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5 Pillars of the Criminal Justice System

5 Pillars of the Criminal Justice System


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Published by camz_hernandez

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Published by: camz_hernandez on Nov 22, 2010
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There are actually five (5) pillars of criminal justice system, as follows; (1.) Community, (2.) The Law Enforcement, (3.

) The Prosecution Service, (4.) The Courts, (5.) The Correctional Institution. If one of these pillars is dysfunctional, “wala tayong maasahan na hustisya!” The five (5) pillars of the Philippine Criminal Justice System have important roles to play in the investigation, prosecution and dispensation of justice of the alleged offenders or felons. The first pillar is the COMMUNITY ( e.g., People & People’s Organizations). It refers to institutions, government, and non-government agencies and people’s organizations that provide care and assistance to the victims or offended party, during and after the onset of a victims’ rights case. The “community” has a significant role to assume in all the phases of judicial involvement of offender as well as the protection process: the prevention of abuse, cruelty, discrimination and exploitation, assistance of offenders who enter the criminal justice system and the acceptance of the offenders upon his reintegration into the community,,, after he goes out of Correctional. The second pillar is LAW ENFORCEMENT (e.g. PNP, NBI, PDEA, etc.) It involves government agencies charged with the enforcement of penal laws. It is primarily responsible for the investigation and determination whether an offense has been committed, and where needed, the apprehension of alleged offenders for further investigation of the third pillar,,, Prosecution Service. The PROSECUTION SERVICE (Public Prosecutor or Fiscal) refers to the National Prosecution Service (NPS). The NPS is mandated to investigate and prosecute penal violations. It collates, evaluates evidence in the preliminary inquest investigation and dismisses or files the case in court as indicated. The Public Attorneys Office or private defense counsel, on the other hand, serves as the defender of offender who is charged before the court and unable to hire the service of the retained lawyer. The fourth pillar is the COURT (MTC, RTC) )which refers to the MTC and Regional Trial Courts designated to handle and try the case and issue judgment after trial. The fifth pillar is the CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM (NBP, CIW, BJMP) . It refers to institutions mandated to administer both correctional and rehabilitation programs for the offenders. These programs develop the offenders or convicts’ abilities and potentials and facilitate their re-integration into the community and normal family life. The rehabilitation and recovery process involves the support of government agencies, non-government organizations and most importantly the family and community so that the offender as well as the offended can heal and recover in order to be able to cope and rebuild their lives. NB: the fifth pillar is formerly called PRISON or PENITENTIARY, it is now called a CORRECTIONAL (e.g. Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong) because

who handled and tried the case. who acted partially and moved for the dismissal of the case due to alleged lack of probable cause. renders a decision acquitting the accused as he did receive monetary consideration from the other party. thus. Suppose1: the people (family of the victim) refuses to cooperate in the investigation of the case. but when the accused was formally delivered and turned over to the correctional institution to serve his sentence. despite well-established institutions on papers.the purpose of the law is to correct and rehabilitate the convict as productive citizen of the country. or thru “pakikisama”. then the police would not be as effective to perform his job to arrest the suspect. however upon inquiry it was found out later that he did receive a bribe money from the suspect in exchange of a favorable resolution. To be able to strengthen an effective criminal justice system. launched a new report describing how the rotten criminal justice system in the Philippines fails to deliver justice to its people and contributes to the widespread human rights violations in the country. thus. because the government that is supposed to be the bulwark and vanguard of peoples’ right will serve nothing but a traitor to its own people. (thru mental & physical torture). has just allowed the suspect go free and evade arrest. unable to protect the rights and interest of its citizens. Last year. Failure of any of the pillars aforementioned to function well will lead us into chaos and other forms of unrest in the community. It calls for the government to . but later on the police. not anymore as an ex-convict.a Hongkong based. after he goes out of prison. thru negligence or bribery. the fourth pillar of criminal justice system is likewise dysfunctional. thru the cooperation of the aforementioned pillars. but instead of being corrected and rehabilitated therein. police and the fiscal have done their work par excellence and were able to present a strong case in court. or he is a “compare” of the accused. and actual apprehension of the suspect. as he will commingle or return to the community to live a new life as a normal person. describes how the police and courts fail to investigate and solve various human rights violations because of the lack of sincerity. thus. the first pillar of criminal justice system would be ineffective or dysfunctional. the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC). however during the preliminary investigation stage conducted by the fiscal. “The criminal justice system of the Philippines is rotten”. the third pillar of criminal justice system would also be dysfunctional and decomposing as well. thus. Suppose4: the victim. all these pillars must perform and deliver their respective job par excellence in the realization of justice. said convict was tortured and man handled. the last pillar of criminal justice system is also dysfunctional. thereby giving justice to the victim of the crime. Suppose2: the people (or family of the victim) or victim herself fully cooperated in the investigation of the case that led to the apprehension of the suspect. Suppose5: the accused was finally convicted via fair and impartial trial. Suppose3: both the victim and police had worked together closely in the investigation. thus the second pillar of criminal justice system is also dysfunctional or rotten. etc. but judge.

