Atty. Raymond Fortun, lawyer of ousted leader Joseph Estrada, says it is un-Christian of the courts not to let him go on a Christmas furlough to visit home for the holidays.
WHAT?!? First off, ex-president Estrada is under incarceration because he is charged with the non-bailable offense of economic plunder. He is by law supposed to be confined until his trial. The government is already going out on a limb letting him stay in that luxurious hospital annex suite. (Well, we give you an inch, you ask for a mile…) Even having once been President of the Republic does not grant him special holiday privileges to just waltz home for Christmas as though he had not spent millions of dollars in public funds to fund his and his mistresses’ ostentatious lifestyles.
Finish Erap’s trial and let him prove his innocence — or, more likely, guilt — and then we can talk about letting him go. The man wants parole before he has even begun serving his sentence! (Let’s see what he thinks about that in his online secret diary.)
Second point: since when have the Republic’s judicial courts been subject to “Christianity?” This is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, but it is not a theocracy. Church and state are separated, and the rule of law is in no way obligated to submit to what Erap’s lawyers think is “Christian” behavior. Funny that this should come from the same sector of loyalists who once lambasted Cardinal Sin (yes, the local archbishop is named Jaime Sin) for meddling in the political struggles of last year’s impeachment and resignation movements. Now they suddenly expect “Christian” action from a judicial body which is founded on a constitution and not a church.
The impeachment trial is delayed further and further by the incorrigibilities of Filipino politics, showing just how poorly the law is implemented and enforced in the Philippines.
Behold! the farcical comedy of native political foibles, and witness how this country goes nowhere with haste!