The poor have no right to grieve
In a recent motion for reconsideration, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers asked the court hearing the case of Eddie Cruz, a poor Dumagat farmer and political detainee, to overturn its order which disallowed him from paying his last respects to his father.
Eddie’s father, Crescencio “Tatay Corsing” Cruz, passed away last June 17 while on his way from their kaingin, a five-hour hike from their home in Rizal. The father will no longer be able to fulfill his promise to his son that he would be waiting at the gates of prison the moment he was freed.
Unjustly accused and charged for a crime he did not commit, Eddie has been in detention for more than seven years now. He hardly saw his parents during past hearings in San Mateo, Rizal, and completely lost the opportunity to see Tatay Corsing when the venue of the case was transferred to Bicutan, Taguig, at the instance of his jailers from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. As he could not afford the fare to Bicutan, Tatay Corsing had not been able to visit Eddie.
Contrast Eddie to the rich, powerful and influential detainees and prisoners who can go on furlough, seek medical treatment or attend birthday parties of relatives. The likes of Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, Janet Napoles, and Joseph Estrada enjoy(ed) not only such special treatment while in detention, but also impunity for their crimes against the people.
Indeed, in our lopsided justice system, the poor are not only stripped of their basic right to humane treatment, they also have no right to grieve.
EPHRAIM B. CORTEZ, secretary general, CRISTINA YAMBOT, public information officer, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, [email protected]
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