The report analyses why the criminal justice system in the Philippines fails to function. Police investigators sometimes make premature pronouncements about the motive for a killing and its cause. if not obliterated.” He has adopted the language of the military and insinuated that unseen forces have taken advantage of the situation as “one way to destabilize the government” by way of creating lawlessness within the country. the Department of Justice. or else. referring to them as “black propaganda. Most victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines have had threats on their lives beforehand. hulidap cops. The police are the first and biggest obstacle to victims and their families obtaining justice in the Philippines. who are its officers. Flawed and misguided criminal investigations. Secretary (Raul) Gonzalez has gone out of his way to defend the government by flatly rejecting legitimate grievances about the inability of the authorities to stop extrajudicial killings.” Non-existent victim and witness protection. The extent of bias is again best illustrated by the head of the Department of Justice himself. some already having survived earlier attacks. have also failed in their duty to refer witnesses for inclusion in the protection programme. flatly rejecting alternative suggestions. the Mamang Pulis and Aleng Pulis ambitious project of P/Director General Sonny Razon would only mean nothing but just a scrap piece of garbage program which cannot be complied with in good faith by his men. it will remain as a joke like. torture and disappearance. thereby putting the government into shame in the international community: as if the government was not sufficiently adept at creating lawlessness and putting itself to shame.reform the criminal justice system and fulfill the promises it made to the Filipinos in the laws. Public prosecutors. And. The failure of the witness protection program must be attributed squarely to the rotten condition of its implementing agency. . Even in the most serious cases of extrajudicial killing. that unless these scalwags in uniforms are eradicate. the bias of state officers towards victims and their families. Many end up dead. Where family members and witnesses come forward. the non-existent witness protection programme. “Mamang Pulis-Pulis T…… Matulis. they often find that police investigations contradict their versions of incidents. kotong cops. It identifies as including “command irresponsibility”. Those who seek protection are frustrated by the unresponsiveness of state agencies that supposedly have obligations to assist in such instances. due to existence of scalawags in uniform. Ineffectual and biased prosecutors Public Prosecutors make little or no attempt to conceal bias in their handling of criminal complaints. and the irregularities in investigation and prosecution . they are not known to have made recommendations and applications for protection. particularly where state officers or persons allegedly connected to them are among the possible suspects.

or thru “pakikisama”…. and denies them any hope of protection.” In practice the public labeling of accused persons or victims as “communist fronts. Whatever they may or may not have done.” “enemies of the state. (or the law of survival of the fittest. …. and be addressed properly”. President GMA was correct in saying that “these five pillars of criminal justice system to become effective as crime deterrent. in the quest for justice.That Secretary Gonzalez feels safe in making open presumptions about the guilt or innocence of persons lodging criminal complaints and indicating that the extent of assistance given by his department depends upon what conclusions are drawn by its officers as to the merits of the complainant rather than the complaint speaks volumes about the rot at all levels of the criminal justice system of the Philippines. the weaklings must be eliminated”) . are suspended. brother or sister in the law fraternity/sorority. like a Lady Justice (na may piring at may hawak. Once a person or organization has been labeled “leftist” or “enemy” then there is no possibility of safety. the victims will resort to the law of the jungle in order to get the justice they deserve. to the limited extent they operate for everyone else. or the worst is when the decision is rendered in favor of the highest bidder… Maybe. The use of labels also exposes victims.” or “terrorists” negates this presumption and allows officials to do away with due process. for who the ordinary laws and procedures. Labeling “enemies” Under section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Philippines “the accused shall be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.hawak na timbangan). camaraderie with the litigants.” “destabilizers. we will all go to the dogs! ……or better still. their families and colleagues to the possibility of further violence. the same must be strengthen. compare. otherwise. we have hoodlums in robes… who based their decisions not on facts and evidence presented during the trial but on some other considerations such as. The double standards in implementation of laws are most obvious in cases where such labels are applied. For instance. that “only the strong must survive. JUDGE must be impartial and free from influence. they are in a special category of persons and groups guilty by suspicion.. according to german philosopher friedrich nitzche.

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