the declared illegal money, which is about 130 million. This is the sixth stupid thing.


Learnings:


1. In the first stupid thing: Don't forget that thieves share one common class. Don't mis-classify those sophisticated ones (The Arroyos) with that of the roques (The Pereses) because that's a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. If you want the truth, prosecute all members of the class of thieves. 


2. In the second stupid thing: If you think you have money for a prolonged court battle, and you have connections, then do what you want. Hubert Webb was brutally frank when he admitted that the reason why he is now a free man is his family, especially his father, who is a former Senator and Congressman. Webb successfully defended his innocence with complete documentation, a group of corroborative witnesses in his beck and call, and a battalion of legal minds who did serious legal work to buttress his alibi that he was not present when the Vizconde Massacre took place. Lucky for Hubert, but not so lucky on other innocents out there suffering inside cramped cells, who are now getting old, but lack the money and the influence Hubert got, to prove their innocence.


3. Third stupid thing: If you want to video tape your sexual exploits with your unknowing fiancee, put your camera at least five feet away from the bed. Enuf said.


4. Fourth stupid thing: If you want to regain your illegally obtained properties, go, tell the courts that those hectares and hectares of property were yours before you even got married. Don't mind those thousands of articles quoting you as saying that you were once poor and destitute before your marriage to the Congressman of Ilocos. And don't worry that you even don't have any title for those properties. Just enter into a compromise with the PCGG.


5. Fifth stupid thing: Prove that you're a security guard and is worthy of representing the class despite the very obvious fact that you, yourself, have been the most abusive employer of security guards. Don't worry, you have your mother's friends in high places to back you up.


6. Sixth stupid thing: When you steal other people's hard-earned monies, steal big. Don't worry. You can enter into a plea bargain agreement with a bunch of nincoompoops posturing as government prosecutors and share with them half of the loot.