Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, former AFP general Jovito Palparan, Dinagat Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr., and housing magnate Delfin Lee are nowhere to be found and have been the subject of law-enforcers’ manhunt operations for months now.
And just recently, former PNP col. Cezar Mancao bolted out of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) jail and has been in hiding for several days now.
Most of these wanted personalities claim to be innocent and have vowed to come out only if they get absolved from their respective cases pending before the courts.
These wanted men are doing what Sen. Panfilo Lacson did—go into hiding and resurface when the Supreme Court cleared him of the double murder of publicist Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito several years ago.
Lacson pleaded innocence on the charge claiming he would not get justice while the Arroyo administration remained in power. The former PNP chief turned senator is a staunch critic of the Arroyo couple, particularly First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.
The question now is, would it still be worth it to surrender yourself to the court and wait in jail while your case is being appealed by your lawyers before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, which may of course take some time?
Or would you rather go into hiding, perhaps out of the country, and wait for the decision of the high court to reverse the lower court’s ruling?
So, whether they go into hiding, or surrender themselves to the authorities, these convicted individuals hope that the high court would rule in their favor and absolve them of their crimes.
But as one policeman friend ask me once, “would you rather rot in jail or live in another country while waiting for the high court’s decision to rule in your favor?”
What the country needs is a fair justice system.
Justice that is not only for the “kaibigan, kabarilan, at kamag-anak” but for everyone especially those who do not have the power, money, and connections!