Monday, July 16, 2007

guilty or not guilty

The Filipinos are now facing another big divisive phenomenon. They are already divided by many socio-political and economic realities. But it is not merely a matter of who are rich or poor, who are killed or allowed to live. Neither is it simply a question of who are powerful or helpless. It touches instead on one most divisive reality with profound moral premise and extensive social implications.

It is consist in the great divide between what is good or evil, what is virtuous or vicious, who is guilty or not. This dividing reality takes on a particular relevance to Philippine society not only these days but also those yet to come. This has reference to the Sandigan Bayan now poised to render its guilty or not guilty verdict on someone brought before its forum on the accusation of plunder.

From all the words said and the actions taken by different sectors of society with contrary postures, there are marked indications that to the effect that hundreds if not thousands of people are poised to registered their vehement protests, hold noisy rallies and marches—irrespective of the guilty or not guilty verdict by the Sandigan Bayan on the accused.

But why? Why this “damn if you do and damn if you don’t” predicament of the Sandigan Bayan? Why are people so divided irrespective of whether the person concerned is retained in jail or set free? Is good or bad judgment irrelevant in the case? Is justice of no consequence in the matter? How come the Sandigan Bayan is placed between the “devil and the deep blue sea”—such that whatever sentence it pronounces will be unacceptable by a good number of Filipinos?

A more realistic analysis of the extraordinary dilemma boils down to a more fundamental issue: it is not merely if the previous national leader is in fact guilty but also if the incumbent one is in effect innocent. This is the crux of the matter. In other words, due to their close historico–political connection, it has become rather unacceptable if one is condemned while the other basks in glory.

The crux of the matter is that while there are people who are convinced that former MalacaƱang occupant is guilty. At the same time, others believe that the present MalacaƱang resident is more guilty of more misdeeds badly affecting more people.

Hence, the moment one is found guilty, many people will find it very hard to accept that the other is innocent—especially so when they are of the conviction that the supposedly innocent one is more guilty.

16 July 2007