Friday, February 3, 2012

The Travails of Our Cheap Justice

I suggest to His Excellency and his underlings to learn to play chess. It is a game that inculcates the habit of “thinking ahead”. Whenever one moves his piece, it is assumed he has calculated 10 moves ahead or more. The game forces one to develop the mind of a god. Surveying the chess board, he becomes aware that one move sends ripples all throughout - that determines the outcome of a campaign. It isn’t a game where brute force prevails. One can’t just go along taking his foe’s piece for each one of his own the other side gains. It takes calculated finesse.

Were the prosecutors expecting some grand reinforcements?

Their rationalized, heavy-handed tactics seems to imply that someone’s calling all the shots. Well, if it’s for forcing to conclude the case ASAP then well and good. Let’s hope the shots they’re calling won’t be turned on them.

Which wants to me to refer this historical fact: has anyone wondered why the US lost the war with Vietnam? Though having the techno-industrial upper hand, they may have won militarily but overall, it was a colossal failure. Blame it on the Vietcong outsmarting Big, Dumb Brute Brother. They were wise enough to employ a grand strategy in the war. They struck at the very core of it: the hearts and minds of the American public. A war cannot be waged and won without the support of the people. Even if a state has all the advantages to wage what will be an unpopular war, its citizens will not bear the taint it puts on ALL of them in the end. They would better opt to stay out of it. No amount of propaganda can ever goad mature and critical citizens who know the real score. Indeed, it will be a Pyrrhic victory for all – where gains are outnumbered by the losses. And it was the last thing the American public wanted.

Continued talks of compromise would’ve been better. A cleaner measure compared to the present actions taken. One president can only do so much in his limited term. Or in this case, the court proceedings can only gain so much for the prosecution. They can go further but at what cost? They can attain justice to satisfy the policy of “matuwid na daan”, but it will only create sinkholes instead of eliminating potholes in the long run. To the masses’ detriment, they’re making our already cheap justice further cheap. The prosecution is toying it around as we speak. The trial liars…er…lawyers are doing a good job at it. Um, wait – come to think of it, the words “liar” and “lawyer” almost sound so much alike they’re becoming synonymous.

And that’s the tragedy of it. Every Filipino now is aware that a court hearing isn’t really a crusade for justice. The truth is that whoever gives the most persuasive, most compelling, and most convincing presentation wins the case. They can say anything and show anything then only make it look good. That is how majority of court cases are won (sadly). Then mob psychology works to color it with the impression that “justice was served”.

Why be shocked? Didn’t you know by now that in this imperfect world, the ideal only exists in the mind?

But that doesn’t mean fairness cannot be achieved. Besides, isn’t gaining fairness the end goal of justice? And fairness, my friends, can be gained only through compromise. They’re all politicians for crying out loud – don’t tell me they can’t live up to their role?

It’s a lot better than turning our Chief Justice into CHEAP justice – the one you can dispose at whim.

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