Friday, September 5, 2008

Joke Joke! The concept of rule of law in RP

After the failed attempt of Jocelyn "Joc Joc" Bolante to secure political asylum in the United States, PCIJ reports that he will be deported to Singapore. It is most certain that Singapore, in turn, will deport him to the Philippines. The petition for asylum, as everyone but the most naive of people know, is nothing but an attempt to escape prosecution in the Philippines because of his involvement in the fertilizer fund scam. But in the end, Joc Joc's attempts to stay away from the Philippines is an exercise in futility.

I don't know why Joc Joc is so afraid of setting foot in the Philippines. After all, no less than our esteemed Justice Secretary Gonzales stated in an Inquirer report that, "If he return[s], he should be accorded the rights of a Filipino citizen because no case has been filed against him here, no arrest warrant unless the Senate can still enforce the warrant of arrest against him." Even Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita stated in another Inquirer report that, "Hindi pwedeng makialam ang MalacaƱang dahil siya ay wala na sa gobyerno."In short, the palace will not intervene, and will most likely hesitate in filing charges against the beleaguered former secretary. Doing so will only open a can of worms for the administration. And the palace surely does not want that to happen.

Contradistinguish Bolante from Jun Lozada. The NBN-ZTE scandal whistleblower has continuously been the subject of underhanded tactics by the government which effectively deprive him of his full rights. At one point, Secretary Gonzales tried to ban Lozada from traveling to Iloilo, thereby depriving the latter of his right to travel. Furthermore, it is reported that Jun and his wife Violet "are fending off at least six cases charging them with perjury, malversation, graft -- and even theft, filed by a woman they swear they’ve never met." The speed and number of criminal cases being filed shows the vigor of government prosecutors to pin the Lozada spouses, in contrast to the lackasaidal attitude of the Ombudsman towards Bolante's case.

This, my friends, is the idea of Rule of Law of the current administration. And what a big joke it is.

Photo: roland, Creative Commons, Flickr

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