Hustisya Essay

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In 1991, the outbreak of the news regarding the gruesome Vizconde massacre circulated in the Philippines. “On the morning of June 30, 1991, a mother and her two daughters were found slaughtered in their own home.” (De Guzman, 2008). After nineteen years, composing of numerous trials and appeals, the primary suspect, Hubert Webb, along with six others were acquitted. ‘Trial of the century’ was used by most to refer to the case due to the long process it took. A year before the suspects of the Vizconde massacre were acquitted, mass graves where found in the province of Maguindano. Until now, the trial is still on-going, and according to Harry Roque, the lawyer representing the families of the victims, “it would last more than 100 years at the present pace of the trial, by which time all the defendants would be dead.” Another infamous case remains unresolved, which is of the involvement of the 14th President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and her husband, Mike Arroyo. These popular cases, one of which almost occurred for two decades, would make anyone question the quality of the justice system the Philippines has. With the country swarming with new cases almost year-by-year, one would desire to go deeper in the context of such system. The curiosities regarding the freedom of Hubert Webb and others accused despite having various evidences and witnesses, clamors of families of innocent victims, and the thirst for justice are the reasons for the creation of such documentary.
A film which is to be entitled “Hustisya”, is a documentary which focuses on the quality of justice system the Philippines has mainly based from those who worked and are still working under the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court. In order to get into detail of the processes of trials and provide on-hand information, it is necessary to acquire a connection with those known in the business. The documentary is to be comprised of three personalities; the secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Justice (DOJ), which is Atty. Leila M. De Lima, the impeached Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Atty. Renato Corona, and the lawyer who is often involved in most of the controversial cases, Atty. Lorna Patajo-Kapunan. With such known personalities, it is given that acquiring their attention will consume, not just time, but also money. Thus, the use of a huge budget amounting to P50,000 and a duration of five months is more than enough. Such amount would mostly be used for transportation fees, equipment, research, payment for the interviewees, and the like, while the five months would mainly be consumed by waiting for the response and availability of those personalities. Given that the three interviewees rarely have free time, it would be necessary for the interviews to occur in three different settings, namely, the office of Atty. Leila De Lima which is in the Department of Justice (Ermita, Manila), the residence of Mr. Renato Corona, and the office of Atty. Lorna...