What is the truest sense of justice?

The fundamental rights of both the accused and the State must be equally upheld and protected so that justice can prevail in the truest sense of the word. To do justice to accused and injustice to the State is no justice at all. Justice must be dispensed to all the parties alike. (People v. Tac-an, 446 Phil. 496, 505-506, 2003) As aptly held in Dimatulac v. Villon:

The judge, on the other hand, "should always be imbued with a high sense of duty and responsibility in the discharge of his obligation to promptly and properly administer justice." He must view himself as a priest, for the administration of justice is akin to a religious crusade. Thus, exerting the same devotion as a priest "in the performance of the most sacred ceremonies of religious liturgy," the judge must render service with impartiality commensurate with the public trust and confidence reposed in him. Although the determination of a criminal case before a judge lies within his exclusive jurisdiction and competence, his discretion is not unfettered, but rather must be exercised within reasonable confines. The judge's action must not impair the substantial rights of the accused, nor the right of the State and offended party to due process of law.

Indeed, for justice to prevail, the scales must balance; justice is not to be dispensed for the accused alone. The interests of society and the offended parties which have been wronged must be equally considered. Verily, a verdict of conviction is not necessarily a denial of justice, and an acquittal is not necessarily a triumph of justice; for, to the society offended and the party wronged, it could also mean injustice. Justice then must be rendered even-handedly to both the accused, on one hand, and the State and offended party, on the other. ((358 Phil. 328, 365, 1998; emphasis Supplied.)

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