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Establishing the Truth

Mercy and Truth are Met Together, Righteousness and Peace Have Kissed Each Other, object 1 (Butlin 463)is the goal of German courts (link), to THEN pass their judgement. Filipino courts often seem to be an annoying forum for sophistry and game-playing that favors the well-connected. President Duterte, a fomer prosecutor whose frustration with what is considered “due process” in the Philippines I partly understand, has produced a list of names of mayors, judges and more who he SAYS are involved in drugs – even admitting that he does not know if it is true or not. German prosecutors offices cannot be TROed, unlike the Ombudsman in the Junjun Binay case, BUT they have to find both proof of guilt and exonerating circumstances before going to court (link). Courts have to deal with cases as swiftly as possible, which is the right way to do things.

As a child I always thought that prosecutor and persecutor sound so similar. It comes with the job I guess. There is a movie where Alain Delon plays a fugitive hiding out in a countryside house. The French prosecutor has the full force of the police come down on him. He even says, against the protestations of someone, that “all men are criminals”. Just like a good policeman may be a man with the instincts of a Jago – see previous article – a top prosecutor may indeed be a man with the instincts of Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada. Checks on power save both from their worst sides while making use of their good sides. The greatest strength of a person always contains his greatest weakness, which is why one man alone never is the solution.

Senator and former Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima has criticized Duterte’s naming and shaming, saying that due process should be applied, cases should be filed in court. For all the good work Senator de Lima has done, she may have been a bit in a state of denial as to the real state of things in her own shop – the old mismatch between theory and practice in the Philippines. This mismatch does make it easy for those who paint mainly the bad sides, as Duterte does, to tap the anger of those who feel ignored. She did have the opportunity to fix a lot of things, but it seems she did not fix justice and the penal systems enough. I know the Philippines well enough to know that lower- and mid-level people often tell higher levels what they want to hear, fix up things when they come to inspect and then go on the old way after that.

Clogged and nearly medieval prisons are an old issue in the Philippines. A justice system that takes way too long to render justice is another issue. While the really poor languish in crowded jails like Quezon City jail – recent reports mention a man who has been in there since 2001 – it seems that some drug lords had privileges, while politicians have better cells than the average prisoner. The prisoner who has had hearings just once a year since 2001, mentioned everywhere internationally, has already done the duration of what is called a life sentence here in Germany.

Recent comments on the Facebook page of this blog (link) with respect to some of the mayors mentioned show that there is no modern attitude to finding the truth yet among many Filipinos. “Everybody knows that he is a drug lord” or “here are pictures of him with a known drug lord” are not proof, except in societies where alleged whores were stoned and witches burned on stake. Cellphone tracing and real-time tracking of movements of money are some modern methods to track big-time criminals. Real police work. Real prosecution and real justice come after that.

But I guess President Duterte and PNP Chief de la Rosa know things top-flight people from the FBI, the German police, prosecution and justice system and everywhere else don’t. Guess that the Filipino public just knows things, just like everybody in a small barangay “knows” who is doing what. Like some witnesses in Munich saw two more shooters on July 22 when there was only one.

It turned out later it was two plainclothesmen. What if the cops here had knocked down every door of every Oriental-looking person? But they just locked down the city and looked for the truth.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 7 August 2016



5 comments to Establishing the Truth

  • Mariano Renato Pacifico

    In all presidents of the Philippines they rely and addicted to witnesses and affidavits. I TOTALLY GAVE UP !!! Filipinos cannot be educated in finer points in justice system.

    That is why I embraced Duterte. Well he take it up thousands of notch than prior admin justice system but this time we see the results.

    He publishes the names of druggies and drug lords. And they come out of the woodwork to surrender. Not bad. But like prior justice system, it is still tired old tiered system. One for the rich. One for the poor.

    Poor get shot outright with judges decision on a piece of cardboard thrown at a bloody carcass.

    The rich still gets shamed yet have a day in court.

