Amidst the constitutional crisis that stems from the refusal of DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima of the TRO issued by the Supreme Court and barred the travel of former President, now Congresswoman Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo and the former FG, I have been enlightened by the creed I memorized by heart as a Jaycee.
All my life, I was made to believe to respect persons of authority, the police, the military and the courts, where the pains and bloods of the founders of this Republic was forever itched and engraved for posterity and for my time to reap its rewards. As this battle raises more questions than answers, my thoughts go back to the creed every Jaycee memorizes by heart and that “government should be of laws rather than of man”.
Every sensible and responsible citizen abhors violence by instituting a rule of law, one that is dispense with caution and with high respects to the bible of the republic, the 1987 Philippine Constitution. In my years as an academician, I have had encountered so many times passages of the constitution that upholds civil liberties, freedom and our inherent constitutional right which government should, utmost protect and uphold.
Even in the oath of office of the President of the Republic, he/she is duty bound to protect, not persons but rather, the constitution for it symbolizes the cornerstone of republicanism and rule of law, one that places highest importance on the freedom and liberties set forth as an accomplishment of those who fought so hard to gain it for us.
Darkest hours have come
Republican ideals of freedom has been attacked more so blatantly by the Justice Secretary, believed to be the dispenser of justice in the Executive branch. As I had said, this is not anymore about former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but rather this pertains to our constitutional right and civil liberties.
Since Marcos’ Martial Law years, no one has stand higher and above the Supreme Court with so much arrogance than what we saw in the acts of Secretary De Lima. She portrayed an aura far away from her being a champion of human rights, which her humble beginnings would sufficiently support. Her staunch support for and being a Champion of Human Rights in the country has earned her the respect of her peers and thus Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed her to the Commission on Human Rights.
Since the crafting of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, never have I seen such a direct defiance to the ruling of the Supreme Court than this acts of Secretary De Lima. Her staunch insistence on her own interpretation of events, whether for her department’s good, her image or that of the Republic must be tempered by which she, as a lawyer upholds when she entered the bar.
As a non-lawyer, I have high respects for which the Supreme Court held its decision in supremely and God-like infallibility for the very reason that they are the keepers of the Constitution, mandated and sworn to uphold its sacredness against potential abuses by both the Executive and the Legislative. Similarly, like an Oracle, in the Supreme Court’s mandate rest the questions of constitutionality and those affronts to freedom and civil liberties. By that, they are made to do task that DO NOT protect persons but rights, sustains nobody but liberties enshrined in the Constitution.
The acts of the Justice Secretary, can be a justification enough for possible future offer of asylum for the former president on the grounds of political persecution. What happened in NAIA has captured the hearts and minds, not only of the Filipinos but of the international community. World leaders sympathetic to her plight will forever embrace her and even if she is despised in the country, let us all admit that PGMA is still well-respected in the international community.
Here is a scenario that the Arroyo couple have followed the law, obtained a TRO from no less than the Supreme Court and was barred to travel in spite her precarious health and physical condition. The images bombarded by newspapers and on-line magazines and newspapers never showed a beauteous and powerful Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but rather, what has been shown is a rugged, neck-braced former president, obviously sick and in need of medical attention. The public relations aspect of the NAIA incident is a plus not to the government but to the Arroyos.
The political persecution is one that is ripe for asylum and in international law, any country sympathetic to her plight, in honouring freedom and civil liberties can invite her to seek asylum even without an application made on her part.
More Dangerous times
When the Republic is embroiled in a constitutional crisis, then military adventurism is never far away. Remember that this government never hide its distrust of the both the military establishment and the Church. Issues hounding the generals still are fresh and wounds not healed totally and their embarrassments are not yet receding to its lowest and calm levels. One triggering event can lead to a junta-led coup or revolution in the name of upholding the Constitution, one which every soldier is sworn to protect and uphold.
In the case of the Church, it is to be understood that this government is never diplomatic in its treatment of the Bishops and the church in the name of the RH Bill.
This incidence might be use as a triggering point of the unfolding of events that could lead to further disaster politically and governmentally. Ergo, let us tread with caution and care, in fact, one must be vigilant of potential coups as rumours are milling around already.
Respecting the Courts
One of the reasons I wrote this analysis is to give credit to where the courts are mandated and why they are created, by which the Supreme Court lies supreme and infallible.
As an ordinary blogger who dreams of a stronger Republic, I dislike the acts of the Justice Secretary. It is for this reason that as a Jaycee, I remind myself that “Government should be of laws rather than of (wo) man! If we attack the Supreme Court without fear or with no reservations and get away with it, who else will respect the courts? Who else will ever respect the highest institution enshrined by the constitution to uphold our basic and fundamental human rights? Certainly, not Leila de Lima!
Service to Humanity is the best work of life
There has to be courtesy and sobriety amidst this open-warfare between the Secretary of Justice and the Supreme Court. The least one can do is to reflect on what this instant case affect us, ordinary people in this republic. We are forever silenced by our own misinterpretation and emotionally-charged perspectives but let us open our eyes more and look beyond what we can do to help this republic remains strong.
If only service to humanity is deemed the best work of life and living, then perhaps instances of this proportion will never occur. It is under this premises that government should uphold the very foundations of democracy and freedom, one that is hard-won by our heroes, even those unsung ones.