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Swift Justice in Boston, Someting You Hardly Ever See in the Philippines

You have to give it to American law enforcement; they really seem to have their act together. One of two explosions during the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured scores of people close to the finish lineWhen the horrific explosions occurred during the Boston Marathon it appeared almost impossible that whoever did it would be apprehended. But just a few days after that bombing incident, authorities seem to have cracked the case. One suspect is dead and another is now apprehended. Large swaths of the greater Boston area were on lockdown and door-to-door searches were conducted in the suburb of Watertown.

The swiftness with which US authorities seemed to have been able to get to the bottom of this tragic incident have left many here in the Philippines in awe. This is after all a country where justice seems to move at a grindingly slow pace. Woefully few cases get resolved in the Philippines, and even when police and investigating authorities like the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) occasionally manage to get suspects apprehended, cases languish in Philippine courts where judges on the take dispense justice based on which side pays them the most.

If the Philippines is ever to pull itself out of the rut it is in, its police, government agencies, and the courts will need to take their cue from places like Boston where law enforcement is swift and efficient. In Boston, residents willingly put up with the inconvenience of their city being on lockdown to allow police authorities to do their job more efficiently. When citizens know those designated to protect them are doing their jobs, they are wholeheartedly.

The legal maxim that says: "Justice delayed is justice denied" has been around at least since the Magna Carta of 1215. The Maguindanao Massacre for instance—a case that everyone thought was a “cut-and-dried” from the very start, has been languishing in court since 2009. The defense strategy seems to be to delay and stall the case till 2016, when a new president and changes in local and national politics takes place. Maybe at that point those in power can be “convinced” to take a more sympathetic stand towards the accused and possibly let them off the hook.

Many Filipinos look at what just happened in Boston and realize that the Philippines still has a long, long way to go. Tourists and investors may slowly trickle in but any influx will remain just that; a trickle compared to that of our neighbors. Unless we get our criminal-justice system to work swiftly and honestly, Filipinos can kiss goodbye any hopes of seeing the Philippines as anything but a third-world country, in their lifetimes. Published 4/20/2013


RECENT EDITORIALS

Turn Pag-asa Island Into a Tourist Destination! It’s More Fun In Pag-asa

While the Aquino administration has been making many of the right moves lately, such moves remain woefully inadequate given the situation the Philippines faces with China. If President Benigno Aquino III entertains any hope of keeping our islands in the Spratlys, he needs to get off his behind this minute and start building a strong coalition with other nations. Published 04/3/2014


Why Bong Revilla Will Never Become President of the Philippines

A country's president must be a statesman. Someone who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his people—especially those who have the least in life. A president must also be fair. Fairness after all underpins what justice is all about. Everyone, be they exceedingly wealthy or totally destitute deserves equal treatment under the law. Published 03/22/2014
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On the surface, the Philippines can seem like an enjoyable and friendly place to do business. But scratch the surface and you’ll find yourself in a strange and alien world where a whole new set of rules and attitudes apply. Just recently, the Fraser Institute, a well-known North American think-tank, ranked the Philippines third from the bottom, on its annual survey of the best places to do business for mining companies. Published 03/10/2014
To All Those Who Were Part of the EDSA People Power Revolution—Thank You!

On February 25, the Philippines will celebrate the 28th anniversary of the People Power revolution known as EDSA One. For four days in February, 1986, freedom-starved Filipinos amassed on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), in front of Camps Crame and Aguinaldo to shield Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, General Fidel Ramos, and their military supporters from possible assault by forces controlled by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Published 02/25/2014
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How long before the people responsible for the Dacer-Corbito murders are brought to justice? The hopeful answer may be found in a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol on March 25, 1965 when he said: "How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Published 02/16/2014
Will Ruby Tuason’s Revelations Make a Difference? Remember This Is the Philippines

Another whistleblower Ruby Tuason will soon testify before the Department of Justice, and the Philippine Senate. And probably before the Ombudsman, the Batasan committees, the Sandiganbayan and other courts as well. Her appearances will likely involve high drama, moving testimony, and bombshell revelations that will be plastered across the front pages of Philippine dailies and reverberate throughout social media. Published 02/10/2014
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An online article a week ago concluded that the reason that Deniece Cornejo the vixen in the Vhong Navarro mauling incident was being mercilessly vilified was because Philippine society tends to treat women that way (LINK). The writer a certain Tricia Aquino in collaboration with Judy Taguiwalo a University of the Philippines professor in the Department of Women and Development Studies, try to paint a bleak picture of Filipina women as persecuted second-class citizens who end up being blamed for the troubles that befall them. Published 02/5/2014
We Must Learn from the Past, for the Future of Mindanao

Will the signing of the last annex of the peace accord between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) finally bring lasting peace to troubled Mindanao? Everyone hopes so. But let’s go back several decades in time and see how the country fared in a similar situation back then. Published 02/2/2014
The Internet: Keeping Philippine Politicians Honest

On January 20, 2014 Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., delivered his long-awaited privilege speech to refute the charges and allegations leveled against him regarding the misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Unfortunately, the senator’s speech was light on facts refuting the charges, and heavy on counter-accusations and theatrics. Published 01/22/2014


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