Monopoly is considered a dirty word. It is a dictatorial reality. An odious phenomenon. It is an almighty ally. A dangerous enemy. And this is true not only in the world of business but also in the sphere of politics.
Sad to say, it is also in the judicial system. And one of the greatest social liabilities in the country today is precisely the perceived monopoly of justice by the Executive Department. This is a fact notwithstanding the so-called “separation of powers.”
That is why the “big fishes” of all kinds of criminal activities and illegal syndicates can be found everywhere and anywhere else—except behind the prison bars. That is why there is appalling selective justice for the powerful and the helpless, the big shots and the small people. And that is why even renowned convicts still remain a favored and privileged class.
And in this country, it is the executive department who appoints not only all the justices of the higher courts but even all the judges of the lower courts. It is unrealistic to assume that the appointed figures are not beholden to the appointing power. It is only the highly principled and morally upright appointees who would dare go against even but the mere wishes of the appointing authority. And these persons who stand straight and tall in the judicial profession are not that many.
Where do people then go for justice especially against those high-placed individuals in the executive department? How could the justice system be really free, true and fair when it is in the seeming monopoly of the Executive Branch of government?
It is enough that the people delegate their authority to the legislative and executive departments by lending these their power through elections from time to time. But the people themselves should keep and hold unto themselves the application of justice system. Let the people be the judge of those accused from the legislative and specially executive branches of government.
Jury system. Anyone?
+O.V. CRUZ, DD
11 January 2005