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Basic Cause of Government Corruption

In the Philippines And Its Basic Solution
By: Marlowe Camello, Esq.
Bar Memberships: State of California and Philippine Bar
Up-dated on Aug 9, 2015
Not knowing the basic cause of government corruption in the Philippines is the main reason why
no solution has ever yet been found to prevent or stop this malignant government cancer.
The Basic Cause of Government Corruption
Government corruption is not the basic cause that bewitch Philippine society today. It is only
a symptom of an underlying fundamental cause. That basic cause is found in the set up of the Philippine
Justice System. Philippine Justice is a GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MONOPOLY under the
exclusive command of, and demand by, both corrupt and uncorrupt powerful officials such as the
president, lawmakers, the governors, mayors, and wealthy citizens. It is the favorite recipe of government
grafters. Such control is accomplished with a call by a mere cell-phone away. Philippine Justice is
INUTILE, or DYSFUNCTIONAL and an unenforceable against the rich, influential and powerful
characters of Philippine Society because they are both one and the same enforcers and notorious
violators of the rule of law. To stop government graft and corruption, the basic part of the deciding
power of justice must be placed under the direct and collective control of the vested owners of
sovereignty, the common and ordinary people, as ordained in the Philippine constitution just like they
do, for example, in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, among others.
The present set up of Philippine Justice is undemocratic and fundamentally contrary to the
constitution which says in Article II, Section 1, that the Philippines is a “democratic state.” Philippine
justice has deprived the people from exercising their sovereign democratic power and authority by
disallowing them to have a direct deciding vote in justice. By allowing the people to vote in justice, the
people would have been able to clean up the government from graft infestation. This is the surest way
to stop government graft and corruption - by the people’s direct deciding power in justice.
Generally with few exceptions, Philippine lawyers, judges, and public officials hold on to the
justice system as their exclusive domain or monopoly and they consider justice as none of the people’s
business. They shamefully look down upon ordinary citizens like animals in a pigpen with no dignity
to decide in justice in derogation to the people’s sovereign power and authority under the constitution.
Between the interest of public officials who control justice and the interest of the people, said officials
always use justice to favor themselves. The sovereign people are nothing but beggars of justice.
In the beginning and in good faith, Government Monopoly of Justice was never intended in the
initial set up of the Philippine Justice System because it was thought that justice will be better served
by relying in the professional wisdom and judicial expertise or experiences of judges in analyzing the
facts and the law to decide cases before their courts. What was overlooked then, unfortunately, in this
exclusive reliance on the wisdom of judges and lawyers in the administration of justice was the
undesired consequential control by corrupt politicians and powerful officials over the acts and functions
of said judges and lawyers. As a result, Philippine justice is now functioning dearly in favor of powerful
public officials by “remote control” like a drone system over robotic judges and lawyers who have no
choice but to follow the dictates of, and by, such corrupt powerful public officials and politicians.
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Judges and prosecutors usually are officially appointed to their respective positions with the
recommendation by powerful public officials such as the governors, mayors, as well as by congressmen
and senators and with approval by the President. As a consequence of this process, a political bondage
is being created between judges or prosecutors with the said powerful officials and with whom they owe
great gratitude for obtaining their judicial or prosecutorial positions.
When the same powerful public officials, i.e., the President, governors, mayors, et al, engage in
acts of graft and corruption, such as demanding kickbacks in the payment for supplies, materials, or
equipment, or for whatever public facilities are to be acquired, or public works to be undertaken, or in
extra-judicial killings by death squads, during their administration, they cannot be held accountable for
their bad government administration because they can control justice to protect their selfish interest. No
one would ever dare to criminally prosecute them for their abuses and acts of corruption in office. They
are simply the untouchables in justice which they own like a personal property.
With some few or rare exceptions, the judges and prosecutors who were appointed in office with
the help of said powerful officials are naturally inhibited to perform their jobs properly for obvious
reasons. They owe their positions and livelihood to their political godfathers and godmothers.
Furthermore, when the protegees of said powerful officials are likewise involved in government
anomalies and prosecuted for their own acts of corruption, these protegees likewise look up for help
from the said and same powerful officials - not without money consideration under the table, of course to rescue them from their criminal cases so that they are likewise “whitewashed” of their wrong doings.
In the mean time, the common and ordinary people - the constituents of said powerful corrupt
officials - can only look on helplessly. They cannot do anything to stop the anomalies of their public
servants because, as stated earlier, Philippine Justice is a Government Monopoly. Justice has been set
up as none of the people’s business. As a government monopoly, Philippine Justice, in fact, in not so
few cases, has become the facilitator of government graft and corruption, wittingly or unwittingly.
