Home > Ronald Roy > Kami ang boss mo!

Kami ang boss mo!

Kami ang boss mo !
Ronald Roy — 2012 November 22
I haven’t read the flip-flopping Supreme Court’s latest decision banning the live radio and television coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trials; but I don’t really care to read it to find a reason for describing it as a hare-brained resolution.
Seemingly, the rationale of the hare-brained resolution is the respect the high tribunal gives to the time-honored doctrine of the inviolability of the defendant’s presumption of innocence, their right to due process, and the orderly administration of justice. I have no quarrel with that.
It does sound great, except that: the subject trials refer to criminal acts so heinous that banning their live coverage would have the effect of one: not stemming—if not fanning—the conflagration of criminality currently sweeping across the nation (pyramiding scams, smuggling, murders, rapes, you name it), and two: curtailing press freedom and the right of people to information.
It is submitted that, in weighing between the rights of the accused in the instant Ampatuan case, on the one hand, and those of the press and the plaintiffs, the people of the Philippines, on the other hand, those of the latter should be made to prevail, given the undeniable fact of rising criminality that can only be interdicted by a well-informed and outraged citizenry; for, it is only by their vigilance and action, enlivened by an activist Supreme Court, that the very life of the nation can be saved from the engulfing conflagration of crime.
It is further hoped that the honorable members of the Supreme Court will not only note, but confirm, that the instant Ampatuan carnage case stands out not as the “trial of the century”, but as the “trial of all time”, as it involves a mass of felonies of such unprecedented magnitude in terms of number of innocent victims (over fifty in all), depravity, and impunity—which is another reason, indeed, for banning the live coverage.
It is not difficult to see that the high court is hamstrung by current statutes, rules and jurisprudence that prevent the otherwise speedy delivery of justice, since the heinous crimes we see today were not predicted, say, after the 2nd World War; and that assuming the same had then been foreseen, the court (as well as the rest of the courts in the judiciary) would definitely now have a different set of statutes, rules and jurisprudence that would come in handy in the handling of complicated present-day crimes, as well as in the arresting, if not in the reversing, of the culture of impunity.
Parenthetically, just to give you an idea of the complexity of the subject case, involved in it are the families of the 57 victims, 197 accused, 20 sets of lawyers, 200 witnesses for the prosecution, and another 200 for the defense (Source: column of Artemio V. Panganiban, PDI 9/18/12).
Naturally, the prediction had not been made, thereby making the predicament of the high tribunal understandable. We should all earnestly hope, however, that the judicial reforms sought by CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno will not be bogged down by this dilemma.
Verily, we should all earnestly hope that Sereno and her courts do not miss the grandest once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of biting the bullet, jumping out of the stifling box, and doing all within their power to serve the highest purpose of saving the nation, over and above the interests of defendants and plaintiffs in extraordinarily complicated heinous felonies such as the one obtaining in the subject trial of all time.
The magistrates’ proven competence, integrity, probity and independence should enable them to do this in a showcase of “judicial activism”, and, by doing so, serve notice that their “power of the pen” is no fairy tale, but a hard-nosed fact of judicial political will and muscle, thereby making them co-ordinate and co-equal with the executive department that is armed with the power of the gun, and the legislature that is braced with the power of the purse.
There is no doubt that a new-found activism by the courts will not only speed up the delivery of justice, but will also serve to deter premeditators from carrying out their felonious schemes. By the way, deterrence in the criminal justice system will find its crowning glory with the restoration of the death penalty—but that’s for another article.
In the meantime, the judiciary and all concerned, like government agencies, as well as private groups and individuals, should harness a brand of gung-ho activism in order to fortify the existing structures and systems of deterrence, such as those identified with our police and other law enforcement agencies, many of whom are, sad to say, “in” on a wide array of criminal activities. It follows of course that the state of crime can so peak as to incite a revolution, especially if very high government officials are so much as suspected to be “on the take” and food is seen to be dwindling on the table.
The rampancy of crime appears inexorable if victims do not cooperate in their reporting, such as when they willfully engage in Ponzi-style investment scams where the dazzling allure of financial returns is simply irresistible. Viewed in this light, they cannot therefore be said to be victims of racketeers because they knew the risks, gambled, and lost; so their losses can now only be seen as the poetic comeuppance of their reckless and foolish miscalculations!
Again, it is not exactly fair to say that 15,000 people in Mindanao who were scammed of twelve billion pesos(!) have only themselves to blame. A bigger share of the blame must be borne by the government agencies and officials who invested in the pyramiding scams and even encouraged or endorsed the public’s participation, or merely knew about ongoing swindling operations but chose not to do anything to stop them!
The Aman Futures Group commenced its operations in Pagadian City in February his year, and it was only in April when the Department of Trade and Industry started to warn the public through radio airings. Huh?! Issuing warnings was all DTI officials could do?! They did not inform Pres. Noynoy Aquino?! Mr. President, methinks you ought to roll some heads here!!
As things turned out, DTI officials’ negligence (complicity?) allowed Aman Futures’ operations to go at full throttle through the ensuing May-August period, and it was only in August when the Securities and Exchange Commission commenced to warn the public! Huh?! Issuing warnings was all the negligent (complicit?) SEC officials did?! They didn’t inform His Excellency? Your Excellency, methinks you should roll some heads here as well!!
Excuse me, Sir, did you say you cannot do that because they are your allies like newly-appointed “independent-minded” SC member Marvic Leonen? Bakit mo kami ginagago-gago?! #@£!! Di ba kami ang boss mo?!!
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