Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE (AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN)


 1983 Code of Canon Law:  “Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.” (Canon 285)

1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines:  “The separation of the Church and the State shall be inviolable.” (Article II, Section 6)

So it is that the Separation of the Church and State is categorically affirmed and officially proclaimed by both the Church and the State themselves – first by the Church that is thousands of years old and but subsequently by the State relatively much later established.  This standing fact is sufficiently evidenced even but by the sequence of the wording of the above cited constitutional provision.  First, the Church is a separate entity from the State.  So it is that the State is a separate reality from the Church.  There is nothing either profound or complicated about that.

So it is that according to but plain, clear and simple Church Law, a cleric who dare run for or accept any Office with the exercise of civil power of whatever kind for whatever reason and within whatever time frame, are decidedly and categorically separated or dismissed from the Clerical State.  They are then on their own  on what to do, where to go, how to live.  This is an official norm and categorical mandate for Churchmen.  And there are no exemptions from the law thus stating in one way or another that the Church is separate from the State.

And so it is that the State – the heads of the three branches of government, the public officials, and the general public – have nothing to worry about any Cleric taking over their office, their power, their prerogatives.  So it is that the Church per se would be the very last one to make the option – if ever at all – to form part of a secular government.  Such would definitely not be the one and universal Church that observes the dictates of sound reason, that has her own faith and morals she is bound to keep and observe, committed to teach and proclaim to all willing to listen, willing to accept and observe.


What is ethically bad or wrong, what is morally acceptable or otherwise, what is in accord or contrary to the Gospel teachings – all these the Church is bound to teach, to acclaim, and proclaim before the rich and the poor, the learned and the illiterate, the powerful and powerless, the people in government well-included, viz., the public officials in government from top to bottom of the political hierarchy.  The over-all mandate and consequent on-and-on obligation of the Church is this:  Proclaim the Gospel!”, viz., spread the teachings of the Scriptures about what is right or wrong, what is virtuous or vicious, what is moral  or immoral.  Those who listen thereto, that is their salvation.  Those who dare contradict it, they are free to do so and they are then on their own.  But as centuries after centuries come and go, the Church continues to teach the faith entrusted to her plus the morals committed to her care.  Those who dare contradict and trample upon her teachings, all these will eventually die sooner or later.  The Church however, will simply continue to proclaim what is right or wrong.  But the Church taking over the State – this is plain and gross garbage!    

Monday, February 20, 2017

PUBLIC SERVANTS AS PUBLIC LORDS


It is becoming progressively more pronounced, definitely more manifest as time goes by.  There are more and more public servants  in this Country who think and speak like public lords, who act and behave as masters of the general public.  They do not only consider themselves as omniscient but also think of themselves as omnipotent.  They behave like master generals such that they love and admire themselves so much that they come to believe that what they say is always right, what they want they must get.  Everybody else:  Shut up! Stay still!  Do as you are told!

These are public servants supposed to render public service by working for the public welfare.  However, they conveniently forget that their big salaries, many fringe benefits and all other largesse are all paid by the general public from birth to death, through direct and indirect taxes people usually pay unknowingly, non-deliberately.  So it is that the moment a child is born, this is taxed through his/her parents for using electricity and water, for buying food and milk, not to mention the purchase of clothes and soap, powder and medicine, etc.  etc.

Who dies and who lives, who is killed  or allowed to live, who is terminated or permitted to continue being, who is executed – electrocuted, hanged, shot – all these are decided by the public lords.  They are even over and above God with the express and clear mandate for people not to kill.  They think and act as if they gave the lives they want terminated, as if they authored the lives they decided to take away.  Saying it bluntly, they want to be executioners from a distance when in the course of time, they themselves can be executed for given misdeeds – when they are eventually out of the reigning political party, when they are already  out of power and might, when they are divested of wealth and influence.

Again.  Such political potentates want to dictate who live and who die as if they are the ones who give life and therefore have the right to take it away as well.  True.  Their children come to life through them.  But this is because they are already living father/mothers themselves who thus but transmit to their children the life they already have in themselves.  The naked truth is that they have not created any life at all – not even that of a miserable flea.  Yet they crave killing others – who are usually the poor and miserable, considering that the Justice System in the Country have long since exempted the powerful and the rich from its scope.  There is something weird worth telling:  said public servants thinking and acting like petty gods can also be killed one way or another, by someone somehow -  unless they themselves eventually die for whatever cause.