One draw back in the Philippine Justice System is that the Judicial Branch of the Philippine
Government does not enjoy the people’s vote in its judicial functions unlike the Executive and the
Legislative Branches whose officials are elected by the people. As a natural consequence, the Judicial
Branch is like an “orphaned”, or lame duck, government branch at the mercy of the powerful political
corrupt godfathers and godmothers in the other two great government branches. In this article, a solution
is being offered to allow the people to have a supportive role in the functions of the Judiciary to bring
up the prestige, power, and high respect in its absolute real sense, to the Judges and Justices in the
Judicial Branch equal to, as enjoyed by, and not as mere protegees of, the politicians and officials in the
other two government branches, the Executive and Legislative Branches. More explained below.

The Basic Solution to Government Corruption
To stop Philippine Government Corruption, it is imperative that this Government Monopoly has
to be dismantled. The political bondage of judges, justices, and prosecutors with their political
godfathers and godmothers will, therefore, need to be broken up and this is where the involvement of
the common people need to be deployed of which there can be at least, or as much as, 40 million
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qualified Filipino citizens all around the country that can be summoned randomly by presiding judges
to come to their respective courts in their communities for supervision to freely and independently help
decide in justice in their sovereign or supreme authority under the constitution. The common, but
constitutionally sovereign, people can decide freely in justice because their livelihood is not controlled
by government officials.
To find the solution to graft and corruption in the Philippine Government, we will need to invoke
Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution which says: “The Philippines is a democratic and republican
state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”
Inasmuch as the Philippines is a democratic society, Philippine Justice must also essentially be
carried out democratically and not by government monopoly. Sovereignty is vested in the people and
the people, therefore, are the masters of society. All persons serving in the government are the servants
of the people including the President, Governors, Mayors, Judges, Justices, Prosecutors, Lawmakers,
et al, whose authority come from the people.
There is no need to amend the constitution to allow the people to decide in justice because the
power to decide is a natural inherent part of their constitutional sovereignty. Otherwise to construe that
they do not have that power to decide in justice, the people’s sovereign power and authority shall be
nothing but a myth.
To enable the people to decide in justice, a device has to be set up or promulgated for them to
exercise that power in an orderly and civil manner like the device peoples have in other highly civilized
democratic countries that made themselves strongly united and prosperous such as the United Kingdom,
the United States, Canada, or Australia, among others. Such device is known as the JURY SYSTEM
of Justice.
Since the jury system is a mere procedural device to make use of the constitutional inherent
power of the people to decide not only in politics but also in justice, it is respectfully suggested that it
can even be promulgated by the Supreme Court as an internal device in the Judiciary without seeking
legislation from Congress to enforce the observance of the rule of law, to prevent the use of the law of
force, to keep national peace, and to enhance prosperity for the people without discrimination. An
honest President can also recommend to the Supreme Court for the promulgation of the rules of the Jury
Systems. It can likewise be enacted directly by the people by public initiative under the rules of
Republic Act 6735 or by Congress if it so desires.
When the people sit in a jury to decide in justice, they are acting in their sovereign authority and
as masters of their community. The members of the Jury who must be possessed with average
intelligence shall be chosen by lottery and not by appointment by a public official. No public official
regardless of power, rank, position or authority or any judge or justice is qualified to appoint a juror
because he is a mere servant of the people. There is no rule of law on earth that a servant can appoint
his master. Choosing members of the jury by appointment shall be void. The Jury System is a parallel
civil device to the Election Code in which people decide in an orderly and civil manner to exercise their
right to choose their public servants.
The Jury System is the Breaker of
Political Bondage or Patronage
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One of the important purposes of the Jury System is to cut off, or break up, the bondage in
whatever form judges, justices, and prosecutors have with their political godfathers and godmothers in
their appointment in office. Politicians and powerful public officials shall thereby be prevented to
interfere or intrude, in any manner, or on any case by case basis, in deciding cases in court since it will
be the jury of the people that will decide and not by the court presiding judges. When a case is submitted
to the Jury for decision, the members of the jury are required, by instruction of the presiding judge, to
seclude and lock themselves exclusively inside a private jury room so that no one else - not even the
judge himself - can interfere in discussing the facts and the law of the case for their decision. No juror
is allowed to bring in his cell-phone, or weapon of any type, in the jury room. The opposing counsels
and members of the media shall serve as door guards of the jury room.
The other purpose of the Jury System is to equalize with the people’s direct support of the
functions of the Philippine Judicial Branch in carrying out its deciding power in justice with their jury
votes just as much as they support the functions of the Executive and Legislative Branches via their
electoral votes in choosing the public officials who administer said government branches.
