Our ML judicial system-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Sunday, September 29, 2013
ONE of the bad effects of the martial law is the corruption of the judicial system. Marcos declared himself above the law. He himself became the law. After Marcos was ousted at Edsa he left behind a corrupt judicial system and until now the system was never revised, it remained corrupt.
The judicial system has become a business enterprise. Lawyers and judges make a living out of it. No, not just a living but much more than that, it becomes a lucrative business to be a lawyer. The crucial question is now: how do we change that system? One thing is sure: don’t leave it to the lawyers and judges because they are out to perpetuate that system.
Non-lawyers or rather Christian lawyers can bring about the needed changes. Christ made it very clear: the law has been made for man and not man for the law. The law is there to serve man and not the other way around. In Jesus’ time, it was the Pharisees who placed themselves above the law and thus they corrupted the judicial system of the Jews. Jesus exposed this time and again by saying: you hypocrites!
Our lawyers today are the modern-day Pharisees, hypocrites. But I don’t want to generalize that, not all our lawyers are like that. You have the Flag lawyers and others, who give free legal assistance, especially to the poor and the needy. And that is what every lawyer who calls himself a Christian should do.
A classic example of this kind of corrupt lawyers are Atty. Fortun, defense lawyer of the Ampatuans, and lawyer Kapunan, the lawyer Napoles. Fortun surely gives credit to his name: he must be making fortunes out of his law practice. How many years is the case of the Ampatuans already dragging on? The lawyers keep on quarreling about technicalities and the judge allows them to do so. They are all part of the system and the result is: no justice is done -- justice delayed is justice denied. The law is supposed to provide justice. It just does the opposite: it provides injustice. Common sense says: Napoles is a criminal; she is guilty like hell. But lawyer Kapunan tries with all kind of manipulations with the law to prove that Napoles is innocent beyond reasonable doubt or at least less innocent than the whistleblowers who are her accusers. And let us not forget also all the politicians and lawmakers who have greatly benefitted from the pork barrel scam of Napoles.
Our judicial system is here to provide justice to the people.The practitioners of the law are called to provide that service to the people, like the medical practitioners of our health system are called to provide the people with health services, especially the poor, and they should not be out only to make money from their profession. That is the essence of Christianity. If we call the Philippines the only Christian nation in Asia we should make that true in our government systems and show that we are better in that respect than our non-Christians neighbors in Asia. The opposite seems to be true.
Pope Francis emphasized this also when he said: the Catholic Church must shake off its ‘obsession’ with teachings on abortion, contraceptives and homosexuality and become more merciful, or risk the collapse of its entire moral edifice ‘like a house of cards’.
We must take these words of Francis seriously and not downplay them like some bishops are doing when they say: the Pope is quoted here out of context. We often live our faith ‘out of context’.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 29, 2013.