Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Philippines, being a lawyer is a deadly occupation

Amidst all the political turmoil embracing the nation, life goes on. And if you are a lawyer it is a dangerous and potentially deadly life here in the Philippines. Take the case of lawyer Mia Green who was gunned down February 15th, 2017.
Mia had been targeted for her work before, with four failed attempts by defendants and other lawyers at having her disbarred. Green says Mia even received death threats but she said it was just part of the job of being a lawyer.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/08/british-man-on-mission-for-justice-after-wife-gunned-down-in-philippines 
Death threats just part of the job? Attempts by other lawyers and defendants to have her disbarred  just part of the job?  Only in the Philippines.  

Or, rather, especially in the Philippines.
The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a lawyer, with dozens killed during the past decade in often-brazen attacks. Two years ago, a judge was shot dead in front of his courthouse.
A list of murdered lawyers between the years 2004 - 2014 for your reading pleasure: 
http://advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/wp-content/uploads/List-of-lawyers-who-were-killed-in-the-Philippines-since-2004.pdf 
I suppose being the best at being the worst is something to take pride in.


And now poor Mia Green's husband is out for justice. 

Too bad he's in the Philippines where not the DA, not the state, not the police, but YOU THE VICTIM have to gather the evidence, process all the paperwork, and file a case.
He flew to the capital Manila and will now proceed with a case against the person he says orchestrated the hit on his wife — the defendant in a property dispute Mia had been working on, according to an affidavit Green filed with the local prosecutions office. 
All that work ultimately puts your life and the lives of your family at risk.
Now, in pursing justice for his wife, Green knows he is taking a risk. When he filed the case, based on eyewitness accounts of the crime, he said someone came two days later and photocopied all the files he had submitted. 
“Of course, it’s a public document, we appreciate that. But someone who no one had ever heard of, isn’t a lawyer, is not from Bohol, came in, showed an ID, Xeroxed everything and left. They know every move that we make. We know who these people are but we don’t know who else is with them.”
In the Philippines if you catch a thief red-handed and call the police to come get him they will tell you that they can't do anything until you come to the office and file a complaint.  In the meantime the thief gets away.

That's because in the Philippines private protection is the rule.
"Cases do not get to the courts without private prosecutors," said Melinda de Jesus, executive director of the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.

The war on drugs, the war on terror, yellowtards vs Dutertards, what does all that matter when the Philippines remains a country without justice.  Without law.

The law here is for show.  It looks good on paper and it gives the government a seeming legitimacy but if the law is not going to be enforced by the very ones elected to serve the people then what is the point of having a government? 

Filipinos keep waiting for a Superman but none are coming. 




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