Court misfits, scalawags

January 03, 2019

SUPREME Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) Lucas Bersamin knows too well that there still is a strong perception that justice is only for the strong, the influential and the wealthy in the country.

This is particularly true in the provinces, where alleged corruption is rampant, according to CJ Bersamin.

This is the reason why Bersamin ordered Justice Midas Marquez, SC administrator, to start the crackdown on erring court judges and personnel in his home province of Abra.

“Those judges and employees in the provinces who have contributed to this wrong perception about the judiciary will have to go,” said the new SC chief justice.

Coming from a known political clan in said Northern Luzon province, the SC chief justice is a brother of former Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin and slain Rep. Luis “Chavit” Bersamin Jr.

“I directed (Marquez) to start with (my) home province of Abra. That is a marching order…no matter if they are my relatives or not,” said the soft-spoken but highly-articulate CJ.

In the view of many, the Duterte administration’s total war against graft and corruption in the government may not succeed if there are “misfits” and “scalawags” in the judiciary.

Note that the campaign against shenanigans in the bureaucracy remains as a top priority of Duterte more than two years after he assumed the top political post of the land in June 2016.

In fact, the successful war against corrupt public servants is a major factor why President Duterte’s performance rating continues its upward swing despite the rising prices of goods and services.

Thus, CJ Bersamin is on the right track in implementing a crackdown on erring court judges and personnel.