Thursday July 19, 2018

Tell it to SunStar: Character and habits of our legal system

WATCHING and hearing the Senate investigation on the recent tragic death by hazing during initiation of a first year University of Santo Tomas (UST ) law student, Horacio Tomas Castillo III, caused me to ponder and wonder about our current legal system and habitual legal practice. Are we witnessing here an example of a legal fiction or just a teleserye-like human drama.

Under our judicial system, a de facto criminal is still presumed innocent de jure until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt and convicted by a court of justice, paradoxically symbolized by a blindfolded Lady Justice, notwithstanding the common belief that devils speak in whispers and hearsays are inadmissible in court. In view thereof, subject case appears to be only a de facto legal fiction.

Lawyers are trained never to tell a lie for as long as they are not compelled to tell the truth. Otherwise, the truth may not set their clients free but send them to jail instead. Law students who join an exclusive fraternity or brotherhood and are initiated to membership by means of sadistic acts of physical violence may in effect be inheriting from their leaders and senior members the seeds of violence, which may subsequently form a part of their habits and character.

On a national scale, it is worth noting that the collective habits of people or a body politic make up the true character of a nation. Ideologies, ideas, preambles and laws may only serve to inspire people, but they do not make a character of a nation. Habits do.--Amay P. Ong Vaño, Cebu City

Yet another miracle

This is the 21st century. Isn’t it about time Filipinos realize there are no such things as religious miracles. After all, if there were, don’t you think the country would have been better off already?

Sure, we don’t understand all there is to know about our world. For example, disease remission is not exactly new, occurring in cases where the patient had no belief in any kind of god. Think about it, Filipinos have been praying for the last 400 years for a miraculous solution to all their problems, but instead of moving ahead, the country seems to be regressing.

Now the drug problem is being blamed on Honk Kong and Taiwan, two of the main destinations of Filipinos who either do not want to stay in their country or are forced to look for employment abroad, regardless of conditions in the foreign countries. Perhaps the people should realize by now that maybe - just maybe- it is really true that God will only help those who help themselves - not by begging and appealing to the heavens but by taking positive action.

“Non scolae sed vitae discimus.”--Bert Pursoo, Cebu City

Water everywhere

So where is Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s boast that he is a good manager? Ngano man lagi nga bisag asa ka lingi kun dunay uwan, duna may baha?--Dale Desiderio, Cebu City