Selective justice PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 June 2018 13:31

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

PRRD has often claimed ( bragged?) that  his mandate as president of this country comes from the fact that he received the majority vote in the 2016 elections. (People with some expertise in statistics will argue with that claim but let it be.)  And so with that  claim he has justified his war on illegal drugs and his fight against corruption.

His declared war on drugs and fight against corruption certainly are supported by the citizens of this country – the objective, that is. But during the campaign for the 2016 election nothing was said about the means the Duterte government would use to achieve the declared objectives. And it is on the matter of the means that Filipinos are now divided.

Many Filipinos who are not even anti-Duterte are certainly distressed with the fact that several thousand people, including minors, have been killed in this war. And for the majority of these deaths the reason given has usually  been that the victims “ay nanlaban”. Who has taken the cudgels for the victims and the families? People who are more aware of the principle that even if indeed these victims were guilty of involvement in the drug business – as user or pusher or even as drug lord- these people are still entitled to having their lives protected. This administration believes there is no such thing.

As for the matter of eliminating corruption in government, this is more believable if justice were not selective.

I must give credit to PRRD for dismissing so many people he has appointed to positions in his government but who, during the two years he has been in office, have proven to be as corrupt as they come. But these dismissals have been tarnished by the knowledge that some people who have been exposed as corrupt have not been dismissed, let alone charged. They have simply been “recycled”.

Remember the two  high- ranking police officials who raided a prison in Leyte in their effort to arrest, kuno, a drug personality? The individual, a mayor of a municipality,  was shot dead inside his cell because, as it was claimed, he fired at them to resist being  arrested. He was already in  prison, for heaven’s sake! If this were a plot in a TV drama it would be laughed off. But it doesn’t stop there. The two police officials were not demoted, let alone dismissed.

Or remember the case of one Faeldon of the BoC? The case involved the attempt to smuggle some P6 billion worth of drugs. The drugs had already been released but by some fluke of fate the truth came out and the drugs were traced to a warehouse and confiscated. Mr. Faeldon was simply transferred to another government office.

Selective justice is as bad as no justice at all. It might even be said that it is worse for it nourishes in people’s minds that one needs only to be clever or to know the powers-that-be, to get away with a crime.