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Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Justice" By Way Of Alabang And Palawan

More specifically, by way of the 2 "Alabang Boys" and a former Palawan governor, all acquitted or had charges dropped.

(Photo of 2 "Alabang Boys" above courtesy of Jesus Orbeta)

What great news to greet everyone.

In the case of the Alabang Boys, they were acquitted because the judge found a "breach in the chain of custody of evidence" - in short, tampered evidence. (Full news story here: The reactions of the people concerned, like Justice Secretary de Lima, was telling: For her, the verdict was a "surprising development". (Which would belie that she, like others who handled the case, thought this would be of the open-and-shut variety.)

A technicality comes to save the (2 Alabang Boys') day.

In other news, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes has been exonerated by a DOJ (Department of Justice) panel on a complaint filed by Gerry Ortega's wife (Gerry Ortega was a journalist killed in broad daylight in Puerto Princesa), because of "insufficiency of evidence".

What's puzzling is that the shooter surrendered moments after the act had taken place, identified the lookout as well as the others involved in the slaying, and the "head" of the operation pointed to Gov. Reyes as the mastermind behind it all, even going so far as citing where he got paid (500,000 pesos, at the house of the governor's brother, a mayor), and describing where he got the gun and how. (Full details in Solita Monsod's column, read it here:

Another technicality saves the (former governor's) day.

Is anyone celebrating the fact that "justice" has again won? I'm sure the people accused and their relatives are happy with the outcome. Not me. The reason being, in spite of glaring evidence that the accused where indeed guilty of what they were charged, they still got away scot-free.

All because of legal technicalities.

Is there anyone out there with a suggestion on how we can avoid this insiduous cycle again and again?

My suggestion would be to hire better people to work for government, and as shallow as this may sound, the best way to do this is to increase the salaries of people in public office. If they are paid better than lawyers or investigators in private practice, then they are bound to give good, if not great, attention to their work which will reduce these sorts of "lapses". The added bonus is that they are less likely to respond to bribery invitations if they are already paid well, or at least I would hope so.

More importantly, justice (without quotation marks), in the broader and more moral sense (as opposed to the technical, legal fashion), even though blind, will finally see her way through.

Where do we get the budget for better salaries for public officials? That is another problem for which I cannot give a definitive answer, seeing as how our national budget is lacking as it is.

This is just an eternal Pandora's Box.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see our budget as lacking. Misappropriated is more like it. Just cut the pork.