With the Philippines particularly in mind, the administration of justice – be this commutative (person to person), contributive (person to society), or distributive (society to persons) – has three fundamental obstacles that precisely promote its contradictions such that instead of justice, what actually reigns is injustice: Patronage Politics. Power Play. Wealth Ascendancy. Only those pretending to be blind, deaf and dumb, have no knowledge and/or experience of this living reality nationwide.
Patronage politics is a living and detestable fact in the Country that hampers the administration of justice – irrespective of whether someone is the recognized political boss or a useful political affiliate. “Equality before the law”, thus becomes but a nice sounding invocation that is however effectively denied by patronage politics. The living examples of this detestable phenomenon are the PDAF and DAP debacles that political allies make the choice who goes deliriously free or readily put behind bars.
Power play is the application of irresistible influence, pressure or leverage that either destroys or neutralizes the administration of justice supposedly applied without friends or foes. The weak in power connections and pursuant persuasions are not only easy to control but easy as well to debase whereby their human dignity as well as human rights are made but purely academic issues. But the powerful are not only difficult but even dangerous to resist. Thus it is that in the BUCOR, powerful prisoners are in fact free to do what they want, to go where they want and when.
Wealth ascendancy is what removes the blindfold of Lady Justice and therefore makes her see who is who for the maladministration of equality and individuals before the law. Such a liability in the administration of justice has special relevance in the Philippines, considering the wants and needs of majority of Filipinos – those working in the judiciary included. It is not difficult to understand that the administration of justice is extra difficult when wealth plays a role therein. So it is that no less than some four years after, the infamous MAGUINDANAO massacre remains practically untouched and altogether unresolved.
This is not meant to say that injustice reigns supreme in the Country. Much less is this intended to affirm that justice is altogether absent in Philippine society. It is but the admission that justice is elusive for Filipinos when Political Patronage, Power Play, and/or Wealth Ascendancy already enter in Halls of Justice. And this reality is no secret at all. It may be unsaid or un-noted but it is a sad reality, it is lamentable actually.