Category Archives: Justice

Tucson Shooting Incident; Sorrows for the loss of a Girl

It is barely two weeks after celebrating the coming of a New Year (2011), the world is shocked by the attempted assassination of Representative Gabrielle Giffords by a suspected mentally ill 22 year-old man (lone gun man) Jared Loughner. The Congresswoman survived the attack (now on stable condition and a 101 percent of chances of survival as reported) along with 13 other victims. But six others, including a Federal judge and a 9-year old girl did not.

My heart laments for this senseless killing of innocent victims particularly a 9-year old girl who was so talented with a bright promising future. Christina Taylor Green was born Christina was born on 9/11 and dreamed to be the first woman to play major league baseball (having been the granddaughter of Dallas Green a former pitcher and manager in the Major Leagues). John Green describes his daughter Christina as “a good speaker” and “could have easily seen her as a politician” This is the reason why this outgoing and intelligent student leader was on the “Saturday’s event because of her interest in government.” Roxanne Green (Christina’s mother) sees her daughter as one who has the passion to help other people and being involved.

What a lost of life! Dreams shattered because of the untimely death of this sweet, lovely and beautiful girl. I share in the sorrows of the parents, relatives and friends of Christina for losing her. Similarly I also share in the sorrows of other parents all over the world for losing their love one in a senseless killing like this. I hope there will be no more incident of this kind to happen in any part of the world. Let there be peace, love, and harmony.

On the other hand I am also perplexed on the motive of this young man Jared Loughner for killing and injuring other people if his plan was to assassinate a politician for what ever reason. Even a mere contemplation to deprive one of his life is already a crime and deplorable act of moral iniquity (how much more when the criminal plot is acted upon which include a number of innocent victims); how could such evil came into the mind of this person who like others may also have a great future? On issues of this kind we can not help but think of the role of the family, particularly the parents, the school, and the community. What is the law enforcement people and organization doing? How could the State which collect high taxes remiss on its function to protect the public and the tax payers?

Unfortunately this is not an isolated case, killing and harming people by individuals and groups of individuals is rampant all over the world. It has been said that crime does not pay for the long arms of justice will also run after the culprits and anyone who try infringed on the law. But since then, crime and lawlessness has never ceased despite modern technical and technological advancement in the society where we live. And how are we in the academe, social services, business, and government look into the roots of all these problems? There must be some sociological, economic, political, and spiritual explanations of all these dastardly acts that deprive people of their lives, property, and sense of security.

Of course the prophets of doom will always say that the world is coming to an end. The magnitude of lawlessness and enormity of crimes committed each day is just one little manifestation that the world is not getting any better and that sooner or later there will be a divine intervention to put an end to the sinfulness of mankind. Is it?

Sorry but I don’t share similar views. I still look at the role of the home and community in the upbringing of people to become productive and law abiding citizens. Unfortunately we have a growing number of population all over the world but with dwindling economic resources to most of the underdeveloped countries. Isn’t it important also now to look and appreciate the possible connection between large population size and the kind of law and order we have in the land?

Going back to Jared Loughner, the young man is reported to have been heavy pot smoker, confused, bitter, and have an attitude problem. I am sure his parents did not want him to be that way but somehow Jared Loughner grew up as someone who could not get along with other people. There is no reason to blame his parents to the tragedy, although they could be partly responsible too to what he (Jared) became as other people think about; they too are saddened and devastated to the incident involving their son and did not know why this thing had happened.

Yes this is not the only incident where a girl is senselessly killed; I pray this will be the last. I know how Christina feels the pain and sorrows of losing her. My condolences with them and the rest of those killed in that shooting incident.

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Political Platform and Broken Promises– (A class discussion)

It’s a heated political discussion in Secondlady’s Parliament of the Extreme. The wise and the fool want to trace the roots of poverty and underdevelopment in this land. These wise men and women pretending as senators and congressmen are now closing in to the eye of the problem. They temporarily abandoned the concept of greed, ignorance, and incompetence in the government so as not to see a couple of horns in their heads.

Gloria, not her excellency, raised the question: ” Is there such a thing as politician’s broken promises?”

But Randy the KSP and pasaway made fun with her question.

“Why did somebody promise you a grand wedding but instead ran away with a gay?”

Laughter followed. I had to intervene.

“This is a serious class discussion, behave or I’ll send you out.”

Emong the OFW son manifested his intention to participate. Permission was granted.

