The Unbalanced Scale Of Philippine Justice: It Ends With Us

In the Philippines where one class is above the other in an endless game of attaining justice, what chances do the poor have to win against the powerful? It has been almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic brought misfortune and despair to mil- lions of Filipinos, filling everyone’s heart with fear of when this dilemma will end. As health measures and protocols are implemented to restrain the virus, laws and regulations are also enacted granting President Duterte additional authority to combat the pandemic. 

This catastrophe made the government impose nationwide lockdowns and businesses are on a virtual standstill. But despite all the preventive measures and strict laws, there are citizens who still disobey the policies that are enforced. What’s worst is that some of them are the ones who uphold the law and justice system of our country.

Throughout the ongoing quarantine period, many violators of quarantine protocols have been divided into three sections:

a) those who paid a fine;

b) those who were arrested and jailed; and

c) those who run free without any condemnation of the law.

Such happy lives they live while those without the cover of money and power face the grave consequences. The now-appointed PNP Chief Debold Sinas had been on fiery ground for the infamous “mañanita” his friends and colleagues had prepared for him. Senator Koko Pimentel who tested positive for COVID-19 had carelessly infected frontliners when he rushed to aid his laboring wife. Senator Manny Pacquiao likewise held a party and was given blatant ignorance despite the warning of PNP personnel on recent civilian gathering allegations. People in power and in position are not held accountable of their wrongdoings, and those who are decent law-abiding citizens but are defenseless should pay the consequences. 

Six of the victims who experienced this excruciating reality are the “Piston 6” jeepney drivers who were arrested and brought to the precinct last June for violating the imposed quarantine protocols while conducting a protest on the resumption of jeepney drivers’ operation along Metro Manila.These underprivileged jeepney drivers were charged with “disobedience to social distancing” and were fined 3,000 pesos each. However, it was distasteful when Sen. Koko Pimentel, Mocha Uson, and newly promoted PNP chief Debold Sinas, were exempted from receiving rightful
repercussions for their actions. They sit in higher positions but they abuse the power given to them. In fact, they have violated graver regulations and escalated the risk of acquiring the virus on a higher level than the Piston 6 and other rule-breakers. But the mere drivers, forced to come out and battle the virus to bring food on their tables, are the ones who suffer the lashes of the biased system instead. Indeed, it is a great dismay. This is not the type of institution we wish to be handed down to our future generations.

This pandemic shows that inequality is still existing, and the unprivileged are made to pay just to be given a bit of equal treatment. We are responsible for all the actions we take and face the punishment that we deserve. The current generation needs a society that molds the best example of a role model that enables justice and fairness as essential elements of safe society. Laws have to be imposed justly for if not safety and human rights are at stake.

Whether you are wealthy or poor, the scale of justice must always be balanced, symbolizing impartiality and truth for every citizen. Otherwise, it will always be a game of power, where the empty-handed have nothing to do but surrender to the prejudiced system. It should end with us. This bigoted, rotten system end.

𝗪𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝘆 𝗞𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗮 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗱𝗲ñ𝗮 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗞𝗲𝘇𝗶𝗮 𝗥𝗲𝘆𝗲𝘀
𝗔𝘂𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁 – 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