AFTER THE AMPATUAN MASSACRE, MORE CALLS FOR A JURY SYSTEM
2 Jan 2010
A lawyer-journalist on Saturday proposes the adoption of a jury system of trial in the country to give equal justice for the poor people.
Bertini “Toto” Causing, a lawyer-journalist, said Hukuman ng Mamamayan (public court)will empower the people to decide who to charge in court, who to try and who to acquit or convict.
Causing, a sportswriter turned anti-crime columnist, said this was the only system of justice where all, poor or rich, slaves or masters, royal bloods or not, could have a fair chance.
“The rich and the powerful landlords will be deprived of their desire to use their power if the Jury stands in the way,” Causing said.
They could not dictate the judicial system as a fiscal or as a judge because they would not know who the jurors were, Causing said.
He said this was the only way for the rule of law to happen in the Philippines. “This is the only way for the rebels to give a chance to finally embrace peace. For all we know, they rebel because mainly of discrimination,” Causing said.
“We have been under the fiscal-judge system of justice for over a hundred years. We have seen how the rich can manipulate the fiscal and the judge to get clearance or acquittal from the crimes they commit or to get the imprisonment of the innocent people who they see as obstacle to their warlord mentality,” he said.
Causing said the Filipinos had seen the Ampatuan Massacre. “How brutal it is is beyond compare,” he said.
Causing also said this impunity was the conclusion of the decade of killing without getting punished because the fiscals and the judges in Maguindanao province had been afraid to perform their duties.
Causing also writes a column for the tabloid “Hataw.”(PNA)
While the court system here in America is far from perfect, it tends to operate with a high degree of reliability and a predictable support of laws rather than men.
There are annecdotal instances of rich or powerful people getting away with crimes, but these are notable because they are the rare exceptions.
One additional piece of the layout is the Grand Jury. Their job is to look at evidence and decide if a case exists (not to judge guilt). It is used in a minority of cases where there is either a question mark about evidence or for very specific cases such as a police officer killing someone in the line of duty.
I would encourage the Philippines to look over our court system and then tailor a similar one to its needs.
Best example is the story about the women who got 13 years jail for stealing P9000.
This is ridiculous, even the judge should be ashamed of this verdict, I assume he got either a promotion or a lot more money then she stole into his Swiss bankaccount,