Friday, October 24, 2014

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE


It is hard not to perceive and thereby understand the serious and lasting socio-ethical liabilities if not downright evils that a joint Church-and-State regime could bring about to the confusion and lamentation of the people concerned – such as the People of the Philippines. The Church obeying what the State requires and imposes and the State in submission to what the Church wants and decides – such a phenomenon would not only be detestable to think about but actually disgusting when brought to reality.

The Church may not be subservient to state just as the State may neither be submissive to the Church. Among the more evident reasons behind this elementary truth are the following: The Church is universal in relevance and coverage while the State is existent and operative but for a given nation. The officials of the Church are appointed by her competent hierarchy while key public officials in a State are elected by the people. The Church has ultimately a spiritual well as well as supernatural rationale while the State is primarily envisioned for the temporal socio-economic welfare of the people.

So it is that the Separation of Church and State is but an elementary dictate of prudence, a fundamental mandate of reasons. Having them joined is not only a big contradiction in terms but also a signal guarantee of confusion among the people concerned. However, let it be clearly and emphatically said that both the Church and the State may not be otherwise than for the common good and public welfare of the same people they are both committed to serve in line with their respective institutional and constitutional finality.

This, wherefore reads the Constitution of the Philippines: “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” (Article II, Section 6). It may not be otherwise whereas such would instead simply guarantee contradiction and pursuant confusion among the people concerned.

Thus, therefore provides the Code of Canon Law: “Clerics are forbidden to assume public office whenever it means sharing in the exercise of civil power.” (Canon 285 par. 3 CIC). Neither may it be otherwise whereas clerics – deacons, priests, bishops – have other priorities.

Thus finally should the people themselves see to it that both the above-cited constitutional provision and canonical legislation are seriously and continuously observed. This is certain: Just as politicians would make lousy clerics, so is it too that clerics would make lousy politicians. All of them though should combine their effort to promote the well-being of the people with both secular and spiritual requirements, with both “here and now” as well as “hereafter and beyond” needs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“URBAN DECAY”


So it is that in line with the painful reality of detestable Tooth Decay” and the terrible implications of “Truth Decay”, the abominable phenomenon of “Urban Decay” has eventually come to fore – notwithstanding all presidential elocutions and declamations to the contrary such as “Kayo ang boss ko”, “Daan na matuwid”, “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” and other similar eventually proven vain and empty rhetorical proclamations in the realm of insensibility, in the sphere of incompetence.

The living reality of “Urban Decay” - of Metro Manila in particular – has been and still is a well-noted and much-experienced fact that has been haunting the people concerned from children to adults, among students to teachers, employees and professionals included. The said negative and lamentable urban situation is verified by a litany of glaring “rotten and rotting” urban social realities known and noted by nationals and foreigners alike – along the perception and feeling of a writer who said that Manila was the “Gates of Hell”. The following are some of the more concrete lamentable realities that bring about gross metropolitan decay:

Pervasive poverty
Homes under bridges
Living in pushcarts, sleeping on sidewalks
Prostitution of adults and young people
Battery of taxes affecting even street foods
24/7 crimes against life and property
Manufacture and proliferation of drugs
Luxurious and street gambling unlimited
Customary smuggling
Suspect PNP officials
Dysfunctional justice system
Prisoners in and out of custody
Garbage all over
Flooding and pollution
Bomb threats
Traffic unlimited
MRT dysfunction and danger
Graft and corrupt practices as a matter of fact
Amoral partisan politics
PDAF and DAP into private pockets
Untrustworthy politicians
Social unrest

Please feel free to add others.

Monday, October 20, 2014

SO WHAT?

So what if many Filipinos wallow in poverty and misery in their own Country, expose even their lives and limbs as OFWs in the hands of cruel people, suffer from the marked incompetence of their government, serve as milking cows of their corrupt public officials?

So what if some Filipinos are seen as some kind of slaves by people from the first world countries and thereby treated with despise and disdain by certain foreigners visiting the Country who personally see children begging in the streets and adults making their living by digging into garbage piles?

So what if there are Filipinos who sell their votes to moneyed political candidates, who sell their services as housemaids to able families or who have nothing else than their own bodies to sell and make some money to support their parents, brothers and/or sisters?

Does that mean that they are lesser human beings, that they have lesser human dignity, that they have lesser inalienable rights, that they are but things to be used and exploited, and to be thrown away after they are useful no more and wherefore considered useless?

