TURNING POINT: Crimes and Punishment: Whom shall we turn to?

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 19 Sept) – It is sad that the opportunity for the social media to serve as a channel for interactive discourse on social and political events in this country is lost to inane and irresponsible partisan skirmishes. What is worse is that social media has become a courier of fake news aimed at annihilating critics of the government to divert attention from true state of affairs or to cover-up scandalous missteps of the ruling regime.

All critics of the government are lumped together as yellow and opposition (LP)-paid minions who are up to dislodge the President from his post. This is far from truth. Most critics are independent civic-minded citizens with nary an intention of ousting the President but are simply interested to put the train of governance on right tracks.

Critics of the regime are equally disturbed and are against the devastating drug menace and suffocating corruption in the country like any sensible citizen. They are not against the drug war per se but how it is being carried out.

For instance, the open season to killing of crime suspects should now be closed. The President of the Republic should encourage no more such atrocity. Justice must not also be selective but must apply equally to all. It is revolting that while poor suspected shabu dealers and users with 2 or 5 sachets of the drug in their possession are summarily silenced upon apprehension; whereas, drug lords and dealers of tons and tons of the illegal drug are given a day in court and remain alive to this day.

Suspected criminals, rich and poor, must now be hailed to courts to determine the truth of their offenses and be meted with appropriate punishment if so established.

The process may be tedious and slow-moving, but that’s how the justice system in a democracy works. To short-circuit it is to undermine the very foundation of democracy. It is treason.

The President of the Republic and all the law enforcing agents under his command, are mandated by the Constitution to prevent and stop crimes and uphold and secure the judicial process in fulfilling such mandate. If they won’t do that but instead continue to do the things they are supposed to prevent, then this country will be in grave trouble, as it already is.

Who will bring to justice the President and his men if they are remiss of their duties, and are the ones, in fact, committing the crimes they are tasked to prevent and stop?

The current situation is ominous. In time to come, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) could not anymore make any noise on human rights violations having been caponed by budgetary deprivation. Anyway, in the established order of things, the CHR can only bark but not bite. So who is afraid of the CHR?

Many are apparently not aware that the CHR, like the COA, has no prosecutorial power and cannot resolve issues on its own. It can only recommend to the Executive Department and to other agencies of the governments for appropriate actions anent results of its investigations on events and affairs of the state within its mandate.

Meanwhile, Congress which is duty-bound to impeach the President for treasonable acts has become a highly partisan body under his control or influence.

Moreover, the Chief Justice who is supposed to preside over the impeachment court is getting impeached ahead of him.

If nothing is done to correct things within the system, then we are in to a tyrannical, authoritarian rule.

Whom shall we turn to?

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)