Philippines, for a couple of times, has been regarded as one of the most corrupt nations not only in Asia but throughout the world. Our country, according to their statistics doesn’t get out from the Top 10 Corrupt Nations in Asia. For a Filipino like me, hearing this news, seeing such ranking is depressing not only for a fact that I do live in this country, but given also that some people who happens not to be a Filipino will, in most of the times, establish fallacy of hasty generalization- that is since Philippines is country, so too are its countrymen.
I couldn’t help it, and I couldn’t blame them, because it is sometimes evident. Day after day, there are new controversies seeing the light of the dawn in the media. Day after day there are charges being filed against public officials. Day after day we see projects gone to waste. Day after day we see and hear more Filipinos getting hungry, unemployed, dying.
Yesterday, in one of my classes, particularly my MTLBE class, or the Medtech Laws and Bioethics, it came as a passing example by our professor that the Judicial System here in the country seems to favor only the rich. He has further stated that this is because rich people can afford whereas the poor can’t even get themselves a lawyer, not unless a public attorney who, by the way, handles a lot of cases every single day.
I admit that I am a cynical person, that I don’t fully trust the government or even any other people including my friends. That what I see in government’s so-called positive actions, combats, against poverty has something negative or black prop behind it. That there is always a ploy in each of the so-called fight of the government against poverty, against hunger, name it. No matter how much cynical can I get, there’s always this soft spot in me that tells me to become optimistic about things and one of that things perhaps concerns the Judicial System of the country.
The passing example yesterday, for some of my classmates, sounded as if nothing, taking into consideration their blank facial expressions when our professor mentioned it. Some even agreed and some were just perhaps indifferent. But me, while I was listening as our professor mentions the phrase, it sounded as if it was an ear sore, in short, while my brain was processing it, it didn’t sound good.
So yes, let’s accept the fact that the Judicial System has been tarnished with a lot of controversies in the past, those questionable verdicts that they had, those injustices as others would want to see it. But hasn’t anyone of you noticed that majority of the news we hear about the Judicial System are news against them? News about cases that are slow-paced, cases which are favoring a certain group, rulings which are deemed against the society. This is a good example of sensationalized news. We can hardly hear from them, from people, from news agencies, news about cases won, news about cases favoring the poor, the defenseless people, the government because people, cynic or not, doesn’t have a soft spot of optimism in them, especially when it comes to the government and its judicial system.
How does this connect with the remarks of my teacher? Simply, it worsens the perception of people, of the students, about the Judicial System. Come to think of it, if you’re a teacher, it is already understood that perhaps most of the times, your students will believe you. And to insinuate that the justice system of the Philippines is such as that would make the people, especially your students; trust less in the justice system. And the more that the people will insinuate negative things the more that the Justice System loses its credibility because of the superficial insinuations of people that they can’t support with any tangible evidence, only hearsays. It definitely is unfair in the side of the justice system to be treated with partiality as it would be unfair in our side to be treated with partiality as well, is it not?
The relationship of the people of the Philippines and our Justice System is a two-way relationship. We, the people of the Philippines, must trust our Justice system in as much as they are counting on us. If they would ran out of people who are there to support them, then futile it is to maintain them in the system of our government. After all, the Judicial System is not there for no reason.
Let’s change our mantra; let’s not lose hope and let’s have faith with the Justice System, and just like Barack Obama once said, “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost”.
Are we ready to utterly lose what we have been slowly losing?