24 July 2015
Of Trials and Tribulations in the Time of Tempest
The recent Findings and Conclusions of the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) credibly adjudging President BS Aquino and his government guilty of rights violations lay further basis for him to face the music when he steps down. It validates what the people want: justice and accountability, self-evident principles the traditional legal fora have basically failed to deliver.
Thus, the clear and present danger is not a yearly rally by the discontented and disgusted hoi polloi during the alas final State of the Nation Address by the chief lord of a fascist government but the denial of a basic right to peaceably assemble, the exercise of which has been proven over the course of history to make things happen for the good of the oppressed and exploited many.
So when the Ombudsman has after a long wait finally indicted the epitome of impunity in the person of Gen. Palparan in another horrible case of rights violations, it is more of an indictment of our justice system even as we grudgingly welcome it anyway. Yet this will never salvage President Aquino for his own crimes against the people.
So he can still run his last year in office on either of these choices: ride it through, remain stubborn and out of touch. Or he can mitigate his accountability by rethinking, nay just thinking, of what good he can really do to the people. Keep it simple, sir. #
Edre U. Olalia
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
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“By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”
– Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the NUPL Founding Congress, September 15, 2007
“After long years of experience as a people’s lawyer, I can honestly say it has been a treasured journey of self-fulfillment and rewarding achievement. I know it will be the same for all others who choose to tread this path.”
– Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, NUPL founding chairperson, in his keynote address at the Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia Pacific ( COLAP V), September 18, 2010