When justice fails

Criminals have no place in the city, except in jails, detention centers, and God forbid, in funeral parlors, says Davao City’s The Punisher as he took his oath at the city hall on June 30. Stop or leave. If you can’t or will not, you will not survive. You can leave either vertically or horizontally, he furthers. Indeed days later, the war against criminals in the Philippines’s largest city commenced.

Photo taken from Nstarzone

Photo taken from Nstarzone

Whether you’re a fan of Batman or not, I presume everyone has reservations for vigilante justice, to say the least. Ideally, rule of law and due process should be favored over vigilantism. However, when justice in a country such as the Philippines move at a glacial pace and prosecutors in the country aren’t exactly role models, is vigilante justice justified? I guess that topic would call for a separate post. But one thing’s certain, these desperate measures illustrate the condition of the country’s judicial system and its failure to deliver on justice swiftly and honestly.

Also, not only is vigilantism against human rights, it fails to address the very root cause of the problem as well, which is the lack of economic opportunities for citizens to provide for their needs and maintain their survival. If there are enough quality jobs for citizens in the country, then there would be no reason for them to resort to crime and violence. So instead of spending millions on arming death squads for a short-term solution, wouldn’t it be better if these funds will be used on creating jobs for the unemployed?

Justice isn’t vengeance. Vengeance isn’t justice. But for as long as our justice system fails us, there will be people who will take law into their own hands.



  1. You’ll be surprised at how much the people loves him 🙂 Kasi naman relatively safe ang Davao because of him. Sana makahanap siya ng costume at kotse para Batman talaga ang peg niya. Haha! Na-inspire ako sa blog mo. Gusto ko din pero di ko pa alam anong pilot post ko :))

    1. Mukha naman siyang sincere para sa kin. Siguro frustrated na din siya sa usad-pagod na justice system natin kaya ginagamit niya ang kapangyarihan niya para papanagutin ang mga kriminal. Pero syempre dapat pa rin talaga rule of law dahil yun ang batas ng tao. Hehe.

      Go lang! Kahit anong topic naman pwede. Ako kung anong maisip ko gagawan ko ng post. Hahaha. Tsaka masayang magpalitan ng kuru-kuro dito sa WordPress! 🙂

  2. Not that I am defending vigilantes, but even equal economic opportunities are not sufficient in addressing criminal acts. Some of these people actually have decent jobs yet they choose to endanger themselves and others by committing these crimes. I definitely agree that we need more employment opportunities but that’s an entirely different topic. In regard to criminal acts not addressed properly, I think we need a more efficient and transparent justice system.

    1. Agreed. Poverty, crime, economic insecurity in the Philippines (e.g. lack of job opportunities, income inequality) and the nexus among the three are such toxic subjects of discourse. There’s a whole other universe of intricate interrelatedness between these phenomena which makes it difficult to solve their causality dilemma. It’s true though that it would take more than curtailing the unemployment rate to address crime rate not only in Davao City but in the entire country in general but I guess we gotta start somewhere. But you’re right in saying that there are lazy people who would rather endanger themselves for large sums of quick money instead of working hard for it.
      Dabawenya ka nga pala, Anna! Anong masasabi mo pala kay Mayor The Punisher? 🙂

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