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Beyond De Lima acquittal and the “Missing Sabungeros”

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King

Our country must be undergoing some kind of quiet revolution and transformation, so it seems, in view of the recent Leila De Lima acquittal, along with the other court adjudications (the laudable ones) under the present administration.

As a freelance, apolitical writer and merely concerned observer whose articles are purely voluntary, unsolicited, unpaid and Heaven-fired up; one whose unflattering, fearless opinions are products neither of favors, cupidity, stupor, vested interest, political color nor anything mean and miserly – let me say with elation that justice looks rising in the land.

Presiding Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (Branch 204) deserves a salute in the acquittal of De Lima. On the other hand, the comment of Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla, referring to the acquittal, warrants a second look. He elucidated, “The rule of law has prevailed, and it just points out to us that the independence of the judiciary is a basic foundation of our democratic system.”

The remark is accurate, but sounds implying something else. Could there be disquieting drops behind those words, something that maybe only the good secretary knows?

Let the judiciary be unattached and sovereign. Stand upright, allegiant to law, truth and justice, but avoid becoming too harsh in punishing sinners via flawed/imperfect laws crafted by equally imperfect, sinful, cruel humans. Apply Solomonic prudence (with heart) – to be able to judge wisely, fairly and humanly, and so render genuine, 24-carat justice. Transcendent of “legal proceedings” and “due processes,” use discernment. Pray.

Heart Justice

Dura lex sed lex (the law may be harsh but it is the law) is a dictum but only for the heartless and soulless, the reason perhaps why lawyers are generally/widely seen as such. Woeful. Dear magistrates of the land: Refuse to be affected by dumb books and dumb voices from lofty seats and in the media. Ignore pundits who have nothing but callous arguments and “legal minds” that are bereft of reason and logic, and conscience – to obstruct and/or twist justice.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos must be happy that a national phenomenon seems to be occurring under his watch, “at least” in the aspect of dispensing justice which is bedrock to progress. Miraculous. Remulla has nothing to do with this. “Answered prayer,” said De Lima.

99% justice is no justice. Beyond granting bail to De Lima, set her fully free with final acquittal, including the countless other innocent souls who continue to languish in jail for no reason except that they have been victims of persecution or have no political connections or are too poor to hire lawyers/”good” lawyers, etc. But beyond freedom, let there be justice, absolute and satisfactory. Amos 5:24, Deuteronomy 16:18, Micah 6:8, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Proverbs 21:15.

I am well aware of this quagmire in Philippine prison camps because of my personal, first hand experience of preaching the Gospel and helping inmates inside the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) for 19 years. Hallelujah! Thousands of souls/lives have been saved and transformed (2 Corinthians 5:17), experiencing freedom, rather more freedom than the people outside who are imprisoned and in shackles of different sort, unwittingly. Romans 6:1-23.

Missing Sabungeros

By the way, what happened to “justice” which (after two years) now appears having reached its desperate, skeleton stage for the grieving, longing, confused families of the missing/dead 34 “sabungeros”? Move, sirs, and move without let up, vigorously and seriously.

If the mastermind/s and perpetrators of these heinous crimes employ money (as bribe) to silence probable witnesses and hide evidence, why not do the same stratagem (as reward) to counter it and win justice. Isn’t it that simple, your honors. Justice is always found in this world by and for those who seek it, and seek it the right way – peacefully, wisely, relentlessly, prayerfully.

Reni CIW Revival
Reni Valenzuela (CIW Revival)

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