The Philippines: An inherently unjust society where criminals big and small get away

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Injustice pervades Filipino society from head to toe. Most recent is the exceedingly tragic fate that befell 25-year-old Kae Davantes whose hog-tied remains were found last Saturday after she went missing on Friday last week. The words “a parent’s worst nightmare” in no way comes close to describing the sort of grief that one can only begin to imagine surrounds the death of someone so young.

You can almost taste the utter sense of loss and helplessness of Davantes’s family and friends in the public statements they’ve issued following the tragedy and the steps they’ve taken to …

Family and friends on Monday created a page on social networking site Facebook named “Justice for KAE.”

“Families and friends, let’s all unite. We will not stop until we find justice. #justiceforkae To our Kae, we love you so much,” the Facebook page read.

The page has gained 53,446 likes, as of posting.

Aside from expressing their sympathies to Davantes’ loved ones, some netizens called on the government to not stop until the person(s) behind her killing is put behind bars.

Some of them even demanded that the death penalty be revived after another “heinous crime” and “senseless killing.”

Dan Derayunan said, “To our police officers, I ask you to do your best, as fast as you can to bring justice to this heinous crime.”

2010 HK Hostage Massacre: Ph authorities defensive rather than resolute

2010 HK Hostage Massacre: Ph authorities defensive rather than resolute

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The dark hole of grief and desperation that one can’t even begin to imagine is evident in the way calls for a reinstatement of the death penalty emerged and appeals to the police to do their job rang out.

Nothing of course will bring back Davante. But nonetheless the question remains:

In the Philippines, is there anyone in the government one can run to who could assure us that the best efforts will be taken and the latest facilities employed to get the job done?

In a lot of cases, the private sector will have to step up and fill whatever gap the public sector leaves to be desired.

In the case of the on-going effort to bring to justice all parties involved in the plunder of billions in pork barrel money, can we rely on government to do its job in finding and apprehending people found guilty of mususing public funds? Beyond anything directly-motivated by political agenda, it seems hardly. If we are to take President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III’s recent announcement on the matter at face value, the case being lodged by Malacañang relevant to this effort reportedly only points to alleged scam kingpin Janet Lim Napoles and, at the moment, leaves out-of-scope any effort directed against any government official who may have been involved in channeling illicit funds to the alleged crooks — unless of course they will be among the “at least 5 individuals” who “will be charged with plunder and malversation of public funds”. At the time that news report was filed, we did not know.

Compare the flaccid effort being mounted by Malacañang to the potential full extent of the scope of the scam. To Napoles’s attorney the case being lodged against her client is a no-brainer. Bring it on, kung baga. But she also makes the valid point…

“Tignan natin iyung COA report. There are 82 NGOs. If we are to believe the whistleblowers, [only 7 or 8 lang of the 82 are Napoles-related NGOs],” she said.

On the whistleblowers, she had this to say: “Maybe the least guilty and they appear to be the ones who personally have knowledge about the senators, the accounts, the modus operandi, I think they should be charged as well.”

Spoken too soon. The whistleblower coalition have now unveiled their legal piece de resistance. Lead counsel Levito Baligod, described the effort as one of a “private complaint” on behalf of his clients that will be submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice and it will cover not just Napoles but a whole bunch of other people implicated on the basis of the earlier Commission on Audit (CoA) report

[Baligod] identified the others facing plunder charges as Gigi Reyes, Ruby Tuason, Pauline Labayen, Richard Cambe, Jose Antonio Evangelista, Rodolfo “Ompong” Plaza, Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, Edgar Valdez, Prospero Pichay and Samuel Dangwa.

An Inquirer source said that Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada would be included in the private complaint to be filed based on their letters of endorsement of Napoles’ dummy nongovernment organizations (NGOs) submitted to the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Agriculture and the documents from the Commission on Audit.

He said about 40 other government officials could face malversation charges for their involvement in the alleged racket.

“The documents we submitted will sufficiently show misuse of government funds and the amassing of illegal wealth by the private individuals,” Baligod told the Inquirer.

This may still be but a small subset of what likely remains to be a vast network of thievery the likes of which may take years to fully reveal (if that is even possible). But it is a good start.

[Photo courtesy Gulf News.]

17 Replies to “The Philippines: An inherently unjust society where criminals big and small get away”

  1. Remember the burnt body of a car dealer (Venson Evangelista) found last 2011? Then a few days later, another car dealer (Emerson Lozano) was found dead in similar manner. These cases were later solved by the PNP (or NBI) and traced to a carnapping syndicate whose leader was later captured. I believe (and hope) that, in due time, the killers of Kae Davantes will be identified and arrested.

    As for the pork barrel scam, the NBI and DOJ will be filing charges soon (this Monday latest?) against the accused plunderers, involving lawmakers, and heads of GOCCs and NGOs. Whether they will be convicted or acquitted will depend on the evidence presented by the prosecution, and impartiallity of the judge that will handle the case. PNoy should appoint a special court to handle the case for fast resolution, preferably, before his term ends. But, whether the court will convict or not, the people will not take this sitting down. An acquital of the accused may ingite a hatred so strong that the people may take justice into their own hands and hang these people in public.

