BEHIND THE LINES: Justice for all PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 11:31

BY BOB JALDON

 

Peasants, merchants, lords, kings, lobbyists. What do they not have in common?

A peasant (proletariat) is a poverty-stricken man who lives in a shack with his family full of rats and cockroaches. He is pauperized due to lack of education and skill. To the rich, he is faceless and nameless because he is only their servant. But the bible teaches him to be humble for he shall “inherit the earth.”

A merchant lives in a moderate home. He trades goods for a commission, fat or thin. He is widely traveled and deals with wholesalers, mall owners and big retail outlets selling from electronics to cement.

A lord is a feudal superior. a monarch that serfs would do battle for him. In old England, he is known to be the “keeper of bread.”

A king is a crowned head of an empire and lives in a castle surrounded with royal guards. He is often times known as the “defender of the faith.”

A lobbyist is different from them all. He/she owns condos and a fleet of high-end cars. He/she gets to keep the secrets of politicians until a close confidante blows the whistle on him/her. He/she makes a windfall from crooked transactions involving government money, taxpayer’s money. Have you come across a verb “politick”?

Peasants, merchants, lords and kings don’t go to jail. Lobbyists most often do.

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Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who owns a white “chedeng”, is correct. Justice must be served equally to all detainees and inmates. No first-class accommodations, no hot meals, no air-conditioning, no nothing. They must suffer in jail because it is a punishment meted to all felons. Only freemen are spared from dirty, humid cells full of cockroaches and rats as big as mittens. Come to think of it, peasants, as I pointed out, live the same way, plus flies and mosquitoes to deal with. The rich don’t get infected with dengue or cholera, two common diseases among the poor and destitute.

This week, three senators shall have been incarcerated in specially-constructed cells at the police headquarters in Camp Crame. One of them is aging. It looks like the stem cell procedure he underwent to make him look younger and robust collapsed. Man nor God can’t change a man’s age. If you’re 90, you’re 90. The Supreme Court will decide whether or not to keep him in jail, house or hospital. Even aging kings of old were placed in dungeons, their feet and hands chained, there to rot until judgement day.

Our kind of justice system treats VIPs like VIPs. We don’t treat them like Chinese or Vietnamese poachers who rob our marine wealth. Only God shows mercy, and that absolution comes when a dying criminal or a sinner recites the ‘Act of Contrition”, confesses his sins and is administered the seventh sacrament of extreme aunction.

If one of the detainees prays to God and leaves everything in God’s hands, then one of the Ten Commandments handed down to Moses in Mt. Sinai is his answer from God, unless proven otherwise by a court of men: THOU SHALL NOT STEAL.. And if Janet Lim-Napoles and Benhur Luy are lying about the kickbacks that the three senators and over 200 congressmen allegedly received from them, they, too, are guilty of violating God’s commandments: THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THEY NEIGHBOR.

Of course, Revilla, Estrada and Enrile are innocent men. Their guilt has not been ascertained. It’s the words of Napoles and Luy against the words of the three senators and more than 200 congressmen and government officials charged with committing plunder and graft.

Will the cases against them prosper? That’s a 10-billion-pesos question only to be decided by the Sandiganbayan and eventually the Supreme Court. You don’t leave anything to God and implore his divine mercy.