Monday, July 21, 2014

JUST ASKING

Due to the typhoon “Glenda”, a good number of miserable as well as detestable realities took place in the same way that a good number of difficult questions are being raised – plus this and that superstitions  are being entertained.  These unfounded fears, if downright irrational perceptions,  come and go on the occasion of extraordinary events – specially those that cost not simply big material losses but also the loss of limbs and lives.  At the bottom of all such unexplainable phenomena, is the implied truth  that there are so many things in life that surpass limited human understanding or evade clearly rational explanation of the events concerned.

Questions thus come to fore:  Is “Glenda” not but a much smaller version of “Yolanda”?  But why so much loss, so much damages?  What will come next, when, and how? Why do such destructive natural calamities happen and what do they really mean?  Are such destructive events --  that are rather fierce and frequent -- signs and warnings that the People of the Philippines are in fact more and more treading the wrong path?    Do such devastating calamities send the sad yet true message that their leaders in particular, are becoming more and more experts in vicious self-service at the expense of more and more poor   and miserable Filipinos?  Are said events productive of misery, sickness and death simply meant to be loud wake-up calls to the people to take care of themselves and not depend on powerful individuals as well as cruel dynasties running their government?  These are but some questions now being asked here and there.  The right and simple or even complex answers thereto can be coming -- and soon.

By the way, call it but an accident, see it as a simple coincidence, or even consider it as nothing at all, it is both an interesting as well as a fascinating fact that “Glenda” did nothing less than uproot and bring down a more than a century old huge and sprawling acacia tree very long since firmly planted and flourishing in the Palace ground itself.  It was a witness to the Martial Law regime which left it behind fascinating and flourishing.  The subsequent governments of one kind or another, likewise beheld it and were gone again, leaving the marvellous tree proudly standing and still growing.  The present government found it there well flourishing and pleasantly refreshing the palace surroundings.  But lo and behold, it is now a sad and fallen dead wood merely after but some four years of reign by the incumbent administration?  Any message?  Any signal?  Any warning?

Who knows?  Just thinking.  Just asking!

Friday, July 18, 2014

1987 CONSTITUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES

“The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that shall provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all.” (Art. II, Section 9)

A just and dynamic social order?
Prosperity and independence?
A people free from poverty?
Adequate social services?
Full employment?
Improved quality of life for all?

Or is it:
An unjust and apathetic social order?
Poverty and dependence?
A people bound by poverty?
Inadequate social services?
Lack of employment?
Deteriorated quality of life for all?


It is an acclaimed reality that the 1978 Philippine Constitution was written at the instance of an illustrious mother.  But sad to say, it is now becoming a more and more acknowledged fact that the son is progressively making the same Basic Law of the Land nothing more than an empty dream – except when he and his allies do the thinking, the talking, and the acting.

In all probability, the above-said lamentable phenomenon will again come to fore during the forthcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) when the general Philippine scenario will be again proudly proclaimed as admirable and commendable as it can be.  So is it that in all probability as well, there will be many calculated and expected loud applauses from the faithful followers of the SONA orator.

It is not a secret that as the people are more and more deprived of what is their due by an administration that has become a collective expert in fooling about with public funds – recently topped by the PDAF and DAP scams – there are understandably also more and more people who do not simply look down but also detest the present Malacañang leadership.  Among other things, such is the basic rationale of the on-going move for the abolition of the Pork Barrel – plus Impeachment Complaints although these will not prosper for obvious reasons.


Philippines, my Philippines – when would be as you should?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ASYLUM

The benefit of “Asylum”, supposedly asked from the CBCP by a now well-known woman for the multibillion peso worth of scams occasioned by the now infamous PDAF and DAP, recently came to fore.  And as accordingly reported by tri-media, the said favor was denied by the same ecclesiastical institution as conveyed by its Archbishop-President.  It then comes to order to but simply and briefly address the what, the why and when of “Asylum” as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.

It might be good to first clarify the nature of the “Asylum” herein considered has nothing to do with any kind of sanitarium, a mental institution or any kind of a given place of housing.  Instead, the “Asylum” herein relevant means a place of refuge or sanctuary basically intended to protect the presumed innocent individual from unjust prosecution, particularly on the part of one or more indicting State agencies concerned.  There was a time when Churches, convents and other perceived safe places usually served as “Asylum” for persecuted innocent persons.

While the quest for formal “Asylum” is no longer that relevant nor as commonly practiced as before, every now and then, however, there are one or more individuals who seek the care and protection of some priests or religious men and/or women usually when they feel desperate in keeping their safety, in protecting their lives.  In these days, they are usually known as “whistle blowers” who feel they are in danger from known and powerful personalities for having publicly revealed the latter’s grave misdeeds.

During these days, there are certain basic assumptions that come to fore in the matter of seeking and obtaining “Asylum” from Church entities:  First and foremost is that the one who seeks it should enjoy the presumption of innocence.  Otherwise, it could be simply interpreted as harboring a criminal.  Second and quite important is that the Church entity concerned should be reasonably able to provide safety to the one concerned.  Otherwise, it could even in effect put in danger its supposed innocent “protégée”.  Third and worth seriously  considering is that there is reasonable assumption that the State agency concerned would still respect the pro-truth and pro-justice stance of the Church entity concerned.

