Justice and mercy PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 10 April 2017 12:44

By Remedios F. Maarmoleño

There is an Internet site with the name DifferenceBetween.net. It explains or distinguishes between two words or concepts that we often erroneously misunderstand or fail to draw the distinctions. Two such words that I read recently were justice and mercy.

The examples given to distinguish between these two concepts , justice and mercy, somehow made it easier for me to accept the decision of PRRD to award the housing units to the Kadamay members who had forcibly occupied these units which had been previously awarded to members of the military and the police force.

When the news first came out my reaction was that the Kadamay people were guilty of unlawfully taking possession of something that did not belong to them. I think most people’s reaction was the same as mine. Pres Duterte called it an act of anarchy.  Shortly after the President decided to let the Kadamay people keep the units they had occupied, except those that had the official awardees staying in the units. Remember, a few thousand housing units were involved here.  I asked myself how PRRD could justify his decision. You might say that my “feathers were terribly ruffled.”

Then I came across the Internet site I mentioned earlier. Justice we all understand. But what is mercy?  The meaning given to the concept of mercy is  “having compassion or giving forgiveness towards someone who one has the power to punish. It forebears punishing even when justice demands it.”

In both Christianity and  Islam mercy is an attribute strongly identified with God/Allah. For our sinful ways God has the power to punish us but He “forbears punishing even when justice demands it” because God loves us.

For once in all these  months I understood, and admired, an action of our President. I still think the action of Kadamay was wrong but the President performed an act of mercy when he decided to give the units to the occupiers. I just hope that those who had been given mercy will reflect  on the blessing they had received and will pay it forward.

But what about those who had managed the development? I understand from the news items that many of the houses did not even have connections for water or electricity. Surely these utilities are standard provisions even for low cost houses. Is this still another example of hanky-panky between a government office and contractors? If my guess is correct, should the people responsible be given mercy? I say not. Let justice be applied in this case.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 April 2017 12:46