The Five Pillars of the Philippine Criminal Justice System (and my opinion about this picture entitled “The Curious Case of Human Rights Advocates”)

THE FIVE PILLARS OF THE PHILIPPINE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

1. Law Enforcement Pillar

Composing of Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, National Police Commission, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines

2. Prosecution Pillar

Composing of the Department of Justice, Office of the Ombudsman, and the Public Attorney’s Office

3. Courts Pillar

Composing of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Tax Appeals, and Sandiganbayan

4. Corrections Pillar

Composing of Bureau of Corrections, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Parole and Probation Administration, Board of Pardons and Parole

5. Community Pillar

Composing of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Commission on Human Rights, and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

and

YOU. Citizens of the Philippines. Not just the Filipinos here but also abroad.

“The administration of the Criminal Justice System is not the exclusive responsibility of the police, prosecutors, judges, and corrections personnel. Without the active participation of the members of the community, the processes of the Criminal Justice System cannot work. The police rely on the citizens to report crimes and to assist them in the conduct of investigations. The prosecution and the judges depend upon citizens as witnesses in the prosecution of the offender. The corrections pillar also needs their support in their respective community-based corrections programs.” (J.R. Zuno, Community Involvement in the Prosecution of Crime)

Natutunan ko lang ang mga ito dahil sa mga human rights seminar and training that I attended and researching through Google.

Kaya nang nakita ko itong larawan na pinamagatang “The Curious Case of Human Rights Advocates” nakaramdam ako ng pagkabagabag. Siguro dahil may kaalaman na ako tungkol sa five pillars of criminal justice system.

Human rights advocates are not just the Commission on Human Rights or the NGOs. They do have a mandate or an aim to promote and protect the rights of every human being (yes, that includes the criminals), they’re there to help implement what is just and fair, to implement the law, to remind us always that we have institutions, organizations to run to in times of need. But at the end of the day, ALL OF US got responsibility in maintaining the law and order in our community. NOT JUST THEM. I can even remember one line of a song from High School Musical to emphasize this more: “WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.” I can also remember an Albert Einstein quote: “The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

We’re all in this together.

There’s another accusation that human rights advocates are protecting the rights of criminals instead of the victims? The offenders are victims too of their own wrongdoing.

Everyone has his/her own goodness. Walang tao na sa harapan at talikuran ay mabait. Ang kriminal sa kasuluk-sulukan ng buto nyan mabait yan. “In each human being, there is a soul and a beast. Sometimes in one person, there is more than one beast,” wika daw ni Victor Hugo. And because of hardships or circumstances a man is sometimes forced to commit something really bad or a crime. Kaya may alternative sa criminal justice na puro kulong lang sa taong na-convict ang alam na gawin. Ito yung restorative justice. Restorative justice is reaching out to the soul in each of us, the goal is healing, because ALL OF US can be an offender or human rights violator. You never know.

Paano nga pala yung mga nang rape at pumatay? Natutunan ko sa mga pinagdaanan kong human rights seminars and trainings lalo na noong baguhan pa ako (at hanggang ngayon tingin ko pa rin sa sarili ko ay baguhan dahil alam kong marami pa akong gusto pang matutunan) na kung guilty talaga dapat lang syang ipakulong at dapat syang magkaroon ng rehabilitasyon para magbago o bumalik sa dating katinuan para magkaroon uli ng silbi sa lipunan at matuto uli na mangarap at mabuhay nang puno ng pag-asa. At yung mga recalcitrant, yung mga ayaw na talaga magbago, ito yung mga dapat na ikulong.

Pero dahil sa kalagayan ng criminal justice system natin tingnan mo pa lang ang mga selda ay punong-puno ng mga bilanggo (ang tawag po namin sa kanila ay Persons Deprived of Liberty, not criminals), nagsisiksikan o congested (which is actually a violation of human rights), hindi ito nangyayari. At ang mahirap pa, kung naging matino ang taong nabilanggo at nakalaya, may kakaharapin syang mas matindi pang pagsubok: yung stigma o ang hindi pagtanggap ng komunidad sa isang ex-convict.

HRA

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