Wednesday, December 15, 2004

indemnifying victims

After so much dissent between pro-life movements and pro-death groups about the fate of the criminals, would both camps now want to think about the victim of heinous crimes? After so many discussions about the penalty deserved by the criminals, how about considering the victims themselves? Their fundamental rights have been violated. Their present is odious. Their future is dark.

Question: Should not the government indemnify the victims or their heirs—for the heinous crimes perpetrated against them as bona fide citizens the government failed to protect? If the Citizens—the children, the youth, the elderly—pay indirect and/or direct taxes to the government for the latter’s service to them, should the government not indemnify the citizens it failed to serve?

The government spends billions for catching crime suspects, for establishing their guilt, for placing and keeping them behind bars, for feeding and sustaining them, even for killing them in the death chamber.

Is there nothing for their victims or their heirs?

For its failure to protect the victims from heinous criminals notwithstanding all the resources at its command, for the non-performance of its police agencies given all the basic fire power, communications and mobilization to protect the citizens, the government may not absolve itself from indemnifying the victims of heinous crimes in particular.

It is vain for the government to claim that it has no liability when crimes are committed, when citizens are violated and/or killed even. It is futile for the government to allege that it is not capable of preventing the commission of all heinous crimes. Then, what is its liability? What is its capability?

In addition to the token financial penalty imposed upon the proven criminal as determined by the competent court, the executive department must realistically indemnify the victim.

20 September 1999