The group doesn’t say it outright, but this paper is of the opinion that corruption wreaks more havoc on society if it involves the judiciary rather than any other institutions of the government.
In its latest survey, the result of which is contained in Global Corruption Barometer 2013, NGO International states that the police and the judiciary are the most bribery prone institutions in all countries of the world.
The corruption watchdog arrived at that conclusion after interviewing 114,000 people in 107 countries, including the Philippines.
Of those who came in contact with the police, the survey says, 31 percent paid a bribe in the past 12 months. Fully 24 percent, it adds, shelled out some amount to get a favorable decision from a judge or others connected with the judicial system.
In the Philippines, more people pay bribes to the police than to any other institutions. The amount involved is not that big, ranging from P50 to a few hundred bucks for a traffic infraction. Penny-ante, but the police more than make that up in volume.
The media from time to time report cases of corruption involving millions of pesos in the police organization, as when a cabal of high-ranking officers was charged before the Sandiganbayan with buying three used helicopters for the prices of brand-new ones. These cases, however, do not involve people paying the police to get themselves off the hook for real or concocted violation of the law.
The amount goes up in cases of drugs. One notorious case is that of the two policemen who demanded P15,000 from a man caught with a sachet of shabu, and when the wife couldn’t come up with the full amount she was raped by one of them “to make up for the balance.”
Mercifully, the rapist is now in jail while awaiting final disposition of the case. The other is facing robbery case.
It is easy to see that the judiciary is corrupt. The government has not won any of the many tax evasion or tax collection cases filed against big businessmen.
Of course, we don’t have any proof, first because bribery is done in secret for obvious reason, and second because, in these particular cases, the bribe is willingly offered and taken. Those who make the offer (the accused with the connivance of the prosecutor) and the recipient (the judge or justices hearing the case) are dealing not with their money but that of the government.
More than the money lost, corruption is inimical to society because, to quote NGO International, “It undermines people’s trust in the political system, in its institutions and its leadership.”
If you are victimized by the police, there is always the court to go to for redress, and people do make a go at it, proof of which is the many cases at various stages of development in the judicial system.
The court is a citizen’s last resort. Where does he go if the judicial system is corrupt as well?
Corruption in the judiciary drives people to take the law into their own hands. On a larger scale, it fuels the Communist rebellion in the country, the longest running in all of Asia, if not the whole world.