The Hunger and Thirst for Justice
By Fr. Shay Cullen
There is a true and very important saying that we all need to listen and learn from: “There is no peace when there is no justice”. The truth of this is seen and felt by thousands of people around the world and people never forget the injustices that they have suffered. Hurt and pain are the realities that we humans carry with us throughout our lives. Much of it happens in families and in school and children are scared for life. They suffer much more when they are victims of sexual or physical abuse and torture.
Rejection, exclusion, abuse and hurt feelings of childhood shape and mould the characters of every person; some cope with it and survive and live with it. Others are crippled emotionally and psychologically and many suffer depression and some even take their own lives. Other children are even murdered on live videos to please international pedophiles. Are we going to allow this?
Abused children carry the memories into late adult life because as children, they are unable to challenge and confront their abusers and demand justice. The culture of ignoring the individual personality and rights of children is part of this injustice. The children can grow up with a grudge, a desire for justice, anger at being denied it and turn to revenge-seeking and even violence. When whole communities are degraded, oppressed and exploited, they become angry and seek redress through demonstrations, riots, and protest. This leads to inevitable confrontation and violence. Others seek justice in the courts but their complaints are frequently dismissed.
The individual child can become an angry, violent person when abused and denied justice. Perhaps that’s why thousands of young people are flooding to Syria to become fighters and join the ISIS. Perhaps they see it as a way to take bloody revenge on the world they have come to hate.
Prior to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, there were few laws to fully protect the rights of children or treat them as individual people in the own right. The high status given to a child in the Gospel values was generally ignored for 2000 years. Since the approval of the Convention, all member states had to draft their laws based on the Convention document.
But are those laws really and wholeheartedly implemented and beneficial to children? In the Philippines, experience shows that mostly they are not. Police, prosecutors, and judges are more favourable to the abusers than to the children. More accused child abusers and rapists are allowed to go free than are convicted.
The reasons are many: corruption, bribery, favouritism, and no belief in the law; the incompetence of police, prosecutors, and judges add to the failure. For all this, there are good, honest, hardworking judges for the most part that take pride in doing justice. The good judges restore people’s trust and respect in the judicial process but they are all too few.
Children cannot and should not be made to wait years for justice. Justice based on clear evidence is essential for healing. Children get witness fatigue and despair of getting justice, and there are many postponements, manipulations and cheating to contend with.
Lawyers working for the accused get paid per hearing plus a retainer fee. It’s in their interest to prolong the case, earn more money and hope to win by wearing down the will of the victim so she will give up and the rapist can get away with the crimes.
Then, some impotent child protection laws are allegedly ignored. The telecommunication companies are allegedly not complying with the Anti-child Pornography Law of 2009. They have made no statement of compliance with the law. This law, RA 9775, explicitly orders the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to install software to block the transmission of child porn images and cyber-sex where children are forced to do sexual acts live on camera sent through the internet to paying customers in other cities or countries. Criminal pedophiles pay to watch the children being abused and raped. Some order they be tortured and killed.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) officials are apparently looking the other way. Perhaps even looking at child pornography, why else don’t they implement the law? The shareholders of the biggest telecommunication company, PLDT, can be found on the internet; most of the top 100 are Filipinos and US nationals. They are allegedly likewise in violation of the law.
Victims of child pornography should file charges against the telecommunication companies and individual stockholders who violate the law. If it is being obeyed, the victims and their families would not be suffering.
Now we see the likely result of this connivance and colluding between big business and government officials. Horrific crimes against children have been done and continue daily over the internet. The filters have not been deployed or installed as the law says. The Internet Watch Foundation can prove that. Child and adult pornography is available to children daily on their pads and cell phones.
The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled internet access. They made videos of a screaming 18 month old child being tortured and murdered. You need to be of strong heart if you watch this.
The horrific videos were sold in the USA and EU countries. Is this a civilized country? Is Christianity dead? Is the Philippines a morally failed state? Why can this happen openly and uncontrolled? The answer is insatiable greed and the lust for money, pleasure and power. The authorities have vital questions to answer and all of us must challenge politicians and corporations everywhere and act to end such crimes and do justice for the children.
10 April 2015
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