    The last-remaining left-behind Spanish-colonist-turned-industrialist are still untouchables. They remain the most extreme example of honest colonizers. If they are honest, their forefathers must be honest, too !!!

    To this day, the banned Philippine Media still have not ridiculed, shamed and vilified the colonists name. Making Jose Rizal just another xenophobic eng-get Filipino.

  • Bill In Oz

    Interesting Irineo :
    1 “Filipino courts often seem to be an annoying forum for sophistry and game-playing that favors the well-connected.” And this has been the case for a very long while. Eg Ferdinand Marcos acquitted in 1940 ( ? ) of murdering a political opponent of his father in the 1930’s…

    2: President Duterte, a former prosecutor who is clearly frustrated with the inept and disfunctional ‘due process ” legal system.

    3 “Duterte does tap the anger of those who feel ignored”.

    4 “President Duterte and PNP Chief de la Rosa know things top-flight people from…. prosecution and justice system and everywhere else don’t.” …….

    Actually here at 4, I disagree Irineo.. I think that the corruption of the justice system has been an open secret for soooooo long & so prevalent, everybody knows just about everything..It’s what we call in Oz “The Joke”. Nothing really needs to be secret when it’s established practice for decades.. And that’s fine when nobody wants to change it..

    But now the new president wants /demands change…And he has vast public support. And now the Justice system is like the emperor with new ( no ) clothes

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico

      The top-flight people are detached from the Filipino world who speaks impeccable English with snobbish sophistry. They live in moat-and-drawbridge served by 4:30a.m.-to-11:00p.m. houseslaves. They sip vintage wines in crystal goblet. Never seen Tondo. Nor seen infants and toddlers living on the sidewalks dumpster diving for food. The closest these people tasted Jollibee is picking bones of left-over Chicken Joy from garbage cans.

      These top-flight people cannot even know that these children is considered as absence of caregiver, incapacitated caregiver, abused and neglected. A child abuse in the 1stworld.

      Child abuse is when Bong-tarat-tarat forced a child to dance bong-tarat-tarat that made him lose his primetime show. If it is not on TV it is not Child Abuse.

      These are sick detached people who sent their children to Ateneo, la Salle and most of all U.P. to know what Child Abuse is but cannot know when they see one.

      DUTERTE SEES THIS. BENIGNO AQUINO NOT. So are the rest of the past and dead presidents. Even CBCP, Archbishop Tagle and the rest of laity only give lip service.

      Manhid na ang mga Filipinos !!! Da! Scheisse !

  • sonny

    “… German prosecutors offices cannot be TROed, unlike the Ombudsman in the Junjun Binay case, BUT they have to find both proof of guilt and exonerating circumstances before going to court (link). Courts have to deal with cases as swiftly as possible, which is the right way to do things.”

    Great description of the arena of justice: the point of contact for everybody concerned, the best simulation of the supreme tribunal of justice – conscience facing the lawgiver and the restoration of order. Every act of malfeasance is a fait accompli, a disruption ranging from something venial (pardonable) to a mortal (deathly) one. Since there is no perfect world (no malfeasance occurs), the next best thing is then the establishment of truth as the supreme directive to accomplish restoration of order, this is the point where justice and mercy do meet. I think this intersection of justice & mercy should be the compelling concern of a civil society and its agents. This is where the minds of lawyers, penal systems and law enforcement should work in tight concert, its Occam’s razor.

    • sonny

      Once everybody is on this same page of principle, the agenda for forensic integrity, police action, court action between prosecutor, defender, judge, jury, legislation will truly serve justice and the restoration of order.

      A society’s sense of security and peace of conscience will be great or small in proportion to the intensity and fidelity it renders to this definition of justice and order.

      The measures being employed by the current chief executive of the land whether temporary or long-term must conform to this spirit. Nobody, for that matter, is exempted from this right and duty. We can ignore this motherhood statement at our own peril.

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