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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

12 Million Metro Manila Commuters Stuck in Gridlock Hell

For much of the last month, my Facebook friends in Metro Manila have been posting comments lamenting their helplessness at being condemned to spend a great portion of what is left of their productive lives stuck in hours of traffic with no hope in sight. They now appreciate why Dan Brown described Manila in his book, Inferno, as “the gates of hell” specifically referring to its “six-hour traffic jams (and) suffocating pollution”. Published 11/062014


Why Filipino-Americans Need to Vote Democratic on November 4

Since 1620 when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, people the world over have migrated to America in search of a better life. Filipinos are no exception. In the '70s and '80s Filipinos who were able to, left for the U.S. to escape the tyranny of the Marcos regime; today they leave is to escape the poverty and the lack of opportunity in their homeland. Whatever the reason, Filipino migrants quickly shed their old habits and attitudes and embraced American culture. Published 10/30/2014
Both United States and Philippine Governments to Blame for Death of Jeffery "Jennifer" Laude

The United States and Philippine governments share the blame for the tragedy. Two young lives needlessly destroyed: the first, a young Filipino transgender found strangled inside a motel bathroom; the second a teenaged American serviceman now accused of murder. Published 10/19/2014
Death of Filipino Transgender 'Jennifer' Laude Was Totally Preventable

The evening for the young US Marine and his Filipino date "Jennifer" began at the Ambyanz Disco Bar in Subic Bay, Olongapo and ended shortly before midnight at the Celzone Lodge where "Jennifer's" lifeless body was found leaning against the toilet bowl. Jennifer, it turns out was actually not originally a "she" but a "he." A Filipino transgender, Jeffrey Laude, 26, began calling himself "Jennifer" after medical procedures made him look more female than male. Published 10/14/2014
Sorry Mr. President But PNP Chief Alan Purisima Has to Go

What’s with Philippine civil servants these days? It seems that you can stick all their pictures on a wall; throw a dart; and whoever’s photo it land on, that person can be successfully prosecuted for graft. It is unbelievable how pervasive and widespread corruption has become. We go from one corruption scandal to the next and there seems to be no end in sight. Published 10/07/2014
Tear Down the Torre de Manila Building Being Built Behind the Rizal Monument?

According to the developer’s website, “Torre de Manila, DMCI Homes’ newest one-tower condominium, is an exclusive residential community right in the heart of the city.” As of this writing, the 49-story edifice is about halfway complete. But as it continues to rise, so too do the howls of protest from an eclectic collection of groups and individuals who want it torn down. Why? Torre de Manila will permanently mar the skyline behind the Rizal Monument. Published 10/01/2014
How Ferdinand Marcos’s Martial Law Continues Hurting Filipinos to This Day

On the evening of September 23, 1972, two days after it had taken effect, Ferdinand Marcos announced via live television from Malacañang Palace that he had placed the Philippines under Martial Law. It was a calculated move by a devious politician to keep himself in power beyond what the Constitution allowed. A staged ambush attempt against his Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was the main excuse Marcos (or “Macoy” as he was deridingly referred to back then) used to strip Filipinos of all their constitutional rights. With that, the diminutive Ilocano from the backwaters of Batac, Ilocos Norte became the despotic dictator for over a decade. Published 09/23/2014
Jejomar Binay Should Never Become President of the Philippines

In our July 25th editorial we asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay should be the next president of the Philippines. In this editorial we arrive at the definitive conclusion that that Binay should not be elected president. Since our last editorial, more witnesses have come forward with more allegations against the embattled Vice President. But our decision not to support Binay’s presidential bid is based on irrefutable public acts that in our opinion disqualify him from the presidency. Published 09/16/2014


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