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Letters to the Editor. Philippine court system

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The article by Rep. Stephen Solarz (D) of New York, states that Gen. Fabian Ver and the 25 other co-accused in the Aquino case were acquitted because President Marcos controls the courts [``The Ver fiasco: What US should know,'' Dec. 13]. In other words, Mr. Solarz is implying the absence of judicial independence in the Philippines. This could be misleading. The truth of the matter is that there have been cases in which the Supreme Court of the Philippines had ruled against the government. The most recent cases were those involving the We Forum opposition newspaper and the ``Aquilino Pimentel'' case.

In the We Forum case, the court ruled that the evidence against the accused was inadmissible since it was improperly secured. In the Pimentel case, the Supreme Court overruled the Commission on Elections and, based on its own canvass, proclaimed the opposition member of parliament the winner over Mr. Pedro Roa, a member of the ruling party.

It is, therefore, an unwarranted conclusion to state that there is no judicial independence in the Philippines. What is happening in the Philippine courts is akin to what is taking place in the United States; i.e., the government wins some cases and loses others depending on the merits.

However, as indicated in a second article by Frederic Moritz, the Philippines is confronted with a ruthless communist-inspired insurgency [``Philippine Communists: How ruthless?,'' Dec. 13]. Needless to say, unwarranted criticisms which directly or indirectly destabilize the Philippine government only enhance the possibility of a communist takeover. Hermenegildo Cruz Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador, of the Philippines to the UN

New York


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