Almost 600 days ago, I wrote my first editorial pertaining to the most spine-tingling event to ever tint the pages of the Philippine History. For the second time around, I am writing again to remind everyone on how lousy the justice is here in the Philippines.
Once in a while, the nation was shook by the bestial killings of 57 civilians; that include 37 journalists and 20 political supporters of the former Maguindanao gubernatorial bet, now governor, Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. The victims were slaughtered at the grassy hill of Barangay Salman in nearby Ampatuan town of Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.
As of press time, the names of the suspects are as clear as the spread-through blood that splattered in the grassy graves of the innocent civilians. The evidence is already at hand with the Philippine National Police (PNP) authorities and the country lively awaits the final verdict of the two killing spree masterminds Andal Ampatuan Jr. and Andal Ampatuan Sr.
Unfortunately, justice is too slow for not serving it yet. Six hundred days have passed but still the perpetrators are still enjoying the possibility that they might be freed, and even had the face to plea for innocence. Six hundred days is too short for people who have normal lives, but for those people who have lost their loved ones, 600 days is too long for justice to take place.
Earlier this month, former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo showed sympathy and support to the Ampatuan clan, saying that she will back them up during the judicial proceedings in the Supreme Court of the Philippines. That is why. The Arroyo administration had been backing them right from the start. Arroyo assured a year ago that justice would be given right away after the investigation. But the truth is, Arroyo could hardly put an iron hand to the Ampatuans because she owed them big time in winning the 2007 presidential election. Everything she said are nothing but lies.
There is something wrong with the country’s political body and that is what keeps justice go slow. Suspected government officials have close ties to justice officers, so as to the military and police forces and that is the reason why crimes such as corruption, extra-judicial killings, and plunder, though already have obvious suspects and strong evidences filed in, are hardly given the equal punishment to these charges of felony.
Maguindanao Massacre is not the only proof of how terrible the justice we have here in our country is; and apparently not the first one of not having a fair and fast trial even if there are already clear evidences. There was the NBN-ZTE scandal, fertilizer scam, P438 billion foreign debt of National Power Corporation, P9.2 billion Centennial Expo scandal, P6.6 billion National Lotto scandal, P3.2 billion DILG scandal, P278 million PCA scandal, and so on and so forth.
How long should we wait for justice to come? Five years? Twenty years? A century? I would not be surprised if that’s the outcome of these trials because Philippine justice is incapable of sending nail-crooked politicians and prominent government officers to jail.
Perhaps, we, Filipinos, should start judging and questioning our authorities or else, these acts of felony will get worse. Questioning is necessary. It is a tool to stop mankind from their wicked act and future evil plans. Everyone has the right to ask because if we won't, who would? Waiting for the Supreme Court to come up with a final verdict for these cases is useless because justice here in our country is lousy.