Wednesday, December 08, 2004

contra rule of law

The poor and helpless have the rule of law working against them. It is more strictly applied to them, more severely invoked against them. Both the executive and the judicial branches of government find them easier to intimidate and dominate. This is sad but true.

The common tao on the other hand, those who are ordinary citizens who live standard lives, are better treated by the rule of law. This better treatment however simply means that the law is interpreted and applied to them as it is meant and intended to be. While they are not oppressed by the law, neither are they given any special consideration. This is good and true as well.

The powerful, wealthy and influential are the considered enemies of the rule of law. This means the following more salient realities: That they seek exemption from the law. That the law is made hesitant to apply itself to them. That those concerned in the executive and judicial branches of government in effect tend to be lenient to them, to make them exempt therefrom for reasons and motives other than truth and justice.

But then, the following has to be said and noted: if the rule of law is not interpreted and applied equally to all, then the country instead has nothing really but the rule of personalities, the will of the potentates, the dictates of money and might.

The logic is, the bigger the crime someone is accused with while occupying no less than the highest office in the land, the more the rule of law should apply. It would be hard to justify how come a former President is given all the health care, all the personal facilities and considerations possible, when thousands of poor prisoners all over the country accused of but petty crimes do not even have the basic service of physicians, do not have decent beds to sleep on, much less the normal conveniences of living. Pray tell how come?

Thus it is that the lady justice has one eye uncovered. Such duplicity is fatal to a supposedly democratic country like the Philippines.

15 December 2002