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Apr 20th
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Mendoza Tragedy Must Bring into Focus the Relevance of Jury System PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 23:07
All we say is true about our officials’ unpreparedness not just in dealing with natural calamities but also with gruesome events like the hijacking of a tourist bus not by a terrorist or a “kidnap-for-ransom gang” but by a disgruntled, decorated police officer! The officers and members of Philippine Jury International Ltd profoundly commiserate with the families of the victims and the family of Rolando Mendoza. The tragedy has highlighted for all the Filipinos to see how sick our justice system is. If the brother of the hijacker, himself a policeman, distrusts the police officers handling the crisis and who arrested him for complicity; who can the Filipinos trust in enforcing the law? How can we trust our country’s policing agencies? The blame should be put fairly and squarely on our legislative and judicial bodies for not curing our society’s perennial illness. These are graft and corruption not just in government but in all walks of life. Many will blame the homeland’s lack of resources. But is this really the reason? We can list down a host of problems and inadequacies and bet that they are all, even the insignificant ones, due to graft and corruption. “Only in the Philippines”, as the Filipinos fondly say, “these unbelievable things can happen!” Just imagine: · The ill-equipped police surrounding the hijacked bus not even wearing bullet proof vests; · The drama of Mendoza’s brother and family resisting arrest on TV for all the world to see, which probably triggered the shooting of the hostages; · The rotting tons of rice kept in a warehouse while people had to endure rice shortage and high prices during the successive flooding in Metro Manila and elsewhere; · The massacre perpetuated by the Ampatuan’s and their succeeding acquittal by a Filipino judge, · The public admission by the former President Arroyo of her involvement in the “Hello, Garci Tapes.” This is just the tip of the iceberg! How can our legislators and justices for decades keep a blind eye to the Filipinos’ complaints and solution to our beloved country’s problems? Merely reforming the single-judge system will not solve our enormous problem. As a saying goes, “If we keep doing what we have always been doing, we will keep getting what we have always got.” What have we got but a corrupt people and corrupt government? Our legislators should incorporate the jury system in our constitution as has been done in many progressive, democratic countries because it will deter corrupt people and corrupt government from committing crimes against the many. (Read “Why we need a jury system”, www.philippinejury.com) To our Legislators, please listen to our plea. Have the Filipinos not suffered enough? Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! It's the only one we've got. Daisy ABH

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