Justice in this country all eventually grinds to a halt; in some instances, it reverses itself, as in the case of Maureen Hultman’s, a curious one I don’t think I’ll ever get over with.
You have the Jason Ivler case: he who openly shot the son of a government official and who previously killed a presidential adviser in a road rage mishap. He eluded authorities, with the help of his mother, until all the clues led to his family home. There, he went on another shooting spree, this time, with a baby armalite, to resist his arrest, wounding police officers in the process. He is not yet convicted. He even picked up over 30,000 fans through his Facebook page.
You have the Ampatuan case: they who brazenly massacred 57 women and journalists. Yesterday, the “Justice” Secretary cleared two of the massacre’s conspirators, Zaldy Ampatuan and cousin Akmad Ampatuan Sr, from the murder rap. An earlier court decision dismissed the rebellion charges against Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan’s patriarch, but this probably makes sense as the Ampatuans’ powerful firearms were provided by the Arroyo government.
What hope is there for us? To be rich (Teehankee case), a presidential appointee or son of a high-ranking government official (Ivler case), a journalist murdered in broad daylight (Ampatuan case) — instances, wherein your relatives are assured of vindication (no matter how insignificant compared to the life that was lost) — and yet, somehow, the scales of justice still tip the other way?
Last night, I started reading Noli Me Tangere, and as Jose Rizal describes the Philippines as having cancer, an observation made from over 100 years ago, there is the question: what changed? We’ve been nurturing this cancer for over a century.