Great Advantage for an Honest President
If Jury System is Adopted
The great advantage for an honest President if the Jury System is adopted is the freedom from
being besieged (or molested) with requests to intervene or to help in behalf of close political allies with
their personal, legal, business or political problems if he, the President, shall take his hands totally off,
in anyway, in the operation of the Philippine Justice system and fully entrust those matters to the
Ombudsman, the Grand Jury, and the Trial Jury. He can officially declare that the Executive Branch will
not, and cannot, interfere in personal matters in justice involving government servants, subordinates and
politicians. All he needs to do is advise them to strictly follow the rule of law. He can then concentrate
in building the economic infrastracture of the country.
The Grand Juries shall take care in the secret investigation and filing of court indictment in
going after mega government grafters or untouchables of society and the Trial Jury shall take care in
deciding to convict guilty (or acquit innocent) accused crime suspects. By not interfering in the personal
justice concerns of compadres and comadres with the Jury of the People, he can be assured, nonetheless,
that graft and corruption will substantially abate to the credit of his administration without even lifting
his finger. If a powerful “someone” is trying to sabotage his administration, he can simply submit the
matter anonymously to a Grand Jury for secret or confidential investigation without publicity. He will
no longer spend his time running after government grafters regardless of whether they are his friends or
foes.
General Information on
How the Jury System Shall Function
The Jury System of Justice must, and normally, provide guidance to the people in performing
their task when serving as members of the jury. Said guidance is known as the JURY INSTRUCTION
to officially educate the people on how the jury system works. A Jury Instruction is a set of legal rules,
or terms, sentences, and words and written in simplified day to day language of the people and the jurors.
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This Instruction shall be read and issued to the jury, and at the same time, it shall be interpreted
extemporaneously by a trained jury trial interpreter into the local dialect of the jurors so that even a 16year old student with average intelligence shall understand a jury proceeding.
A trial jury cannot possibly function without Jury Instruction. One of the most important
instruction to the jurors or jury is to sit, listen, stay totally quiet, never to talk to anyone and be present
in court passively at all times during the trial. Passively means that the jurors cannot ask questions with
any body - not even to the presiding judge or even among themselves in court or outside of court - to
keep their absolute neutrality at all times during the trial and to avoid expressing their opinion
prematurely until the matter is submitted to them and instructed to seclude themselves in a private jury
room in their discussion to arrive at, and finally write their jury ballots, to decide the case at hand by
majority rule. Jury decision by majority rule is now gaining acceptability in the U.S. and in other
countries like Australia rather than by unanimity.
In a Jury Trial, the role of the Presiding Judge is to enforce court discipline, rules in the
admissibility of evidence, and to issue the jury instruction and the applicable law on a case. It is not the
responsibility of the jury to search for the law of the case so that if there is an error or omission in
choosing the proper law for the case, the jury cannot be faulted or blamed for such error or omission in
the jury trial. An error or omission of law is appealable by an aggrieved party for such error.
The Jury is the exclusive authority to determine and assess the facts during the trial of a case.
Such facts include the observation by the jurors of the demeanor, facial expression or body language
such as lip and eye movements of the witness that can reveal whether the witness is telling the truth or
falsity in his or her statements while testifying during the trial. Such facts cannot be recorded by the
stenographer and there is no way, for appellate judges to find out such facts in the stenographic
transcription. For this reason, the finding of facts by the jury is final and cannot be subject of an appeal.
Additionally, it will prevent corrupt appellate justices who may be bribed on appeal from twisting the
finding of facts by the jury.
A jury or the jurors are not required to explain their jury verdict. The reason for this is that when
people sit as jurors in justice, they act as masters by way of their sovereign power under the constitution.
And again, there is no rule of law in the universe that servants are permitted to demand an explanation
of the decision of their masters. There is no delay in rendering the verdict of the jury and it is promptly
read without delay in open court. If the matter is a criminal case, the jury through its foreman says only
one of two possible decisions. One is “GUILTY” and the other is “NOT GUILTY”. The buck stops
with the people.
In contrast with the present solo judge trial system, it now normally takes from 6 to 12 years to
hand down court decisions thereby causing tremendous delay in knowing the decisions of judges which,
by itself, is a denial of justice. Delayed justice further encourages more acts of corruption in the
government and more commission of other serious crimes. With the “turtle speed” of the current set up
of the justice system, it is gravely doubtful if the Ampatuan Massacre Murder Cases will ever be finished
within the term of office of the next elected President in the year 2016.
In the Philippine constitution, judges and justices are required to explain in writing their decision
in justice. The reason for this is that they are mere servants of the people.
