Editorial

Justice and violence

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As if the judiciary didn’t have enough problems resolving the mammoth backlog of cases and the inadequate resources at their disposal, it also has to deal with raging complainants like the late John Pope.

As most everyone who read the news know by now, Pope fatally shot his accuser, Dr. Rene Rafols, his lawyer Juvian Achas and severely injured Asst. Prosecutor Maria. Theresa Calibugan-Casiño in a shooting rampage that was stopped by two police officers last Monday.

After everything that happened, at least two things stand out: Pope’s unresolved disappointment over the country’s justice system and the security in place at the Palace of Justice situated at the Capitol compound.

Whatever one can say about Pope, particularly those who had the misfortune of crossing paths with him during one of his temper fits, his rants about a corrupt judicial system should neither be dismissed nor taken lightly.

He even wrote about a journal about it entitled “Justice Denied” and sent excerpts and a book to Cebu Daily News and other media outlets. Most tellingly, he alleged that the going rate for bribes to prosecutors and judges is P40,000.

Point 2 is the Palace of Justice security coverage which, while disallowing the entry of those not in proper attire—i.e., shorts and slippers—surprisingly allowed someone like Pope to enter the premises despite carrying two firearms.

At the time of their deaths, condemnations were voiced towards Pope but like the victims, he didn’t lack for sympathizers. Still Pope’s resulting action which he already anticipated with his words that “violence begets violence” isn’t justified at all either before the laws of humanity or before God.

Despite this, Supreme Court officials, judges and prosecutors will have to deal anew not only with Pope’s contention but the equally vocal sentiments of those similarly prejudiced, who don’t have Pope’s finances nor his access to local and international media outlets and yet have seen their cases buried and gathering dust in the backburner of every court in Cebu.

Pope’s case was said to be “isolated” and his violent response blamed on his misunderstanding about the rules and processes of the country’s judicial system.

Maybe so, but it’s not only Pope who complained and died without seeing their cases resolved by the courts. Countless others who don’t know and really don’t care about the inner workings of that system whose demands for justice remain unanswered should not be continually ignored nor their written complaints be consigned to the wastebasket.

If this country’s justice system were as responsive and decisive as Pope or those oppressed long enough wanted it to be, maybe there’s little to no need at all for prosecutors to arm themselves.

The deaths of Pope and his victims only show the shortcomings of the country’s justice system. Something should be done about it now.

Inquirer Viber

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  • NEILMCNALLY

    I really love that section of this report pertaining to the “acceptable attire” clause often brutally(metaphorically) enforced on clients of  the B.I. in Intramuros.
    I especially love the additional mention of the two firearms this Pope fellow  managed to get passed the “security”(tongue in cheek!).
    There must be up to 3-4 security officers posted just inside the entrance to Intramuros’ B.I.
    Myself or my baggage sets off a signal,but there is no”immediate response” from the guards..through I go with my miniature nuclear device sitting in my bags..no hassles!
    It’s a joke and a waste of time…really.
    Same goes for the Light-Rail security checks..delays are the only result of “security’s” checking of every travellers’ bags/persons!
    So..if there are not X-ray facilities available to these people attempting to do the impossible due to their lack of modern resources,then give up and pension-off the security guards!
    They are presently just interrupting the free-flow of customers towards the overloaded light-trains close-by. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4WDW3UUYXIZGCUS2OULRGKOHPY Jackie Ramos

    May this unfortunate incident opens the eye of the Secretary of Justice for the widespread corruption of prosecutors in the office of the City prosecutor of cebu 

    • bictima

      jackie ramos tama ka dyan especially kung alumnus kaibigan kamaganak siguradong manalo ssa kaso kahit walang evidence……………………

  • bictima

    the fixcal  demonized JOHN POPE  and convinced us  that he was a bad guy.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Noli515

      Killing people while going on a rampage …I dont know why you still have to be convinced if a person is deranged if not evil. Do you know the shooter personally? Do you know the victims personally? If not, then don’t put your frustrations on the country’s judiciary system into hailing people of their apparently noble cause even if it results to such crimes. Wait until one of your family becomes the “bictima” in such brutal killings and see what will you say.

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