WE have the so-called five pillars of the criminal justice system. These are the community, law enforcement, prosecution, judiciary and rehabilitation or penology. The five pillars must work in concert and complement each other with checks and balances for the efficient and effective prosecution of criminal offenders to best serve the public. Criticism of the country’s legal system often centers around issues of disconnect. The five pillars represent many different facets of the legal system and society.

The community plays a vital role in the prevention and solution of crimes for without its active participation crimes will not be solved and criminals will not be prosecuted. The community, or the public, provides the law enforcement with information about the commission of a crime and possibly acts as a witness for the prosecution of criminal offenders. The law enforcement investigates cases and files it with the prosecution if evidence warrants and implements our laws.

The prosecution, which is under the National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice, conducts preliminary investigation and file its findings in court and acts as the public prosecutor. Then there is the judiciary, or courts, which is under the Supreme Court, which tries cases. There is the rehabilitation, or penology, whose purpose is to rehabilitate criminal offenders upon conviction so that after serving their sentences, they can go back to the social mainstream as reformed persons.

The recent directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to strip the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of the power to conduct anti-illegal drug operations so both agencies can cleanse their ranks of scalawags is a “temporary setback” to our law enforcement. Although there is the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to carry out the task, but. as what I have said in my previous column, the agency could be ineffective because it lacks manpower and resources.

But why are we only cleansing the law enforcement aspect? We have to cleanse the other pillars of the criminal justice system like the prosecution, judiciary and rehabilitation.

Do you think that it’s only the law enforcement that has been infiltrated by scalawags and bad eggs? We’ve heard about several prosecutors who are involved in fixing cases. Many cases have been “mysteriously dismissed” because money changed hands. The same thing is happening in our judiciary. There are judges who are corrupt and used their judicial powers for their personal interest.

Aside from the law enforcement, one of the most corrupt pillars and needs also an overhaul is the rehabilitation, or penal system.

How come a convicted felon, who is supposed to be reformed inside the jail, continues his illegal activities?

Ask any of the arrested drug personalities where they got their supplies of drugs and most of them will answer, from the Cebu City Jail or the National Bilibid Prison.

So, how come illegal drugs are able to enter and leave our jails? The answer is corruption. Ang mga konbiktadong drug personalities misamot og kadatu didto sa Munti gumikan kay nagnegosyo gihapon og drugas.

Maayo pa siguro atong punan ang five pillars og extrajudicial killings o vigilantism. Patyon diritso ang mga klarong drug personalities kay di man gihapon magbag-o didto sa prisohan gumikan sa corruption. Maayo kayha?