What it takes to become a republic

The Filipino has this attitude of making light of every single thing, joking about everything even serious and grave matters. You could witness this in a funeral vigil. There’s always laughter in there somehow. Well, Haiyan was no joke. A republic running on drug money is no laughing matter either. Nothing is as clear then than that, in a republic, anybody who wants to run the country on drug money is the enemy of the citizens.

I was in Panguil Bay a few days before the weekend when the incident with the late Ozamiz City Mayor happened. Ozamiz City from where I was at the time is only a 15-minute ferry ride across the Bay. The City is the stuff of legend according to both insiders and outsiders from the towns on the other side of the Bay. Ozamiz City is supposedly the Sherwood Forest to “Robin Good and his merry men”. But that, in a sudden reversal of fortune, now looks like it’s going to be “the forty thieves” minus Ali Baba.

The closest analogy to this event can be likened to the case for risk reduction measures in natural disasters. For example, we know there’s going to be “the big one” but if all we do is worry about it happening… could worrying save us? Action is what’s needed to be prepared for and the risks of a megaton earthquake reduced.

So yes in this war against drugs everybody had been given early warning. How many times have we heard “do not do it!” over broadcast media? Is the message too difficult to comprehend? I guess it truly “is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”.

Local politics is oiled by incredibly unbelievable negotiations and settlements even between and amongst enemies, one of the more famous ones was the arranged marriage of Dimaporo and Quibranza, once bitter enemies, touted to have “healed (the) relationship” between these two political clans, that the thinking has become everything including personal happiness therefore freedom is negotiable. That has been the case for a long time not only in Mindanao which is why this country fails to take off as a republic again and again.

saltwater cure for anything

On congressional hearings of matters of court Part 2

Change vs to change

The Senate in it’s hearing of EJKs is once again lawmaker, litigator, and judge at the same time (and they’re the ones proposing federalism?). But is it aware that it’s asking the cops about the law it has (or not) drawn up and approved? Is it aware that it’s accusing the cops something – EJK – that it hasn’t itself as a body defined in the context of ‘war’? If I were General Bato, I would negotiate for the right to make a speech before anything else in order to put things in proper perspective, also for the benefit of the public, and this would basically go- Look, I’m just a cop. I have a boss. I answer to my boss. You’re the lawmakers. You tell me.

To drill a foot soldier why he’s on the ground obeying orders from above! The world hasn’t yet heard of it until this. Such indiscriminate and unintelligent handling of a concern of national import shows itself as without credibility, the nation’s laughingstock once again. This is the reason the Executive (past and present) sneaks, for want of a better word, things past it.

Think of a 17 year old who stays out past his curfew of 7 PM. He tried negotiating with his folks for a more relevant schedule but they’re adamant. This puts him in a quandary. He also can’t not have a life. He decides to stay out until 10 PM. What’s happening here? It’s the curfew. If and when those in authority are closed off, don’t or refuse to see sense or reason, people will take things into their own hands. In the creative industry, this is a positive thing. And they’re called start ups.

It’s the Filipino people, not individual Senators, who should be asking the questions. It’s Congress, not the cops, who should be providing the nation with answers. If Congress followed due process at all, it would be the first to know that so called EJKs is a natural byproduct of the war against drugs which it has sanctioned in the first place through deliberation of the proposal sent in from the Executive following his campaign promise. In the absence of news to the public of the result of such a deliberation, Congress’ seal of approval apparently was given in the form of it’s continued silence since the start of the campaign. Well, up until De Lima who suddenly remembered that EJK part and now wants to talk. Then comes in Cayetano who clarified the definition of ‘extrajudicial’ to which everybody’s oh-ah-ing. Hello 17th Congress of the Philippines? Please get your act together.

In another venue, at the CHR, Gascon rallied that “it’s important to address these killings because this will be part of our universal periodic review happening next year.” Back in Congress, De Lima intoned a similar one: “if there is a basis for fear that we might be courting the intervention of the International Criminal Court?” So now we’re calling Auntie ICC and Godfather UNCHR to define and solve our problems and pin on us some stars? For reminders, there’s no China involved here it’s just us. If we can’t solve our own problems shame on us.

But what irritates the people most is for those they’ve elected to think them idiots as to actually stage plays such as this on national scale (replay-able by anyone in the world with Net access). The Filipino people have always seen past through the bullshit.

This Congress needs to get back on it’s prayers and promises it made on it’s opening ceremonials. It must stop encroaching on the Judiciary and start doing it’s job- draw up policy priorities and there’s quite a list already: taxes, oligarchy, power and energy, local elections, welfare and social protection, urbanization, alignment/reconciliation of conflicting laws, review and update of old laws, etc.