Greed and the Civilized Society

Greed and the Civilized Society

By Apolinario Villalobos


Transforming from the practices of various barbarian societies, the execution of justice based on actual commitment of misdeed, has evolved into one that has become founded on supposedly intelligent reasons and fairness, hence, the symbol of the Lady Justice as a blindfolded woman holding a perfectly- balanced scale.


Unfortunately, the intelligence of man is such that he has developed the propensity of circumventing written laws for his advantage. And, since the Lady Justice is blindfolded, she has no way of knowing about the deceitful effort. The Lady Justice leaves everything to the exchanges of  “legal” justifications that paid lawyers let out in court….and further leaves everything to the judge who makes the decision. The problem here is when the innocent has no money for an intelligent lawyer, while on the other hand the perpetrator of the offense can afford to hire an intelligent Bar topnotcher. Still, worst, is when the judge is also caught in the web of payoffs.


Oftentimes, we hear the line, “for every rule, there is an exception” which means that even the best Law of the land can be circumvented by excuses to give exemptions to misdeeds. Oftentimes, exemptions are based on the thickness of the wads of crisp bills. With this situation, where does “justice” come in?


Another popular adage is, “if a misdeed has no complainant, there is no offense”. Oftentimes, this kind of unwritten rule always puts the poor in the disadvantage, because unless he files a complaint against an offender, he could not expect justice. But since the poor victim cannot afford an intelligent lawyer, no case is filed, except a simple police report in the precinct blotter. Also, if a rich offender wants to go scot-free from a misdeed, he can even hire a “fall guy” to take his place.


The Law of the civilized society is supposed to protect the constituents and much effort on the part of the government should be exerted toward this end. Unfortunately, the modern-day barbarians – corrupt officials and wealthy criminals have spoiled everything that put practically all societies on earth in a mishmash jumble! So, it does not matter whether a country belongs to a third world or highly-advanced, as offenses are founded on just one single desire – GREED!


The Philippine Justice System…can it still be trusted?

The Philippine Justice System…can it still be trusted?
By Apolinario Villalobos

Some people mispronounce “lawyer” as “liar”. At the rate guilty parties get scot-free despite their glaring offenses, the second allusion to the lawyer as a liar, seems to hold water. But, before all lawyers condemn me, I would like to make it clear that just like the rest of professions that are tinted with dishonesty, there are some law practitioners who try their best to be honest…still. In this profession, the rule is “my words against your words”. Whoever can persuade the presiding judge based on their painstakingly researched proof, makes the day. That is supposed to be way how the trial should be done.

Today, however, there are factors to consider: integrity of the presiding judge and cost of the influence, name of the lawyer, influence of the media in case of sensational issues, and persistent courage of the aggrieved to pursue the case.

It cannot be denied that some judges have been disrobed of their authority after giving in to the tempting offer of wealthy defendants in connivance with their lawyers. News items about this shameful occurrence, find their space in broadsheets and tabloids, even broadcasted over radio and television. The future of a case may also hinge on the image of the lawyer, as those with historically reputable name are given more positive expectation, an impression that counts a lot. For the sensational cases, the media plays a vital role as it can stir the public’s emotion and opinion. On the other hand, the courageous persistence of the aggrieved will decide if the case will still be pursued, in the face of tempting “compensation” in exchange for their grief.

The popular joke is that, if one wants to hear the best lies, he better attend trials in court. It is where one can hear oratorical dissertations that can move one to shed a tear or two and can turn one into a savage seething with anger. All these happen under, not the gaze, as the eyes are covered, but the shadow of the so-called Lady Justice holding a weighing scale perfectly balanced.

However, one particular and interesting opportunity can be viewed via TV – the Binay case. The viewers with weak and sickly heart, though, are counseled not to view it as they will just clasp their painful chest after witnessing the effort of his lawyers in covering very obvious wrongdoings with their circuitous statements. These “lawyers” try their best to bleach clean their client, hoping to high heavens that the senators and the viewing public will believe them just because they finished their Law from reputable universities!

In view of the above, with earnest and all innocence, I wonder if the Lady Justice is still reliable today. Can she defend the innocent Filipinos facing trial, with her sword? Can she make a good judgment, ensuring a perfectly-balanced scale with her eyes covered? Obviously, with her uncovered ears, her judgment shall be based on the best delivered lies!

The Abused TRO, Unrealistic Bail, and Cybercrime

The Abused TRO, Unrealistic Bail, and Cybercrime
By Apolinario Villalobos

It seems that the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has been abused to the hilt. Some parties which are glaringly guilty find it as a means to slow down the justice system. All it takes for these parties to have is a “wise” lawyer who has the guts to use his trade in twisting truths to their advantage. In any democratic country, this sad reality has to be accepted because of the system.

On bails, some has been proven outdated, especially, in the Philippines. One classic example is what happened in our neighborhood when a burglar was caught in the act of going over the fence of his victim, by a neighbor, at dawn. A citizen’s arrest was made. The culprit was turned over to the barangay (village council) for investigation, a required process before he can be turned over to the police. At the police station, necessary recording and other processes were done until the culprit was brought to the court for the inquest. It was already almost five in the afternoon when the whole process was finally capped (practically, it took a whole day), with the culprit going scot free after posting a bail of 2,000 pesos! It was disheartening and disgusting because burglaries have been committed in the neighborhood for months and the residents suspect the same syndicate. And, with a mere 2,000 pesos, he is free again to do this trade.

On the issue of cybercrime, the justice system is again questioned. The Supreme Court sidelined important issues on child pornography, hacking and others, to give more importance to “libelous statements”. Just recently, a raid was made in a suburb of Manila in a house and a school where on-line pornography was in progress. Among those brought to the police station were of course, the participants, but a very disturbing information was about the use of a three- year old child in the trade. The raid did not merit much publicity. Add to this the lukewarm issue the ongoing hacking of websites even of the government agencies. Unfortunately, these two particular activities do not seem to interest of the agencies concerned. Obviously, the one on “libelous statements” seem more heavy as an issue because the “reputation” of those in the government is at stake.