• Whence comes justice?


    I AM certainly not a lawyer and much less remotely connected with the judiciary and actually have no objections or even comments on their latest judgment that ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has nothing to answer for in the case of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes fund transfer or allocation or re-aligning, whatever that was.

    But as a taxpayer and a Filipino citizen, I do question the timing of the ruling, late in the day, after four years of arrest, with no reply or action to all the petitions of the respondent to act on it.

    What took so long? Justice deaf or late is justice denied. Then uncharacteristically under a new administration, it suddenly comes awake and comes down with a decision with unheard of speed of less than a month. What made them decide so fast?

    The circumstances are much to be lamented. Is there someone or something of his own making pulling strings on the Supreme Court? Are they motivated by other factors rather than what is on the surface, a respondent filing a plea with no answer for four years while in effect deprived of liberty? Impressions may be just that but they form opinions and attitudes.

    From appearances and the pace of court decisions and judgments, there are many other cases like the above, languishing and, therefore, suffering the consequences of being in limbo or in jail.

    If change is really to come for the better, the justice system in this country cries out for it as priority in its area of responsibility. And if the Supreme Court is the independent body overseeing an independent judiciary, it should set the example. No reassuring statements about rules and regulations they give to their constituency of courts and judges will be enough. They have to pick up speed even if it means working harder and longer hours, use state-of-the-art technology, and better management to set the example. If they are doing so now or claim that they do, we do not see or feel the results.

    Other delays regarding the ruling on contraceptives that will push forward the population planning law, which this country needs to have had from decades back, are somewhere we have no idea about. To the detriment of national interest, the stoppage order on the means to implement the law remains with no decision or action or even attention evident to resolve it.

    I can see where all the electoral cases will come down to, the last day of the term of the person occupying the office if the ruling is for the protestant. Has it not just happened in the last Congress when on the last day one case was decided and the aggrieved party didn’t even have his seat on the last day due to a technicality in delivering the decision? In fact, it is virtually a tradition. It may not be the Supreme Court in that case but it was the justice system that it supervises, be it through the Electoral Tribunal or the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

    I am probably not accurately pinpointing the correct entities or understanding the convoluted process that judicial decisions involve, but I am certainly accurate in saying the results of delay and inattention, the weird timing of decisions like the one on the ex-President leave much to complain about. Ordinary people demand the genuine feel of justice as they understand it. We cannot be dismissed as ignorant or misled when we decry the delay from the courts, which for many is a matter of life and death.


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    1. Juan T. Delacruz on

      There was neither delay in justice nor convoluted process in judicial decisions were involved in this particular case. It seems like a Philippine politics is at its peak again. This type of political practices goes in cycle every time there is a change in administration and it should not be a surprise to anybody, that understands Philippine politics. Only the poor, the poorest of the poor, are the victims. The P366 Millions that should belonged to Filipino people, disappeared without a trace and nobody was responsible for its disappearance. Only in the Philippines!

    2. There is a process! The case was elevated only last year the SC which was I think within the timetable it was given due consideration. The better questions is why the Special Division of the Sandiganbayan who are all appointees of Penoy did not accept the”demurer of evidence”? It give a very bad light on the justice system. Had the Penoy appointed Sandiganbayan justices done their duties, the supreme court would not have been involved.


      “the president Duterte is thus far worse than what the candidate Duterte initially appeared to be.”
      “He is not only crass, he is crass, intellectually dishonest, and breathtakingly contemptuous of the Filipino and his rights and entitlements under a modern and enlightened system of laws,” he continues. “For confirmation of at least one thing, we need not wait for the unfolding of his entire six-year term: Duterte is thoroughly undeserving of the title manananggol that our elders reserved for their respected and beloved neighbors who were members of the lawyerly profession.
      “I am a lawyer, and I am deeply offended by this President.”

    4. Amnata Pundit on

      GMA was only in jail for 4 years, and was held in the presidential suite of the Veterans Hospital. Do you remember Pacificador? He was kept in jail for 20 years or so for the murder of yellow hero Javier, without trial. After the yellow government was shamed into holding a trial, he was quickly exonerated because the government had nothing to pin the Javier murder on him. When its a yellow who is at the receiving end – and GMA is a yellow no matter how much they spin it because wasn’t she the child of EDSA 2? – its called injustice but if its a contra-yellow, no comment. Indeed, after EDSA ’86, we have become a nation of hypocrites. By the way, if Pacificador got 20 years for being a mere suspect in the Javier murder case, then GMA deserves to hang for her re-enacted budget from 2004 to 2007. For this re-enacted budget alone, she deserves to be ranked as the most corrupt president ever.

    5. Our judges and justices are expert in what they called “commercial law” – Even ordinary person knows this. If the price is right, then the law will be in your side. The statue of a lady blind folded depicts its entirety – that the law is blind. Therefore, can we say rightly, that all lawyers are blind because of their ensignia.

    6. To be fair to some justices, specifically the dissenters led by the SC Chief Justice and her altar boy, Leonen, they tried their darnest to delay as much as possible and prolong the agony of the past President ! One bypassed Senior Associate Justice voting along sour grapes.


    7. Ignacio Balbutin on

      What do you mean by fast decision of the supreme court. It has long been delayed, the former president was languishing in her hospital prison for more than four years without even a shred of evidence. Are you much better than the supreme court. And right now, mind you, the Supreme court has already ordered the establishment of many courts in all the provinces to hasten the decision especially when it comes to drug related cases

    8. Natatakot ang Supreme Court na mag issue ng decision during Aquino’s term simply because of Aquino’s attitude of revenge. Baka ma impeach sila. Hahaha.

    9. The government should start killing corrupt judges and justices as they are worse than drug pushers who are killed on a daily basis.

    10. Jessie Corrales on

      It couldn’t have been made during Pnoy’s time bec. clearly he had a hold on the judges, so t came out today bec Duterte has no hold on them, not that he doesn’t have the clout, but he just doesn’t want to meddle, it’s not him to do that.
      This much is obvious and a major change if you’re looking for one.

    11. Want to improve the government and courts ?

      Get rid of every Aquino appointee who have proven subservient and incompetent for the past six years.

      Clean house of congress where senators and congressmen still hold elected positions after stealing the pork barrel funds

      Arrest Aquino, De Lima and Morales for abuse of authority, selective justice and false imprisonment of Arroyo.

      • Ignacio Balbutin on

        I fully agree, the past administrations should answer for meddling in the Supreme court which should have been independent of the Executive. They many case to answer not only about GMA and Corona