THE Philippines is moving away from an era of compassion and justice to one where the innocent are targets for assassination and wrongful imprisonment on false charges. In recent weeks dozens of bodies are found shot dead with signs pinned on the bodies, declaring them criminals deserving of death. But there was no trial, no justice. The killers have contempt for the process of justice.
Street children are sometimes set up by the drug pushers as delivery boys and are arrested and criminalized. They might be shot, too. Journalists have been declared by some high officials to be deserving of assassination. Travelers, both Filipinos and foreigners, have been set up with bullets and cannabis planted in their bags at Philippine airports. Unless they pay bribes on the spot, they will be charged with a crime. Now you see travellers having their bags totally wrapped in cling-plastic before checking in.
Some corrupt police and officials have no respect for the system of justice and treat it with contempt. When they frame up someone with a false charge, the good judge of integrity proves them wrong and the victim is declared innocent. The judge of integrity thwarts the corrupt with true justice and the rule of law.
One foreign visitor in Olongapo—call him Frank—was allegedly set up by a police captain who stole his expensive camera. When he demanded it back and asked for justice, he was charged by the police with child abuse and jailed without bail. He would never pay anything to have the charges dropped as he believes he is innocent.
He has hope in the system of justice and is fighting for his freedom. He suffers greatly and has a rare form of diabetes and needs special insulin only available in Europe. He will surely die if he does not get it and supplies are running out.
During a jail visit, he told me he will be found innocent since there is fairness and truth in the Philippines and it is on his side, he said. The police captain and the stolen camera mysteriously disappeared and he did not testify.
False charges are commonplace, especially with foreigners who the corrupt police believe are rich and will pay big money to have the evidence withdrawn. But Frank would pay nothing and said he will be proven innocent. I promised to drive him to the airport when that day comes.
I know the hardship and the pain of false charges. I was falsely and wrongfully charged in court dozens of times for libel. The sex mafia in Olongapo claimed they were libeled by my writings in The Manila Times and other international newspapers and online <http://www.preda.org/www.preda.org>.
I was writing the truth for public interest, upholding the rights and dignity of women and children. My articles exposed child abuse and the evil of human trafficking and the child sexual abuse. The sex mafia has no respect for the truth or the rule of law.
After years of non-stop legal battles to prove my innocence, justice prevailed and good judges saw through the tricks of the corrupt and all the charges were defeated and proven to be false and dismissed. The sex mafia, backed by corrupt officials, tried to silence me from speaking the truth.
Matheo is a street boy, 11 years old, and he came from a broken home. His parents separated, found other partners, and he was left abandoned on the streets and had nowhere to sleep.
He begged for food but when he bought bread a vendor mistook him for another kid and accused Matheo of stealing. The police took him to Bahay Pag-Asa, a government-run child detention center, where he was beaten and sexually assaulted by the older inmates.
When he was rescued by Preda social workers, he was a broken and traumatized child. It took months of support, care and encouragement for him to gain trust in people again and regain a feeling of self-value.
The corrupt police destroyed that young life. We hope and work so he can recover and survive such cruelty, and we can save some of the thousands of other children in harsh cruel detention that is the illegal practice in most towns and cities.
For those hurt and wronged by others, the desire for justice is a burning need. The modern world seems to be returning to the primitive age of violence and injustice where peace is dead and human rights are no longer the top priority for many governments. The United Nations and the European Union were founded to prevent the horrific human slaughter of the world wars from ever happening again.
We thought that humanity had become civilized and left behind its barbaric way and evolved to a higher form of human life: spiritual, educated, enlightened, compassionate, merciful and caring.
Some indeed have reached this higher form of life and have love and justice in their hearts. We have to take a stand and work for these transforming principles and values.