Only the small-time criminals rot in prison
There has been so much noise about who are going to be indicted for plunder next in the “lists” of Janet Lim-Napoles or Benhur Luy. Speculations are swirling around as though the whole nation has nothing better to do. The guessing game is getting more ridiculous. Happily, the Office of the Ombudsman has started to put an end to the suspense.
But, seriously, let’s not hold our breath while waiting for the other shoe to drop. As soon as the Ombudsman identifies all the scumbags and files formal charges in the Sandiganbayan, everyone should prepare to see public interest waning. For instance, who still cares about what’s going on in the plunder cases against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo et al.? The glacier-paced proceedings in court will try the patience of even the most vigilant and militant crime-watchers around.
Again, there will be the all-too familiar scenarios: Luxurious “hospital arrest” for those who stole big-time and can afford the best medical facility and treatment their loot (people’s money!) can buy and all for the lamest of excuses! In the end, after about 20 or 30 years of “due process” as we know it in this country, only the small-time criminals rot in jail—if they themselves survive the filth and squalor of regular incarceration. Or, they will all go scot-free as the nation yawns and falls asleep. So, did we miss something? Why are we again so excited about who are going to jail for stealing billions of public funds?
—GEORGE DEL MAR,
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