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Pursue rights violation cases vs GMA, minions

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pursue rights violation cases vs GMA, minions

By Satur C. Ocampo
At Ground Level | The Philippine Star
“Our gathering this morning is an opportunity to further assess the strengths and weaknesses of the present criminal justice system, and to come up with new and timely initiatives concerning the delivery of justice… Your decisions and the steps you take have implications integral to our democracy.”

That’s how President Aquino defined the objective of the First National Criminal Justice Summit, a laudable initiative by the Department of Justice, which he addressed last Monday at the Manila Hotel. We missed being informed of the summit’s output because the media coverage focused on P-Noy’s frontal tirades against the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Nonetheless, the President raised a point highly relevant to today’s observance of Human Rights Day: the injustice inflicted by Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law regime upon his father, Ninoy Aquino, the opposition leader who was later assassinated and now regarded as a hero.

Ninoy and Jose W. Diokno, then both senators, were arrested and held for two years in isolated military detention. Whereas Diokno was freed without being charged with any offense, Ninoy was dragooned into trial and conviction by court martial on trumped-up murder and related common criminal charges.

P-Noy summed up that ignoble procedure thus: “The dictatorship exerted all efforts to skew justice and run roughshod over my father’s human rights.”

With that flashback, P-Noy emphasized that he had sworn “to do justice to every man” in executing the laws and “to make certain that what transpired during martial law does not happen again, and ensuring that anyone who so much as attempts to repeat the same offenses is held accountable.”

Fast-forward to the plight of 356 political prisoners all over the country, who have been on a week-long fast/hunger strike to press for their immediate release. They have been charged, like Ninoy, with trumped-up common criminal offenses. The reality is that they were arrested for holding political beliefs different from those approved by those in power..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/16/pursue-rights-violation-cases-vs-gma-minions/


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