Court denies entry to family for just wearing slippers

MANILA, Philippines – A photo of a family denied entry at a courthouse for just wearing slippers recently went viral, prompting calls for the government to change its system so it won’t be anti-poor.
Court denies entry to family for just wearing slippers

In the photo, a security guard could be seen scrutinizing the outfit of two ladies, one of whom was holding a barefoot baby in her arms. Apparently, the family was not allowed entry inside the court because they were wearing slippers.

Just outside the doors leading to the courthouse was a sign that showed this photo was taken at the Hall of Justice (Bulwagang Katarungan) in Valenzuela City.

Court denies entry to family for just wearing slippers
Photo credit: Facebook / Ria Fernandez

A lot of netizens bashed the courthouse for imposing such a rule, with the photo uploader also slamming the country’s justice system in her post.
“Turned away from the court because they were wearing slippers. Justice in the Philippines is only for those who can afford shoes,” netizen Ria Fernandez wrote on her Facebook post.

Netizens were quick to slam the Hall of Justice for imposing such a ruling on the use of slippers, especially because there are a lot of Filipinos who really can’t afford to buy shoes. There were those who pointed out that many Filipinos can’t even buy enough food to feed their family, how much more money to buy shoes?

Others said that though it is alright to impose a dress code, this should only focus on ladies covering themselves modestly to look presentable and for everyone to wear decent enough clothes without asking them to wear something, such as shoes, they can’t afford to buy.

But this is not the only courthouse to impose such a rule. In fact, most courthouses in the Philippines plus a number of government agencies also do the same. Even courthouses in the US and other parts of the world actually impose a dress code.

This is also not the first time that the dress code has come under scrutiny. In fact, such had been called anti-poor in the past, with people calling for the rule to be scrapped.

In an article on the Manila Standard back in 2014, it was pointed out that Section 11, Article III of the Constitution stated, “Free access to the courts … and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty.”

Also, it was noted that the Hall of Justice is a public institution and built by taxpayers’ money. Moreover, it was also pointed out that the ‘appropriate attire’ might seem easy to find for those who can afford it but the poor who have no money might not be able to buy clothes that are deemed decent and appropriate enough to wear in court.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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