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Justice, Philippine-style

/ 03:40 AM July 10, 2014

The Supreme Court’s almost unanimous decision on Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong is both laudable and frustrating.

Ong was found guilty of accepting payoffs to favor alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in another case in 2010.

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Laudable, because the high tribunal did not spare the rod on a spoiled member of the judiciary; frustrating, because the court could not decide whether to dismiss or suspend him.

Therein lies the crux of the decision: to dismiss or suspend Ong.

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Why is the high court divided on the penalty to be imposed on Ong?

Is it because he’s a fellow jurist that the Supreme Court is split—six for dismissal and six for suspension—on what penalty to be imposed on the erring Sandiganbayan justice?

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Justice Ong should be kicked out to serve as a lesson to other members of the judiciary, particularly corrupt judges and appellate court magistrates.

Ong’s dismissal will have a chilling effect on judges and justices who accept bribes from litigants.

Let’s face it, there are numerous judges and justices whose decisions are for sale.

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Gregory Santos Ong passed the Bar exams in 1979 with an average of 76.45 percent.

He probably learned early from corrupt judges as a practicing lawyer.

Lawyers who bribe judges or prosecutors outnumber those who depend on their oral and written arguments to win their cases.

Corruption is passed on in the judiciary as practicing lawyers, who bribe judges and prosecutors (deridingly called “fix-cals”) become justices, judges or prosecutors later on.

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In this country, lawyers who seek out clients instead of being sought out, make such a loud racket of the cases they win.

These “ambulance chasers” win their cases by asking their clients to bribe justices, judges or prosecutors.

Such is the state of our judicial system.

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I’m not implying anything, but why did Makati Judge Cristina Sulit, who’s handling the murder case against police Chief Insp. Angelo Germinal, allow him to post bail?

Germinal is accused of killing a 13-year-old scavenger, Christian Serrano, in Bagtikan, Makati City, on May 9, 2011.

Murder is a nonbailable offense.

In allowing Germinal to post bail, Sulit has weakened the murder case against him.

There was very strong evidence of premeditation, a principal element in murder, as Germinal used his personal gun, a .22-cal. rifle, in shooting the boy.

By the way, Germinal has been promoted to superintendent (equivalent to the military lieutenant colonel) even while his murder case is pending.

That’s justice, Philippine-style.

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A local official in Cebu struck it rich when he was a practicing lawyer.

He was a link between corrupt Court of Appeals justices and his clients whose cases were on appeal in the court.

The lawyer-turned-politician became so rich he was able to finance his campaign for a high office.

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TAGS: Angelo Germinal, bail, Cristina Sulit, Graft and Corruption, Gregory Ong, judges, Justice, law practice, Murder, payoffs, practicing lawyers, Sandiganbayan
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