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One objection by some legal luminaries in the Philippines against the adoption of the jury system
is that ordinary citizens or lay people cannot be trusted in determining the facts of the case because of
their lack of legal education on the subject. Unfortunately, jury adoption opponents fail to educate
themselves that finding of facts needs issuance of the proper jury instruction to the jury on how the jury
can find those facts. It is incumbent on the “legal professionals” - the presiding judge and the opposing
attorneys - to clearly establish those facts to the jury BY JURY INSTRUCTION. Lack of jury
instruction can not be faulted on the jury because it is not the responsibility of the jury to look or search
for such instruction if it is omitted by the legal professionals who are responsible for its issuance.
The party who blames the jury claiming that the jury did not understand the facts to prove his side
of the case is like a candidate in office who blames the people for voting in favor of his opponent for his
failure to show clearly the facts of his excellent qualification.
NOTE: The proposed draft of the Philippine National Jury Law initiative has been patterned
after the U.S. Federal Jury Systems with proper modification that includes both the Grand Jury and the
The Grand Jury is the group of anonymous private citizens and guided by Grand Jury Instruction
on how its members can ultra secretly investigate and indict in court without seeking approval or
permission from any government prosecutor a crime suspect who may have committed a serious offense.
Its members are not afraid to investigate and indict a crime suspect in court because it is extremely
difficult to know their identity.
The Trial Jury is the group of private citizens in which the people with average intelligence are
summoned to appear in court to sit as jurors and guided by Trial Jury Instruction to watch the
presentation of the evidence at the jury trial, from start to finish, against an accused to hear, try, and then
discuss privately to decide whether said accused is guilty or not of the crime charged against him.
The United States is the only country in the world today that deploys the use of both the Grand
Jury and Trial Jury in its Justice System.
Jury System, the Embryo of People’s Unity
One great “by-product” of the Jury System is that it serves as an embryo, or the seed, of the
people’s unity in their respective communities. It is a unity that creates a lasting impression in the minds
of the people who participate in jury functions as well as the people who observe jury activities. After
serving in a jury trial, or grand jury proceedings, the juror shall become effective teachers to their own
family members, friends and neighbors the value of becoming active participants in their justice system
and the benefits of a speedy administration of justice. We can just imagine the great beneficial impact
upon the whole people of our entire country of strengthening the will of the people when guided by the
jury system of justice.
Without the jury system in the Philippines, where else shall the people get their guidance for
good citizenship? They will find guidance from outlaws, scofflaws, and death squad masterminds. From
these characters, the people shall learn how to kill people, rob or kidnap people and steal government
funds.
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The jury system likewise provide the binding spirit that keeps the people united among
themselves. An example of the beneficial consequence of adopting the jury system can be seen and
observed in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Et Al, has become the “unknown
social magnet”for millions of people around the world in migrating into these prosperous and genuine
democratic countries. The people always seek justice that paves the way for their union. Justice begets
unity, unity creates strength and prosperity of the people in a nation.
The Jury System May Harmonize the Social
Relationship Between Local Feuding Muslim Clans
The promulgation or adoption of the Jury System of Justice may even render the enactment of
the Bangsamoro Basic Law moot and academy. The chaotic problem in the Muslim regions is due to
the absence of a credible system of justice that is respectable enough to be relied upon locally by the
feuding parties in settling their conflicting interests. Oftentimes, their differences are “settled” unfairly
upon the terms of the dominant or highly armed and powerful party over the weaker party while the
weaker party shall be waiting for an opportunity to avenge or vindicate its ill-feelings towards the other
by forceful or violent means in a never ending vicious cycle of hatred and revenge against each other.
What we need in the first place is harmony in justice between the rich and powerful and the poor
and the lowly; between the rich and powerful Muslims and the poor and lowly Muslims; between rich
and powerful Christians and the poor and lowly Christians; and equal justice between Muslims and
Christians regardless of wealth and power. The passage of the proposed BBL is nothing more than a
recipe to disunite between Philippine Muslims and Philippine Christians with the eventual creation of
a separate Muslim State and a separate Christian State but, nonetheless, will be inhabited each similarly
with Muslims and Christians alike and will be fighting violently against each other some more to gain
more rights against each other for lack of justice between them. If we want unity and peace, we must
first have justice, because “Justice begets Peace and Peace begets Unity and Prosperity.” Eventually,
prosperity begets power for all the people of our nation, the Philippines.
There is no substitute to the jury system in preventing government corruption and in enforcing
the rule of law and influencing the unity of the people. According to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson,
he said that: “The Jury is the only anchor ever yet imagined by man that can hold a government to
the principles of its constitution.” Is it any wonder why the United States is the most powerful country
in the world today? I think, we can only attribute its power and world dominance due to its Jury System
of Justice that generally provides equal justice for all, rich or poor, powerful or lowly, regardless of
creed, color, or gender.

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