“Ma’am Seg, my classmates I just want to be clarified about a few things in relation to our topic. First, in the use of the word ‘promise.’ What is that being ‘promised’ by the politician? His platform of goverment or the programs/services he intends to do/accomplish during his/his term of office; second how does a politician arrive at his platform of government? Is it with consultation to people around him or he just based it on what he things/knows as best and right for the interest of his country and people; and third, for a politician to pursue his platform of government he has to translate everything into specific programs and services to be implemented. The question is this, are people involved (particularly those in the grassroots) in the identification of these needs, problems, solutions and their aspirations to keep the public official busy during his term of office? If not, nothing worthwhile is expected hence the notion of a broken promise.”

Samantha, the free thinker in the class raised her hand. I acknowledged her.

And she said: “Emong used the term “platform of government.” Is it really a “platform of government” that he is talking or he means a “political/party platform?” To me kasi, the the term platform of government is a more neutral term, it is a collective vision of what a government should be. This is people’s ideal not necessarily be that of a politician and his party.”

“And what’s the point you’re driving at Samantha Samantha?” I asked.

“Whether you are LP, NP, PALAKA, PM, KBL, UNO, etc., when you talk of platform of government your ideals and goals to serve goes beyond the boundaries of your personal/party interest. Everything you do is for the general interest of the majority of your people/constitutents, be they are rich or poor. And this is what Emong is saying as consultative goverment/governance. But I bet, most of these politicians are mouthing only the political platform of their party. It may not necessary address the needs of the majority but of the few. E, sabi pa naman, the government exists for the interest of the majority not of the few.”

Before I could say something somebody called our attention that Gloria’s question is not yet answered.

Joy the pragmatic mind stood up and said: “Kaya nga iyong sinasabi ninyong broken promises is a result of subordinating people’s interests over personal and party’s interest. The politician once elected into office has to attend first to his party’s interest, particularly those who support him during elections rather than those of his general constituents when it comes to implementation of programs and services. Siempre uunahin niya kaagad iyong mga bomoto sa kanya. Ladies and gentlemen this is partisan politics. This is the root of all the evil of governance in this country.”

Laughter and much applause followed.

“Para kang si Brenda niyan,” somebody shouted.

“Hey tumigil ka diyan, if you really know something makipag-participate ka ng maayos.

I saw somebody raising his hand at the corner. It’s Joel the son of a minister and the class’s moralist.

“Okay class let’s hear from Joel. Joel…”

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). The problem with us is that people have impinged their hopes to the politicians with the notion these men and women in the government chosen by the majority of the electorate to serve are fix-all technicians. Governance is a participative process, tell them what you need and discuss how you collectively act on it. Ma’am Seg said once, no public servant is really a servant at all. If I understand her right, sa akin lang, kung gusto ng mga tao ang pagbabago ay kumilos din sila. They too have to participate. She used the term “makialam.”

Somebody butted in. “Kaya nga hindi tayo nagkakaisa masyadong maraming pakialamero diyan. We have an abused system and abused exercise of democracy. The government, politicians and officials at that, are overwhelmed by so many issues and problems of the country. They just don’t know where and how to start. They are at lost how to satisfy everybody. And they just don’t know what else project they do to make money.”

Metring, the working student, also expressed what is in her mind. “First of all I would like to say there is an incongruence of minds– from the government institutions, the politicians, officials, and the people. People are also divided on what they think as the problem of the country. The government institutions plan and propose budget to fulfil their mandates based on their studies and feedback from their own people in the field; and what the politicians understand about programs and services is nothing but personal accomplishments which will have an impact to the electorates later. It may not be the need, it may not be the solution to the need, it’s a kapalpakan. Suma tutal, nagpapapogi lang. For all you know what they claim as accomplishments are failed projects to the people. Perhaps you can even say- to those who failed to see the significance of these projects may consider the same as ‘the broken promises’ of ‘an honest government sana’ kung hindi nila ito pinagkakitaan.”

And now the activist mind stood up and said: “The government is a system of power which reside on the will of the people. But the politicians thwart this ideal once in power. Once elected they think they are now the power themselves not the people. Classic example the Maguindanao case. They are now the government, they are now the laws, they are now in control of everything including the people’s mind. They say to the people, this is your need, and this is what the government can do. And all of these things ay ‘utang na loob ninyo’ sa aming mga politicians.”

Raising his fist he said, “down with all those politicians who act more for the advantage of foreign interest than our national interest. Mga nagpapagamit lang iyan, mga salot na sanhi ng paghihirap ng mga tao. They promised to pursue the welfare and interest of the people but sad to say they preserve instead the interest of their capitalist masters. It’s not on hanging projects and services alone which they have failed in their promises, it is on subordinating the interest of their nation for their personal gain. Example? Ito, Seg este Sec. may dalawang daan ka rito.”

His political statement created much laughters and uproar in the class.

I wish I could have more time with them discussing political issues. This is not a political science course, it’s a class on social problems and development. But we all agree on one thing, a political problem is a social problem, and a social problem is a political problem. Both impair efficient and honest governance. We have graft and corruption in the government because it runs in the system. People are fragmented by their political party affiliations. We perceive that politicians, businessmen, industrialists, and foreign powers have a hand on this. In a highly corrupt and politicized system, all what the people could expect from them politicians are nothing but broken promises. The have a faulty view of their political platform, they neglect people’s interest to give way to their party interests. And when they talk about programs and services, it is not on what the people want but on what they believe is useful and necessary to them.

But as they say it in the neighborhood, puwera de los buenos. Which means while there are corrupt public officials and politicians there are also a few good ones. But their tribe is still need to increase. Until such time we see more of them, we will never be done with politician’s broken promises.

My students do not showcase the best minds in the world. Many of them are struggling to survive in many of their subjects. But there is one strength (a glimpse of hope for tomorrow) I see in them, they are aware of issues and they will never give up on what they believe is right. Yes, right for their country.

Our class is no Senate, although one or two attempted to be a clown in the circus. But these are serious students who still believe, we are not done yet with the Philippines. Yes, may pag-asa pa!

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Avoiding Another Maguindanao Massacre- The Role of the Family

The home plays a very important role in the development of and individual to become a functional and law abiding citizen of his country and community. If we have a weak family, we have weak individuals, weak leaders, and weak government.

As observed, the main problem the country is facing today is not due to weak economy but weak spirituality. If our leaders are spiritually strong then we shall have an honest and transparent system of government. The greed and lust of power that transpire in our social system is but a product of a morally corrupted environment where the home or family did not perform well its duties and functions. What the children see at home is a reflection of what they do in their very own society.

The politically motivated massacre that happened last week in Maguindano which caused the lives of some 64 people mostly women and journalists is but a by product of unhealthy home environment. Apparently there is something wrong with the kind of family or home environment those people involved the alleged rape and massacre of women have been raised. Did their parents teach them how to respect life, not to harm people particularly women and children? Where they raised as responsible individuals who abhor violence and respect existing laws of the land?

Unfortunately dereliction basic parental duties to your offspring is costly not only to your family but to the government and the society as a whole. You may not know it but you have just created a human monster or a beast that may harm people and rub our government treasury of capital resources, etc. Further aggravating the problem of corruption in the government and all forms violence and crime in the society is what people experience and observe in the environment where they live. All forms of learning is observed, transferred, and perfected. This may also apply to the proliferation of vices and crime.

Politics and “warlordism” have generated a culture of violence where the only thing that matters is money and the barrel of the guns in resolving any conflict, disputes and some other issues. If you have political connection then you have gold, guns, and goons. You become untouchable and you are in control of everything in your territory. In a system like this it is no longer the government and laws that control people and the society but people with power, money, arms, and connection to the highest echelon of the government. The thing is- they are tolerated for whatever reason.

So it is easy to kill, to rape women, and shoot them in their private parts. Horrendous, only the beasts not human could do such a satanic act and crime. This is supposed to be a civilized world. Don’t parents tell their children not to lie, to steal, cheat, and harm others? Did not their church tell them that only the devil could harm unarmed human beings? In the Muslim tradition women are respected and not harmed; journalists are supposed to be spared; but this had happened already.

The passion for violence starts from the family. What children see from the father or elders is what they are going to be when they become old. Political leaders who are supposed to correct and prevent these acts through law enforcement fail to perform their duties either by neglect or simply tolerating it. Where did your parent go wrong?

We become unnecessarily poor because of graft and corruption, criminality, vices, immorality, and indolence. What has our leaders who promised reforms and progress accomplished over the years to correct this problem? Nothing is done much because our family system has done nothing too to improve the upbringing and disciplining of children so that they become useful and responsible citizens.

The cycle of violence and corruption shall continue for as long as the family does not really perform well its basic obligation and role as one of the most important units of the society.

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Filed under democracy, education, government, Justice, Philippine government, Philosophical and psychological foundation of trust, politics, Population Control, rape, Salvation, Sex and Politics, women

Run after the killers… Maguindanao Massacre

I don’t know what kind of people are those who perpetrated the senseless killing of women and innocent victims. I don’t know if those people who killed journalists whose only reason to be there was to inform the public have hearts and soul? They could do things more than what the devil could do; rape and kill women just to sow fear and send a message to their political rivals–don’t go against us.

Politics, political rivalry nothing else is the reason behind the Maguindanao Massacre according to media practitioners, political analysts, law enforcers, and ordinary citizens. Why?

A portion from abs-cbnNEWS.com report yesterday has this to say:

Buluan vice mayor Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu told ANC that his wife, Jenn, his sister, and some relatives were on their way to file a certificate of candidacy on his behalf when a group of about 100 armed men abducted them.

Mangudadatu, who is running for governor of Maguindanao, said some 15 media men who went to cover the event were also seized.

The Mangudadatus believe the abduction was politically motivated. Madaser “Toy” Mangudadato, a member of regional legislative assembly of ARMM, told ANC that they sent their female relatives to file the certificate of candidacy for “Toto” in the hope that their political rivals would not harm them.

Toy said they were warned that if Toto will personally file his candidacy, he will be hurt

Meanwhile president Arroyo declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat to prevent further blood-shed. “There is an urgent need to prevent and suppress the occurrence of several other incidents of lawless violence,” according to Press Secretary Cerge Remonde. This (indefinite state of emergency) will give the military and police adequate powers of arrest and detention for peace and justice.

On the other hand senators who have been very critical to this administration expressed concern of possible whitewash on the massacre as those suspected to have to have masterminded the crime are closest allies of the president. So they dare the president to go after her political allies the Ampatuans. But Malacanang however assured the public that there’s going to be no sacred cow to be spared in the investigation. All of the suspected perpetrators will be brought to justice to answer for their crime.

As of this writing, 24 more bodies have been recovered by the authorities in the area and that the massacre toll already rose to 46.

The entire nation is watching, the world is observing us, the president has no other prerogative but to arrests the perpetrators including those political leaders suspected of masterminding it. At this time when president Arroyo’s acceptability rating is plunging down to the lowest, her resolve perhaps to run after these ruthless killers and lock them behind bars may help in any way reverse public’s negative perception of her administration.

Perhaps before her term ends, at least the public will be aware that the president has done one great thing in her country in the dispensation of justice for those senselessly killed.

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Women Who Are So Loved By Their People

Filipinos have Cory as their icon of democracy. Burmese on the other look at Suu Kyi as their inspiration in their struggle for freedom and democracy. But where Cory has already succeeded (restoring Phlippine democracy), Suu Kyi is still trying for over twenty years now. In fact she is under house arrest, as she has always been.

She has another 18 months again to serve having been found guilty of violating her house arrest by allowing an ill American, who swam his way to her home, to stay. Suu Kyi, a 64-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has already been in detention (house arrest) for 14 of the last 20 years.

Her detention under house arrest for another 18 months is crucial for the Junta organized-elections next year. At least she’ll be out of the political scene, a move which is perceive to undemine free and honest elections in Burma.

Of course the sentence drew outrage around the world specially from Western Government and international human rights groups. Members of the Association of South-east Asian Nations is also disappointed on the said action of one of their government member tagged as the Asean’s problem child. The European Union is now considering economic sanctions against this erring nation.

Suu Kyi has always been seeking for a peaceful means to change the nature of Burmese government into democracy. Though detained (in her own home) by Burmese authorities, she’s still a potent political power to reckon; feared most by the Military Junta. The kind of supports she gets from the people places is feared most by the Military Junta.

Burmese generals know pretty well that among their ranks are young and idealistic military men who are only waiting for the right time to topple this decades long military government. Suu Kyi provides the inspiration for the transfer of power in the hands of civilian authorities.

“I hope we can all work for peace and prosperity of the country,” Suu Kyi said in a soft voice to diplomats seated nearby who attended this 90-minute court session. She’s still composed and commands great respect and authority.

Cory is gone, mourned by millions of Filipinos who admire and revere her commitment to freedom and democracy; but Suu Kyi is still alive to continue with her struggle for her country’s freedom and democracy. As Cory had the backing of people behind her, Suu Kyi too has the support of millions of Burmese people in her ideals and quest for freedom and democracy.

It’s a matter of time, no guns and cannons can stifle the resilliency of people to fight for their freedom. Suu Kyi will always be there to give them that inspiration while the Military Junta trembles upon their destruction.

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Filed under democracy, Economic Survival, government, Heroism, Justice, Myanmar Struggle for Freedom, Philippine government, politics, UN Security Council, United Nations, Wealth, Poverty, women

Our Glimpse of Tomorrow of this Politically Divided Country

A year ago my students debated in the class whether or not the entry of showbiz personalities in politics is a disaster to Philippine legislature and governance. It was a heated debate which lasted for two sessions especially when former president Estrada was dragged into the scene.

The “wealthiest” (those coming from the well-to-do families) called it a disaster for Estrada to be elected president. But the majority “middle and lower class (children of OFWs, government employees, and ordinary street vendors, etc.) defended the actor who they believe is the “champion of the common tao.” But both group agreed it was Erap’s dethronement which paved way to the Arroyo’s administration haunted with accusation of human rights violations, graft and corruption, and perpetuation into power.

In view of this I asked both leaders of the debating group again: Is the entry into politics of showbiz personalities a disaster in Philippine politics, governance, and legislation? The entire class roared with different dissenting opinions.

After the class I was left laughing but deeply disturbed inside. What had just transfired is a reflection of reality in this land. This is democracy in action. This is congress in session. And this is the Philippines today… after the Americans “restored our freedom.” A country “run like hell?”

More talks less action. We have good plans but no implementation. We have all the laws to punish the corrupt and notoriously undesirable but only the little fish is caught. Is this our vision of free and progressive Philippines for the future generation?

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Filed under Economic Survival, education, ethical standard, government, Justice, Philippine government, politics, social justice, Trust, Wealth, Poverty, World Bank

The Right of Reply Bill; the Next to Impossible

If there is something that journalists do not want Congress to legislate is the right of reply bill which will surely bring more trouble to them and to anybody with the intention to express his political views and opinions once this will be enacted into law. This is self-serving to the politicians as journalists may lose the appetite to be critical of them in the press unveiling  their evil in the government. Once this becomes a law journalists need to take the extra effort to get the side also the politicians. Something that may impede press freedom and the autonomy of the press people to do their job.

But here is a more disgusting content of the bill as posted in the internet:

The Right of Reply bill will affect not only journalists, but also bloggers, texters, and users of social networking sites and other electronic devices, a lawmaker said Sunday.

Manila 6th district Rep. Bienvenido Abante, sponsor of House Bill 3306 or the Right of Reply Bill, admitted that the bill would also cover Web sites, emails, Internet social networking sites and other electronic devices in its scope, Kabataan Rep. Raymond “Mong” Palatino said in a statement Sunday.

Palatino said Abante admitted that fact during his interpellation of the bill in the lower House.

Palatino said it would not only affect press freedom but also could lead to Internet censorship and affect freedom of speech and expression of bloggers, texters, and even iPod users.

‘All internet users affected’

The bill’s Section 1 states that: “All persons natural or judicial who are accused directly or indirectly of committing, having committed, or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to charges or criticisms published in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites or through any electronic device.”

“The bill, therefore, would not only affect media outfits and journalists but also all website owners, website masters, email account holders and other netizens who are not necessarily media practitioners,” Palatino said in the statement.

“This would affect the more than five million bloggers and millions more of Internet users in the country. My fear is that when this bill comes to law, it will be used to regulate the content of the Internet,” he said.

“When we are checking our emails, when we open our Friendster or Facebook accounts, we are checking our websites. Does this mean that we will be compelled to moderate, modify or edit our personal websites? Is this not Internet censorship and suppression of freedom of speech and expression?” he added.

“Does this mean that whenever a criticism is published in these venues a person can use the Right of Reply to compel a blogger or moderator of a social networking site to publish a space or a reply for that person? Or when an individual decides to copy or re-post an article from a news website in his or her personal blog, and in the future the said article becomes a subject of this Right of Reply, will he or she be sanctioned or fined also?” Palatino added. ( From abs-cbnNEWS.com | 05/31/2009 5:26 PM)

I agree with Palatino’sview that this going to be a curtailment of the press freedom. On the other hand how in the world will you implement this kind of law with millions of internet users, bloggers, texters, etc., who one way or the other may share views through the digital and electronic media particularly in the cyberspace?  Do you think the politicians themselves or anybody being criticized in the media and internet, etc. could realistically respond to thousands and even millions of people who criticize them every hour of the day? This is something crazy and to be more specific “idiotic.” Rep. Bienvenido Abante, sponsor of House Bill 3306 or the Right of Reply Bill should have a better idea than this. I myself is against any infringement and curtailment to press freedom. This is to me is next to impossible. I stand corrected if you could convince me so.

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