KARAPATAN on Marcos Jr.’s remark on “working justice system” in PH

Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s remark that former Sen. Leila de Lima’s acquittal proves that the Philippine justice system works is the height of irony.

Former Pres. Rodrigo Duterte instigated the filing of a number of trumped-up drug-related cases against Senator De Lima because she was one of the staunchest critics of the former regime’s bloody war on drugs.

After a series of twists and turns that caused the prosecution’s case to crumble, De Lima was allowed to post bail after six years and eight months of unjust detention.

Finally, after seven years and four months, she has been acquitted of the last of her cases.

Seven years and four months is a hellishly long time for an innocent person to be in jail. And yet, De Lima was not alone in her suffering. At the Metro Manila District Jail in Taguig City, political prisoners Rocky Torres and Avellardo Avellanida, both from the Dumagat tribe and just as innocent as De Lima, have not had a single hearing since their illegal arrest six years, two months and 12 days ago. Many others – 768 political prisoners in the Philippines – share the same experience.

If there is anything to be said about Senator De Lima’s seven-year ordeal, it is that the wheels of justice ground exceedingly slow for her. For others like Rocky Torres and Avellardo Avellanida, they have ground to a halt.