An excerpt from Ted Laguatan’s article in the Inquirer’s Global Nation:
Filing plunder charges against ‘pork’ thieves should not be this slow
“the national consciousness of Philippine justice moving at molasses flow rate...”
The national consciousness of Philippine justice moving at molasses flow rate also has everyone anxious and wondering whether these instant cases will be just like the Ampatuan massacre cases. Four years have passed and not a single Ampatuan defendant has been convicted.
The people are also aware of the fact that none of the Marcoses or their cronies have been convicted nor has the bulk of their stolen wealth been recovered. This lengthy or failed prosecution of defendants who clearly are guilty as hell is a damning reflection of the Philippine justice system.
The longer it takes to file charges (pork barrel scam), the more Filipinos continue to lose faith in their government. Already, many Filipinos are becoming increasingly doubtful of the possibility of jailing the big politico sharks. They are also concerned that with all these delays, the suspects are given so much opportunity to move and hide their loot and destroy the evidence. In other jurisdictions in the world, as a matter of common sense and practicality, warrants for immediate seizure of evidence would already have been long issued.
It is obvious to deeper thinking observers that the ultra-left forces and the propaganda forces of the powerful accused suspects together with the Marcos and Arroyo forces – have combined to misdirect the people by putting the blame instead on Aquino. They want to make it look like it is Aquino who is the wrongdoer instead of the actual thieves. Of course, it serves the interest of the ultra-left connected to Beijing to bring down the government; whereas, it serves the interest of the specified others to bring down Aquino.
Aquino should just ignore the taunts of the enemy. He should just continue to do the right thing - aggressively relentlessly bear down and even increase efforts in the fight against corruption and corrupt people. Results are what people appreciate and recognize.
The longer the Ombudsman delays in filing plunder cases against the accused, the more frustrated the people become – including those who support Aquino in his anti-corruption crusade. That frustration can very well eventually turn against President Aquino as the delay can be used by his enemies to question his sincerity.
While the Ombudsman is theoretically supposedly independent in carrying out her job, the public perception is that the President appointed her and therefore, he can influence her to step on the accelerator. The more she delays, the more the President’s credibility and rating goes down.
This is Aquino’s defining moment and a great opportunity for the country. He can either be a consistently strong moral leader, take the bull by the horns, throw all the bad guys in jail including certain allies, make his martyred father’s impossible dream of a better life for Filipinos come true – or get discouraged, fail to do all these and fizzle as a dud winding up forgotten in the dustbin of history.
Hopefully, the Ombudsman can read the sign of the times, be constantly sensitive to the fact that she is the representative of the people in bringing to justice erring public officials who betray the public trust. She must have a good feel for the public pulse. And what do the people want?
The people are justified in wanting and demanding speedy justice. They want plunder and other charges against the Senators, Congressmen and other officials filed as soon as possible. They want them arrested and jailed now. If this is done within the next 45 days, watch Filipinos and the world stand up and applaud. Filipinos and the rest of the world who hold us in affection – want crooked politicians and officials who have been blatantly stealing the people’s money and causing suffering to millions – to stop their corruption and get the punishment they deserve. Period.
The only real way we can rid the Philippines of endemic widespread institutionalized corruption is to alter the mindset of our people. The nation needs to impose harsh penalties against corrupt officials instead of rewarding them. We should also teach and develop among our people a deep appreciation of the value of honesty as a way of life. We should impress to our children the culture of honesty from the time they start school and preach it from every pulpit and shout it from every podium.
Well-meaning people understand the reality of the difficulties in the jobs of President Aquino and the Ombudsman. But as long as both and other officials continue to act in good faith in the sacred quest for a better country, they will not be lacking in support in fighting to end the powerful evil forces of corruption and social injustice that plagues our people.