Thus comes to mind the US sailor whose ship docked in the Philippine shore who went to a place of fun and leisure, who exhibited an air of superiority, who fancied someone to use and enjoy, who brought the latter to a private room for rent precisely in order to feed his desire, to satisfy his lust.

What happened next is too gross to tell, to painful to recall. The Filipino was violated, treated as an animal, and finally, not only killed but in fact murdered with distinct contempt, scorn and insult. What will happen next depends on how Juan dela Cruz will beg and kneel down before Uncle Sam.

So come to mind that questionable VFA and the ominous EDCA. Will the Philippines continue to remain but a footstool of the USA? Will the Philippines serve but a war front defense of Uncle Sam? Will poor Filipino soldiers in effect act as but tourist guides of the affluent American soldiers?

As to the above recent Filipino victim of the sick and sickening American sailor, certain questions come to mind: So what if the victim was a transgender? Since when did a given sexuality lessen human dignity? Since when did sexual constitution lessen the worth of human life? Since when did sexual identity lessen the significance of a human person? Since when?!

Friday, October 17, 2014

URGENT CALL FOR NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION

Thus stands the cause of the now increasingly known movement “THE LIPA DECLARATION:  AN URGENT CALL FOR NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION, 27 AUGUST A.D. 2014/ 2 DHU AL QA’DA A.H. 1435, i.e., to rectify the numerous anomalies, to correct the many lies and customary hypocrisy, to pave the way for a better Philippines, specially in the socio-political life of the Country.  The task is far from easy.  The objective is hard to accomplish.  But the Filipinos may not simply play blind, deaf and dumb – or they themselves suffer for their indifference.

The Call is made for the accomplishment of three main agenda which are considered the over-all causes of the people’s desperation and misery:

1.  To unequivocally counteract the “unbridled and unpunished corruption” through the “widespread misuse of political and economic power”, the foremost and ultimate victims whereof are the poor and the helpless.

2.  To bar all moves – specially by the national leadership – contrary to “preserving and defending the Constitution” by “corrupting Congress, “intimidating the Judiciary”, manipulating the automated voting system”.

3.  To prevent the enactment of any law which “disrespects the right to life of human beings... in defiance of the Constitution... the moral law, the customs, culture and consciences of Filipinos.”

The Call adopts three basic means to legitimately  and licitly bring about its affirmed main agenda:

a.  To undertake an “open broad public consultation on the need to modify and strengthen the presidential system” or any form of government.

b.  To ascertain the “absolutely indispensable integrity and independence of the Courts” in the Country.

c.  To “call upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines” as the “constitutional protector of the people and the State.”


All the above mentioned agenda and pursuant initiatives shall be brought to completion by the “NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION COUNCIL”.  It’s self-imposed tasks will surely need much sacrifice, much effort, much time – not to mention much danger from those against it.  But then, nothing really worth doing is easy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

OMINOUS CRY FOR RENEWAL


Such is the nature of the “THE LIPA DECLARATION: AN URGENT CALL FOR NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION 27 AUGUST A.D. 2014/2 DHU AL QA'DA A.H. 1435” - made by individuals from different professions and occupations, from different Churches in the Philippines, from the Muslim community, from active and retired government officials. It is ominous because there are more and more people who are dismayed, if not in fact disgusted by the present government. No. They are not pessimists in spirit but simply realists in perceptions.

It is also ominous because it echoes the exasperation and downright anger of more and more groups of people. It is ominous too whereas it is well in accord with lesser and lesser approval ratings of the national leadership. That is why although the “Declaration” was made and proclaimed in Lipa, it is slowly but surely making the rounds all over the Country and thus making more people know it and thus also become more hopeful.

The truth is that while composed and made in Lipa just recently, the sentiments it proclaims and the options it affirms have been already existing. For some time now as aroused in a special way by the dirty and sticky “Pork Barrel” revelation – with special mention of “DAP”, of which the august and illustrious creator does not even know the meaning of “savings”! To this date however, only non-Party mates of Malacañang are suffering the consequences – considering that those affiliated with the latter are all saints.

Three signal questions come to mind:

What is “Transformation”? It does not simply mean a change but a real changeover, a transmutation, a transfiguration where what is existing, usual and customary is renewed, re-made, reformed.

When will “Transformation” start? It can only start when precisely the one who is the over-all cause of the national malady and deterioration, is out of the way, divested of power and set aside.

Who leads the “Transformation”? It is not simply one or two individuals – no matter how competent or able they are – but a group of such qualified and trustworthy people acting as a temporary Council until the said “Transformation” is done.

Renewal is mandatory for what is odious and deleterious!