These are times that test the Filipino spirit identified with joy and laughter, with fun and hope. The spirit of Christmas reigns half the year. Fiestas of all kinds for one reason or another are celebrated all over the land. Occasions are invented to enjoy life, to celebrate, eat and laugh. While all such positive human events and joyful features then accompanied the Filipinos year after year after year, there are now more and more sad and saddening realities in the Philippines that come to fore, that try men’s soul, that dampen if not seriously challenge the Filipino psyche. Would that media not be silenced less even but the three following realities of the times become neutralized in their negative significance and disturbing impact and eventually considered as but “normal” in the Philippine scene:
Deadly events anywhere, anytime:
Extra-judicial killings, summary executions, downright murders 24/7. Dead men, women and children found here and there. Guns of all makes and kids, all sizes, shapes and calibers used to terminate human lives as a matter of existence as but a customary agenda. Corpses found in houses, in the streets, in the fields, under the ground. Cadavers crowding the morgues with no claimers, no takers. Human life as the greatest gift to man done away without remorse day in and day out. The time of counting the population has been overtaken by the counting of the dead.
Question: When will it end?
Inhumane prisons with still presumed innocent prisoners:
Small prisons housing extra-big number of prisoners. People still presumed innocent yet though still presumed innocent are already punished to the hilt. Not only is there no place to sleep but there is also practically none to comfortably sit down, reasonably stand on – much less any space to get enough sleep. More. Imprisoned young, old they have become and yet still remain imprisoned while still not proven guilty. Sickness of all kinds with different gravity and pain they have as a matter of course. The prisoners are dirty and wear dirty clothes. Food – never mind.
Question: How long will this last?
Stagnant and thus unjust Justice System:
It was bad enough in the not too distant past but it is worst in these times. Few are the Courts but fewer still are the judges. Quasi-innumerable are the Cases waiting for resolution. The Court files are not only enormous in volume but are also gathering good amounts of dust – plus spider webs. There are lawyers who are masters in the matter of the postponement of Hearings for this and that reason. Meanwhile, the hands of the judges are tied by normative Procedural Law. And so it is that justice denied is not simply justice denied but injustice per se.
Question: What will make the Justice System just?