Editorial: Like sitting ducks-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
WHAT happened inside a Cebu courtroom is a jolt -- no make that a lightning bolt -- that should electrify us all to vigilance in every hall of justice.
As has been reported, John H. Pope, who is facing charges of malicious mischief and trespass to dwelling, went inside the Palace of Justice for a hearing, entered the courtroom where his case will be heard and pumped bullets at close range into the head of his accuser D. Reynold Rafols and his lawyer Jubian Achas before walking off and shooting Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Maria Theresa Casiño as she passed him by.
Whether Pope killed himself or was shot dead by policemen has not yet been established.
Of course, everyone’s asking how Canadian John H. Pope entered Cebu’s Palace of Justice with a gun. But you only need to see the crowd entering the courts to realize that an ill-intentioned person can slip in, for as long as the guards are not constantly reminded of the responsibility they hold in their sticks.
Come to think of it, no other government structure is as filled with enmity as a court of justice. Filipinos are normally not fond of filing lawsuits just because we feel injustice was dispensed our way. Add to that the very slow dispensation of justice hereabouts, going to court is the action of very desperate or very angry men, many of them nurturing deep-seated grudges, and many more capable of wielding a weapon or two.
But the fact that these people are entering the halls of justice to attend court hearings simply means there was enough impetus to drive someone to sue another.
These same people may come in and out of malls as all of us do, but not in such concentration and the reminder of what and whom they hold grudges against.
Those uniformed security guards are thus not just wielding a stick and tucking a .22 caliber handgun for show but are actually ensuring that justice is indeed dispensed by the judge for the accused, the accuser, and the public.
Now, that is a very tough job and responsibility to be dumped on a security guard without the full support of the whole system. The least government can do is provide the systems, equipment and logistics, and infrastructure that will ensure that justice is dispensed in full security and not delegated to a security guard’s lowly stick.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 26, 2013.