Napag-uusapan Lang Naman 28
This yuletide season, perhaps the two happiest persons in the country are Hubert Webb and Hayden Kho.
In just a span of 4 days, the prime suspect to the Vizconde Massacre and the scandalous ex-dermatologist were both acquitted of their crimes, both on grounds of insufficiency of evidence. While Kho’s acquittal was somewhat an acceptable bitter pill, it was the acquittal of Webb and his co-accused that rocked the nation unlike any other in judicial history. What further sets these two cases apart is the fact that the case against Kho hasn’t seen its end yet, as it can still be elevated to the Court of Appeals, and if pushed further, to the Supreme Court; in the case of Hubert Webb, his quest for freedom has found its finality after 15 years of languishing in jail.
A finality, that still eludes Lauro Vizconde.
Sad as it seems, the survivor of the massacre that claimed the life of his wife and children might not live to see the day that the true murderers of his family will be caught and imprisoned. While on the one side, a complete family will be celebrating Christmas, on the other side is a widowed husband, still searching for justice.
People have been asking–is justice dead in the country, with the acquittal of Webb and Kho? Perhaps the first question to be asked is ‘who is saying that justice is dead?’ An even more fundamental question would be, ‘on what basis can justice be said dead?’
I think the problem begins when people think and talk of justice in terms of fairness. People seem to expect justice to be fair to everybody, both for the victim and the accused. We should be reminded that at the end of any hearing, one party will end up rejoicing, and the other reeling. Justice cannot absolutely tell who is telling the truth. It is not perfect. And when people start expecting justice to be perfect, people end up looking at it to be anything but.
Perhaps the most obvious irony with justice is that its fairness stems from its being unfair.