Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No Restitution

Teehankee goes free

I didn't follow this case when it hit the papers --- at that time sensational crimes of passion were rather du jour and the Hultman-Chapman slaying, however tawdry it was, was, well, little more than a soap opera.

The whole affair, given the slam-dunk guilty verdict, lacked the machina, the driving force that would make people go up in arms.  It was rich people killing rich people --- and despite the tabloid material, the motive provided showed the victims as more venal, less tragic figures than those of bad melodrama.

But still.  Whether or not she had a death wish, or put herself at risk by associating herself with her eventual murderer, Maureen Hultman did not deserve to be gunned down while begging for her life, a sacrifice to irrational jealousy and uncontrolled pride.

Now this - I can point out to many of the symptoms of the moral bankruptcy of the current administration of the Philippines, but this, this pardon and release takes the cake.  See, I don't believe in the death penalty, but neither am I a believer in forgiveness without restitution.

They couldn't even put him in jail for the number of years his victims lived on this earth, the lives he stole away.  And for what?  So that the President wins a few points from the press?  So that political debts can be paid?

Of course, not everything revolves around politics or the need to please political barons.  Maybe there is justice, maybe there are glorious epiphanies spinning left and right around the person of a freed man.  Maybe he has been transformed.

There are loopholes in the system, loopholes that can be twisted to the advantage of the learned and the sly, and most importantly, the rich.  The system could have stopped it.  But it didn't.

The bigger question it, could it, with a moral bank account so bereft even 20 bailouts won't even make a dent?

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