Commentary

Protecting the rights of criminals?

This morning, 60 km from the city, 8-year rape with (frustrated) homicide case; victim is now with her own family, we are still on our fourth prosecution witness. This afternoon, just in the next city, two year old case, 15 child victims (qualified trafficking, child pornography and child abuse), we have not even arraigned the accused yet.

You think I am not frustrated with the slow pace of our justice system? I come to court almost everyday to represent children and women who are abused – physically, psychologically, sexually: raped, sometimes on video, one of them killed. Yet I never called for the outright murder of those accused for these ghastly crimes, even as I truly believe that my witnesses are telling the truth that these accused are guilty of the crimes.

Then these people who have not even interviewed one single victim of crime would accuse me of protecting the rights of criminals, wishing me ill, praying that one of my relatives be a victim of crime. Pag-sure mo. I do only a little, but I am doing my part to bring to justice those who victimize our women and children. But that does not mean that the rights of the accused protected under our Constitution and laws should just be ignored.

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