Beyond reasonable doubt

I am not a lawyer. And perhaps the intricacies of jurisprudence is more complicated than what I can comprehend. After all, with so many laws, I’m sure that various circumstances intertwine, making decision-making a “challenging” task for those who rule on court cases. These discombobulated laws are technically also the references used by lawyers when trying to secure a client, a “get out of jail” card.

The recent decision regarding the plunder case of Bong Revilla has stirred concern on the judicial system in the country. While I may lack authority and training on the decision of the court, logic is on my side.

Three were charged with misusing the “pork barrel fund” during the time of PNoy (one of those discretionary funds that I despised about the former president). Despite a non-bailable offense, NONE remain in jail.

To say that it’s a travesty of justice is an understatement. I’ve not seen so much blatant disregard for the rule of law as the recent consecutive “decisions” by the judicial bodies today.

Never mind that the obvious facts speak for itself. As long as you’ve got the money to hire a good lawyer who knows the right judges and connections, even if you’re as guilty as hell, you’d be exonerated. (I guess that’s what good lawyering is all about). All that mumbo jumbo of “reasonable doubt” has been “used and abused” to an extent.

Never mind logic and reasoning and the other evidences. Sadly, concentrating on the “benefit of the doubt” erases all the efforts at making public servants accountable for their crimes. It propagates corruption and graft practices. It undermines the rules of law.

Everyone. Including people in the past administrations who have stolen from the coffers of the nation should be held liable for the crimes committed. Absolving them place future court decisions in a precarious position.

This post is not about how the courts decide on cases committed by elected officials who should protect the greater interest of the nation. It’s the why. There are enablers who try to rationalize the wrongs by blaming the prosecution (or the Ombudsman) for throwing away the case because of a flip flopping witness. That the case wasn’t prepared well because it was hurriedly filed (seriously, 4 1/2 years and you call that a hurried preparation?). Heck! Even the uneducated have questioned the logic behind these decisions. San Beda law Dean, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, even went as far as using the missing wallet as an example.

“If you bring home your officemate’s wallet, thinking in all good faith that it is yours, and your officemate later on charges you with theft, you will, in all probability be acquitted absent any proof that you intended to defraud your colleague, but you will still be ordered to return the wallet and its contents for the simple reason that it is not yours,” he explained.

Seriously? When I open my wallet, I would know “beyond reasonable doubt” that it’s not mine! If I had all intentions of returning it, I would notify my friend of this “mistake” from the get go. Because it was an honest error! That. Is. The. Difference. If I wanted to steal it, it would take time for me to even consider “returning” it. From the years of transactions and evidence, you think there was a plan to even return the money? It wasn’t until these people got caught before they lawyered up. After all, the “wallet” was in the hundreds of millions (based on what could be found).

It’s insulting to our intelligence to even use these pathetic examples.

It was obvious that these politicians and their ilk have found a way to perpetuate staying in power – because it’s run as a business. That is why their relatives and every generation thereafter will continue to rob each of us of our dignities and respect.

It’s not about being “yellow” or red or blue or green or black or whatever rainbow color one is affiliated with. Fuck that! It’s about logic and how the rules and laws are bended to rationalize and accommodate evil.

In 1986, we overthrew a dictator. The Americans were part to blame for the exile of the Marcoses. Cory should have demanded their extradition. Captured. Jailed. Tried. After all, the loot they left behind and brought with them when they fled was enough evidence to have them face death by musketry. But we let them escape. It was the beginning of our ending. And we are now paying for their return to power.

That, to me, was the beginning of the decline in our justice system. The subsequent leaders just capitalized on the sham in the connivance of evil.

Today, it is obvious that the scales of justice tip to those in power. I have yet to see the politicians pay for their corrupt practices. It pays to be in power – who you know, is more important than being righteous.

The litmus rest of every decent government is in how corruption is addressed. How have we fared?

We have never risen as a nation that gains respect from the global community because we do what we do. Every election, that fight against corruption is simply lip service. Until they are voted into office. And we get tired of the same circus and clowns who don’t make good on their promises of change for the better. Sadly, we are all tired of fighting for what is right. Perseverance is not in our genetic make-up. We’ve been colonized too often to even make a stand for what is rightfully ours.

Binababoy na tayo, nakangiti at pumapalakpak pa kayo? Anong klaseng Pilipino tayo?

As a nation, when we lose our moral compass today, we deserve where we will be tomorrow – nowhere.

Age doesn’t matter…

When former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos was found guilty for graft on 7 counts last week, many people felt that despite half a century since committing the crime (three decades of the case in court), justice wasn’t blind.

Or isn’t it?

Police Chief Oscar Albayalde went on the record on the air to say that “considering her age” the Philippine National Police shall not handcuff nor arrest her hurriedly. Minority house speaker Danilo Suarez didn’t feel that the crime Imelda did was a “big deal” and we ought to just poopah and “forgive and move on.”

For these two to provide these statements, it meant that they acknowledged her guilt. BUT, insinuate that we need to show kindness and compassion because she is 89 years old.

No rational moral thinking human being would even have thought the way Albayalde or Suarez thought. Clearly, people like these have biases and it’s just hard to pick the right words to describe their vapid line of thinking.

The bottom line is – the Sandiganbayan finds the accused, Imelda Romualdez Marcos – guilty in the 7 counts of graft. For all the suffering of the Filipinos because of the crimes of this family, I don’t understand how some people get the temerity to brush aside the guilt? How easy is it to tilt the balance of justice just because the accused are political friends with benefits with the incumbent rulers?

When these elderlies are still eligible, willing and able to run for public office, by golly, they should also be answerable and accountable to the office they occupy. In short, if there is graft and corruption committed by them during their term in office, they must pay for that crime! It is unjust that we look the other way just because of age. You cannot be willing to do one thing but not be accountable to answer for the misgovernance or corruption you committed.

The Philippine judicial system is slow enough that these people would have died before they got convicted. There is no moving on as long as the suffering and crimes are not reconciled. There is no forgiveness unless there are apologies.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

Justice cannot be selective. Justice must be tantamount to the crime committed. Regardless of people, power or personality.

Majority of our countrymen have limited funds for a decent meal, clothes to wear, shoes or slippers to walk kilometers to go to school, or a decent roof over their heads. When politicians deprive our countrymen of basic needs or even the sheer decency to live and survive day to day because they engage in shenanigans for personal gains, it is enraging that they are treated with kids gloves when they are found guilty of criminal acts.

If we stand for nothing, we fall for anything.

Remember: For fools to fall for the folly of the elderly, we deserve the injustice we get.