Question:  Was the CBCP right  in not accepting the “Asylum” request of the woman concerned?  Answer:  Yes, because it is quite difficult to presume her innocence of the many big crimes she is accused of.   Note:  There is a saying that someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Reply:  That is what the law says but not necessarily what prudence affirms. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

STERILIZED PREACHING

If one would attentively listen to and dutifully analyze the loud and repeated teachings of a good number of the so-called “Ministers of the Gospel” – irrespective of the Christian church, religion or sect they belong to – a good number of them engage in “Sterilized Preaching”.  This is also called purely  “vertical” preaching about the attributions of God Who should be praised while forgetting its “horizontal” dimension  such as the nature, the dignity and the rights of man that should be acknowledged, respected and protected respectively.  When one only focuses his/her attention on the greatness of God while conveniently keeping silent about the misery of man, this is nothing more than convenient and profitable “Sterilized Preaching”.

Some of the more common characteristics of such an approach attentively  observed and dutifully kept by many Christian preachers are the following:  One, they stick to the wonderful truths of heaven above while keeping altogether quiet about the detestable realities on earth.  Two, they only speak about the greatness and goodness of God while saying and pointing at nothing about the  evil deeds of man.  Three, they please their listeners, make them comfortable by praising their faith in God while staying keeping quiet about their obligations  towards their neighbors.  Four, they comfort everybody, offending no one, and thus receive the generous donations everyone.  Five, they thus stick to the perpendicular (man-to-God) dimension while conveniently forgetting the horizontal (man-to-man) constitution of the Cross of Christ as a whole.

When the Ten Commandments are reduced to but Two Commandments, “Sterilized Preaching” sticks but to the first mandate to love of God – which is rather easy and self-satisfying – while conveniently forgetting the second mandate of loving one’s neighbor which is difficult  and challenging.  One thing is certain:  Loving one’s neighbor is not simply giving him food when hungry, etc., etc., whereas one does the same to his pets.  When someone plays blind, deaf and dumb whenever human nature is trampled upon, when human dignity is ignored, when human rights are violated – is this loving one’s neighbor?

The Catholic Church has her well-integrated, properly structured and duly explained Social Doctrine.  Even but its summation is quite significant  in the same way that its actual application is very relevant.  And let it be expressly pointed out that the starring role in the Social Doctrine  of the Church is man – considering that for the Catholic Church, man is made  to the Image of God.  Therein are found the principles and teachings about the human person and human rights, about the social dimension of human individuals and the purposes  of human society, about truth, justice, economy and development, about the dignity of labor, the rights of workers, the matter of family wage, the political authority, the democratic system, the international community, the value of peace and the cost of war, etc., etc.  “Sterilized Preaching”?  Come on!


Friday, July 11, 2014

PATRONAGE POLITICS. POWER PLAY. WEALTH ASCENDANCY.

With the Philippines particularly in mind, the administration of justice – be this commutative (person to person), contributive (person to society), or distributive (society to persons) – has three fundamental obstacles that precisely promote its contradictions such that instead of justice, what actually reigns is injustice:  Patronage Politics.  Power Play.  Wealth Ascendancy.  Only those pretending to be blind, deaf and dumb, have no knowledge and/or experience of this living reality nationwide.

Patronage politics is a living and detestable fact in the Country that hampers the administration of justice – irrespective of whether someone is the recognized political boss or a useful political affiliate.  “Equality before the law”,  thus becomes but a nice sounding invocation that is however effectively denied by patronage politics.  The living examples of this detestable phenomenon are the PDAF and DAP debacles that political allies make the choice who goes deliriously free or readily put behind bars.

Power play is the application of irresistible influence, pressure or leverage that either destroys or neutralizes the administration of justice supposedly applied without friends or foes.  The weak in power connections and pursuant persuasions are not only easy to control but easy as well to debase whereby their human dignity as well as human rights are made but purely academic issues.  But the powerful are not only difficult but even dangerous to resist.  Thus it is that in the BUCOR, powerful prisoners are in fact free to do what they want, to go where they want and when.

Wealth ascendancy is what removes the blindfold of Lady Justice and therefore makes her see who is who for the maladministration of equality and individuals before the law.  Such a liability in the administration of justice has special relevance in the Philippines, considering the wants and needs of majority of Filipinos – those working in the judiciary included.  It is not difficult to understand that the administration of justice is extra difficult when wealth plays a role therein.  So it is that no less than some four years after, the infamous MAGUINDANAO massacre remains practically untouched and altogether unresolved.


This is not meant to say that injustice reigns supreme in the Country.  Much less is this intended to affirm that justice is altogether absent in Philippine society.  It is but the admission that justice is elusive for Filipinos when Political Patronage, Power Play, and/or Wealth Ascendancy already enter in Halls of Justice.  And this reality is no secret at all.  It may be unsaid or un-noted but it is a sad reality, it is lamentable actually.