Thursday, November 02, 2006

Justice Is Somewhere Else

What do you do when justice cannot be attained in your very own country, you seek it elsewhere. In apparent exasperation, Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Teddy Casino filed before the Permanent People's Tribunal in the Hague, charges of human rights violations and economic plunder against Gloria Arroyo.

This is the very same court which found former President Marcos guilty of human rights violations and other crimes against the Filipino people. For the second time in its existence, the PPT has reconvened to hear the case against a Philippine president(?). The pretender recently made a round of the EU countries and so far, we have not heard anything good regarding the trip. The news we got were all about the increasing concern of the EU regarding the extra-judicial killings which had proliferated under GMA's regime.

Even groups associated with the United Nations Human Rights Council have not been entertained by the palace. This is despite her promise to the EU leadership that she is willing to accommodate any investigation from the EU or the UN. Before she left for her European trip, she created the Melo Commission to "investigate" the alleged political killings. Public perception for the said commission was that it is created to whitewash the role of the military in the spate of political killings and to show the EU that she is doing something to address the murders. The central figure which was Gen. Jovito Palparan has since retired and was absolved by the AFP investigation panel of any wrongdoing.

Reports say that before the EU would discuss any trade treaty with the Philippine government, the current leadership must first sign the Rome Statute which would place the country under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

The opposition and the people have twice tried to make GMA answer the allegations twice but the efforts were crushed by the pretender's allies in the Lower House. Even the agencies tasked to handle these cases had sat on it. Instead, the Dept. of Justice and the JAGO had been filing cases left and right against members of the legitimate opposition, progressive groups and officers perceived to be sympathetic to the opposition.

The bogus president continues to wield power and control over the institutions which should handle these cases. Time and again, GMA had issued unconstitutional executive orders to prevent any congressional inquiry into the allegations and scandals she is linked to. She continues to undermine every constitutional and judicial process to shield her and her cohorts from the inquiring eyes of the public. She had even tried to tinker with the current system of government to give her perpetual protection.

When all avenues had been exhausted, where would the Filipinos go to? It is good that the international community particularly the EU had taken notice of the plight of the Filipino people. The US in response to Pres. Bush's Anti-Kleptocracy policy had arrested a known henchman of the president and has been detained for several months now.

It seems justice and accountability will forever be "selective" in this country as long as the current dispensation is in power. How ironic it is that justice can be found in a distant land than our very own soil. Now the Filipinos have someone to bring their grievances to than just bite the bullet and yield to an unlawful regime.