    1. Please, by the time any of this gets to trial the Filipino will have collectively forgot about it.

      The 57 murdered people in Maguindanao have been dead for nearly 4 years, and that has been forgotten by Filipino’s. The International media pays more attention to it than the citizens of the sorry-ass country so, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

      as for the last sentence of your comment:

      THAT TIME IS NOW! THAT TIME,it is here RIGHT NOW, so WTF are you all waiting for? HA, proof that they are all criminals? HA, LMAO, as if you need any proof of that? Filipino’s do not have the BALLS for that sort of thing, they’d rather get raped on a daily basis.

  2. BLAME IT ALL ON MARCOS WHO INSTITUTIONALIZED CORRUPTION FOR 20 YEARS FROM LEGISLATIVE, JUDICIARY AND EXECUTIVE BRANCHES. WE ARE STILL FEELING THE PAIN.

      1. @Gerry your comment is spot on. 100% accurate and a perfect simplification of the incompetence and collective lack of shits given the country possesses.

      1. Cory? Or us, the people? We outnumber these bozos. So benignO was right. We are the true culprits because we let these people come into power. We let good guys (like my dad) get overrun by other more aggressive bozos by not even educating them about the problems ailing in our society in schools or at home. See? My dad tells me all the time about the problems in the country. Why can’t other parents do the same to their kids (especially the more educated ones/privileged ones)?

        1. I completely and earnestly believe the truth in the above words.
          While I do not deny that the politicians’ actions are corrupt and unacceptable, if I want to think about how we can fix thinga as a nation, then all I can say is we can only count on ourselves. I mean, how can we fix things on top if the people themselves victimize and plunder each other. There’s little to no community and social empathy involved anymore. If we want to rise up against this failure we call government, we have to start by strengthening our community and rebuild our morals.

    1. The ‘blame game defense’, nice one! So vhat can be done for it? No no nothing, you getta ze ‘hot rod’ in you butt and say “Oh, hey dere big boy, take it ez will ya”, but zat vill notta happen and you will getta ze golf ball size blood cots of ze butt and mostly need surgery.
      Enjoy!

      1. How about blame it on ourselves or none at all, eh? We just sit here and complain. How ’bout running for politics for a change? So may be tables would turn. NOT. Of course, as usual, be belligerent, complain and still DO NOTHING outside writing about it in this blog. My dad lawyer (then) wanted to run for politics/congress- and wished to be president. So where were all of you when good, obedient citizens were actually expressing sincere interest in running for national leadership? Unfortunately, you weren’t really looking. You still like big names. The ones you hear about it in TV, tabloids, or some familiar political clan name.

        My dad would tell me often how there really have been sincere, idealistic and honourable men wanting to run for politics, but unfortunately, no ordinary pinoy would come to look for them and offer their support. EVER.

        Again, where were all of you when a few good brave citizens made their attempts in office? Offering them support by funding to get himself known to the public?

        Why can’t some of the GRP bloggers scour over Philippines to search someone who is indeed sincere in turning things around the country and fund for ’em to get known? Perhaps have many expats from different countries give the support he/she needs to campaign for leadership. I swear that it would be a real game changer.

        I’ll be going back to the country in two years and I’ll be trying to do just that. ACT on it. Search some random person interested in hearing out the truth. Out in the public. Not in this blog cause only educated ones are able to understand these things. I’d go down at grassroots level. By teaching in some school (hopefully when I graduate), and get them to think through about where they’re heading as a society.

    2. I know you’re right. But only HALF right. There wouldn’t even be a Marcos, if our society then, weren’t retarded enough to let this one great bozo run for leadership (note that he had killed a guy while still a student). But then, we only chose him cause he was ‘intelligent’= had very good grades, high IQ. What our short-sighted society NEVER thinks about is his integrity. WISDOM not just intelligence, is what makes a leader great. Marcos and the others that follow him are obviously none of this. They’re nothing compared to Lee Kwan Yew. If Marcos really was who some of you worship, really is- a great leader- then it really makes me think we really are bozos. Yeah, the Aquino housewife or the Aquinos wouldn’t even be in power if say the past administration had been serious in their governance over the country all through those decades. Sheesh.
      Our society, in general, just want to have bad guys ruling over us ’cause that really attests how we’re a bunch of sell-outs and have no sense of integrity whatsoever. So be prepared in 2016 for another set of bozos sapping the country dry again with pocketing all the people’s tax money.

  3. Reminds me of the injustice that went on through the 70’s in the US and the tough gun control measures, red tape for the honest and law abiding citizen, note things have really changed there and nobody seems to care if the bad guy gets riddled by police bullets. As a legal immigrant here I have no rights to guns, self-protection if I defend my family on a home invasion and kill the assailant I probably will end up in prison for a couple of decades, miss carrying my Glock in the states I’m still licensed to carry there.

    1. @McAlley it is the same with me too! When in the Philippines I am ‘technically’ not allowed to carry a firearm, BUT I ALWAYS DO!!! You see, a ‘partner’ that is a citizen of the country may get a ‘permit to carry’ for P12,500($300+/-), and then the weapon is always available in the home for such types as ‘Home Invasion’ robberies and when you are out and about as long as your partner is with you, he/she is the one who fired the “SHOT”s, YES? Remember, better to be judged by 12 than carried by six. I have carried a weapon in the country for years and no one even knew I had it on me, EVER!Having a German Shepherd/Doberman/Rotweiller is also a good idea. Most people in the country are scared shit of dogs!

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