How justice failed


How justice failed?

Our situation is very precarious. People’s fear for their safety is becoming a paranoia. Insecurities and serious anxiety plague more and more people as abuses and excesses of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against drugs are spilling all over the country. With more than 13,000 deaths attributed to the anti-drug campaign, it has become scandalous for anyone to deny that something is wrong with the government’s efforts to eradicate crimes.
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Photo courtesy of Forum Philippines.
In spite of the heightened anti-criminality campaign, criminal elements continue to inspire fear in the hearts of ordinary people. Confounding the situation are the disgruntled elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who are out to execute suspected criminals in plain sight.
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Photo courtesy of

The recent controversial killing of a young drug suspect in Caloocan City by members of the PNP added to the record of abuses committed in the course of the government’s anti-drug campaign. A critic had accused the administration of adopting a policy of liquidation in its campaign because of the rampant killings connected with the campaign. She claimed that the pattern which the killings exhibited implies that there was a design to eliminate all those who are suspected of dealing with drugs. In other words, she is accusing the Duterte administration of committing a systematic and widespread attack on the civilian population believed to be complicit in the illegal drug trade.

President Rodrigo Duterte quickly denied the accusation. He lambasted his accuser and laughed off the accusation. Of course, it was logically that he made the denial. Had he failed to make the denial he would be giving his critics an important evidence with which to hale him to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

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Photo courtesy of The Expat Angle.

Public perceptions on law and order are starting to galvanize on the idea that killings can be effective means to root out the criminal class. A new normal has begun to embed in our society. Soon this new normal will dismantle people’s moral and intellectual defenses against the rationality of the utilitarian ethics that the administration is propagating, that is: it’s okay to sacrifice the lives of one or ten or even hundreds and thousands for the greatest good of one hundred million people.

The dysfunctions of the criminal justice system are highly evident in its failure to put a stop on the killings and the abuses committed in the name of the war on drugs. Criminals, especially those who are masquerading as law enforcers, continue to discredit the police force and mock the rule of law. Sadly, none of the pillars of the criminal justice system possess the political will to demand accountability and prevent impunity for crimes.

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Illustration courtesy of Awesomely Luvvie.

Justice has failed. It failed the thousands who died in the anti-drug war because they were denied the chance to defend themselves before the court. It also failed the victims of crimes because their abusers died instantly without suffering what awaits them in prison.

Justice failed and it will continue to do so unless the innocents are protected from the abuses of those who govern in the name of law and order.



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