Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And justice for all

Shame on the Philippine judicial system!

The drug case against the Alabang Boys have opened a can of worms in the judicial and government system. The headlines are splattered with the prosecutors from the Department of Justice and the people from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency trading barbs at each other. PDEA hurled accusations at the DOJ prosecutors for taking bribes from the families of the Alabang Boys. The DOJ prosecutors have vehemently denied it. With the help of media, these two government agencies have washed and flaunted their dirty linen in public.

Here's the take:
1. While the DOJ has repeatedly claimed they have never taken bribes (for this case), they have never explained why the case has been dismissed for "lack of merit" much sooner than all the other drug-related cases filed by PDEA.
2. When PDEA hurled charges that the DOJ prosecutors have been dismissing many big time drug-related cases left and right, the DOJ has not answered these charges. According to the head of PDEA, Tito Sotto, over 70% of the charges have actually been dropped by the DOJ. This statistics does not speak well of two government agencies that should be working together in the war against drugs. It is not surprising that the Philippines is the drug capital of Asia.
3. In a show for support for its beleaguered colleagues, all prosecutors of the DOJ wanted to go on mass leave. They question the President for making those involved in the Alabang Boys case to go on leave. They question the President for not making the PDEA officials involved go on leave. Why only them, they ask? The answer is simple. Their head, Secretary Raul Gonzalez has no credibility. Sec. Gonzalez is simply a GMA puppet who parries the President against the tirades of the opposition. There must be a catch to why his loyalty to the President is unwavering, in spite of the flagrant acts of misconduct of the President. And when your head is corruptible, the morals of everyone who works for you and under you will always be an issue. And while it may not be fair blame, one cannot be faulted for generalizing the game. The reaction of the prosecutors of the DOJ is simply hysterical drama. These people should see a psychiatrist. Or perhaps write a telenovela about their lives. They have too much hurt and blame on themselves. They need to get a life!

Lately, the Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno has also been embattled. The allegations that the Supreme Court justices have a price on their head for releasing (or withholding for that matter) court rulings have rocked the very core of the justice system in this country.

The symbol of the judiciary is a blind lady that holds a balance scale in one hand and a sword in the other hand reminds everyone that passing judgment on those that violate the law deserves due process. Fair game, whether rich or poor, will always be the test of true democracy in any country. If doctors like me swear to the Hippocratic oath to "first do no harm", people expect no less with the judicial system to listen to both sides fairly so that justice is delivered fairly. They say that justice delayed is justice denied. But the time interval is not only a factor here. At the end of the day, what will matter is whether justice was served justly to all.

No comments: