Showing posts from 2017

Power never says enough

WE have experienced once more the intoxicating effect of power. Martial law was declared in Mindanao last May 23 in Mindanao due to the Marawi debacle. It was extended by congress till December 31 on July 22, now with the excuse that the situation cannot be controlled without extraordinary powers.

Today December 14, it is again extended by the same subservient congress for one full year. Once one has tasted power, it is hard to say it is enough. This is true for Duterte, this is true for the police and this is true for the armed forces. Even if congress has extended it – does this make it right? Martial law is supposedly an answer to an extraordinary situation, like the case of rebellion. With this extension – and for one year! – are we making the extraordinary situation ordinary? Can the police and the AFP not address the situation with the ordinary powers that they have? Or is martial law now being used as a tool to oppress dissent, and not even dissent – just divergent views?

It ca…

No to Revolutionary Government

“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts5:29)
It is very worrying that the idea of Revolutionary Government is being floated around – as a joke, as an option, and even as a threat.
All elected officials, including the highest elected official – the President – are elected under the constitution and they have sworn to protect and promote the constitution. The Revolutionary Government is not within the constitution. It fact, it is a rule outside of the bounds of the constitution. It is therefore an immoral rule, as it is imposed forcibly. It is a rule without mandate. It is usurpation of power. As such it has no binding power except force or violence. No one is morally obliged to obey it.
Not even the supposedly “will of the people” can give it mandate, as the “will of the people” is given parameters and meaning by the constitution.
The supposed destabilization of the state does not warrant a revolutionary government. The constitution has mechanisms to deal with threats to the state, wi…

Who can stop people from complaining?

Christian ethics is clear: there is the priority of human beings over the state. The state’s purpose is to promote and protect the human rights of each person. Each person too is unique and each one has the same dignity as any other. So it is not right for the state to kill an individual in the name of protecting itself, or in the name of furthering its programs, no matter how “good” they may be.

The problem with many people is government, especially those who have authoritarian tendencies, is that they identify themselves as the state, and their welfare and safety as that of the people. So when people criticize them, it is taken as a criticism against the state. Much worse! They claim that the state is being destabilized! We refuse to accept that the government people are the state. They are not! Much so since in many cases what they promote is not even the common good but only their own selfish interests. They are so ready to switch loyalties just because of expediencies—their own e…