Prints and Traces

What a heartening experience that despite the constant drum of raindrops on the roofs and the ceaseless pounding of habagat seawaves in our corner of the world, come this host of friends from the neighborhood to enliven my drab evening with interesting discussion on the jailing of Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada.

 [RENE:    Pare, what’s this game they’re again playing?  They’re giving a taste of VIP Treatment to the big monsters of the Senate? 

CRISPIN:   What else do you expect when they are truly Very Important Persons.  Aren’t they, Bay Don?

RENE:        Important persons? That’s why our Justice system is really no good!

LITO:         Do you realize it only now, Bay Renren?  Look at the monument of Lady Justice.  Her eyes are covered so that she couldn’t see the reality!  It only means the Judge is not able to see the true character of these people!  So, she won’t be able to know that they are really thieves!

MYSELF:  Wait, let’s clarify that!  What is the real significance why both eyes of the Lady Justice are covered.  The meaning of the symbolism is that justice is not supposed to favor any one, be he rich or poor, be he a State official or a street cleaner.  If one violates the law it’s not the social station of one’s life that should be weighed but the gravity of the offense. ]

But the reality is a stark contrast to the ideal import of the figurative formulation.  The state of our justice system simply frustrates our expectations.  What we see in the actual grind of the wheels of justice in our society is disgusting.  It often nauseates us to hear government people saying “Justice will have its sway, no one will be spared, there will be no whitewash!”

But the next thing we learn, the criminal, because he is wealthy or is an influential person in the community or is a high government official, is accorded a special treatment—a dose of treatment much different from that given to an ordinary person or a poor citizen.

Or we just gasp in irate surprise that the criminal goes scot free!  In our hearts we utter deafening cries of protest.  We rage against the ways of the law and the justice system.  In our own ponderings we arrive at a general judgment that there is no redress of the wrongs done to victims of injustice or to society as a whole.

And so the representation of Justice as a Lady with covered eyes carrying a figurative scale to weigh, not the offender or criminal, but the offense or crime done is one of the big jokes in our existential reality.

But well, it serves the rulers with comfort just as it provides convenient façade to the failings of society that Justice is abstracted as such.  It makes the law-abiding citizen believe that  the dispensers of  Justice do not favor any one—that every one is equal before the law –that  justice is administered without the judges of the courts seeing the personality of the accused, but only the nature and weight of  his/her offense.

Little does the innocent citizen realize that Lady Justice has a third eye—an invisible discriminating eye that lies in her breast.  This eye is the heart of the high and mighty in the government.  Indeed, this discriminating eye sees and knows and determines who shall bear the iron hand of the law and who shall be fondled by the gentle fingers of privileged treatment.

All sorts of rationalizations and bending and twisting of the language of the law is done until soon the scale that the Lady Justice dangles swings as a bucketful of lies.

There is much truth to the cliché: the prison house is built for the poor,  not for the rich.

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