Study other countries’ jail practice for senior citizens
I share the unease of my fellow human rights lawyers in the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers on the arguably kind treatment given Imelda Marcos by the Sandiganbayan (“Some are more powerful than others,” 11/30/18).
She failed to appear during the promulgation of the judgment of conviction, which was done anyway. Any lawyer could get the order of arrest, for nonappearance, lifted — for just about any entertainable excuse, which may even be true.
But, I’d rather democratize kindness and compassion for senior citizens (full disclosure: I am 79). The father of Ninoy Aquino, charged with collaboration after World War II, was freed on bail on humanitarian grounds, given the conditions in Bilibid.
He was only in his early 50s. He was not the only one who benefited from the system’s humanitarian orientation.
What I’d like to see is deeper interest in and study of the practice in Spain and Italy — no jail time for septuagenarians and up, only house arrest and community service.
But, I have no illusions because the administration even wants to lower the age of criminal liability to 13, when the youth may not even realize what time it is or which way is south. (The President brags that he had his first kill in a teenage “rumble.” He was 16.)
R. A. V. SAGUISAG,
Palanan, Makati City
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