Recently, it was found out that a dog – yes, a dog! – was killed for the sake of movie-making.  When such killing was made known, animal lovers were up in arms, these and those individuals were blamed, the film industry was put to shame.  Yes.  It was a dog that was killed.  But here come certain public officials wanting human beings killed!  “Inhumanity to man!” – this was  long since said for gross human cruelty.  But the same grim and gross reality is in the making – more for political subservience than the right human value system.  Never mind what is right and wrong, what is virtuous or vicious.  Mind what brings political influence from the ultimate source of political power.  Do not mind the slaves but bow down and bow deep to the slave master.         

Friday, February 17, 2017

TRUTH. JUSTICE. PEACE.


 Pride of the Country, common good of the people, service to all individuals concerned – such is the composite profound and blessed reality brought about by the tripod of the emergence of truth, the observance of justice, the reign of peace!  Its opposite can be readily considered a big composite curse:  Falsehood brings about iniquity which in turn causes disunity.  There is nothing profound about such a pitiful and lamentable phenomenon whereas such is something empirical the moment there is more than but one individual concerned like a family, a community, a Country – unlike a hermit being alone, living alone, dying alone.

The reign of the above-said tripod in society – Truth.  Justice.  Peace. – is definitely not asking for a perfect State, a heavenly Country, a blissful society.  Such is simply meant to seek what is right, what is reasonable and wherefore acceptable – considering that the following blatant realities are but some kind  of Filipino daily bread long since obtaining in the Philippines.  It is practically impossible to bring the powerful to Court for downright crimes committed, it takes even decades to have the convictions of the powerful and wherefore necessarily wealthy individuals – if said convictions are eventually proven at all.  More.  Once clearly proven guilty for the grave violations of Penal Law, such individuals are but sent to known hospitals while powerless and miserable convicts infallibly go to prisons – considering that prisons are demeaning as well as uncomfortable to be locked and to live in.  Such is the over-all picture of the long since obtaining Injustice System in the Philippines.  This is no secret.

The honest-to-goodness proof of truth, the eventual emergence of justice and the consequent reign of peace are neither but a dream or simply a “Pie in the Sky”.  It may not be that easy nor that fast to ascertain their composite reality as a triad.  But neither is it impossible nor improvable to have it as a societal reality.  It is but having an honest-to-goodness Justice System that separates the right from the wrong, that distinguishes between what is virtuous or vicious, what is rewarding or downright punishable.

Review, reform, and renew the Justice System in the Country – more concretely  in terms of the following doable agenda:  Let there be briefer Processes.  Have more knowledgeable and capable, more courageous and honest  -- and well-paid – Judges.  Establish more Courts in the Country – with the Supreme Court remaining precisely one and supreme.  It is not only possible but also highly commendable that a proper, trusted and working Justice System be accordingly established for service to the general public precisely for the emergence of public welfare.


Otherwise, the consequences of an inefficient and deficient – if not precisely an unjust – Justice System in the Country are the following sad and demeaning realities:  The Courts all over the land now have Cases which pile up, gather dust and remain unresolved.  So is it that on one hand, there are the powerful and the wealthy who are having fun though blatantly corrupt and corrupting.  Meanwhile, there are the poor and powerless who are easily judged and accordingly incarcerated.  Thus stands and works the Injustice System in the Philippines.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

REFORM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM – PLEASE!

This is a sincere and ardent pleading – to gain the trust of the people, to promote the welfare of society, to affirm the pride of the Country.  To say that the long since obtaining inequity in the Philippine local, regional and/or national Justice System is but imagination, is reserved to people in dreamland, to those playing deaf and dumb – if not those who are immune to the reality and import of injustice usually for reason of ill-gotten temporal wealth and/or ill-obtained political power if not both thereof as some kind of a standard pairing in the Country.  Such is neither a big secret nor a profound reality.  Otherwise, how does one explain but the following well-known and more known glaring misdeeds that to this date and time remain unresolved – if not likewise altogether forgotten?

The LUNETA HOSTAGE CRISIS:  Those mercilessly gunned down were altogether innocent young and elderly foreign tourists who came to visit the Philippines, to savor Filipino hospitality, to enjoy its sights and sounds.  Here and there they went in good mood and big expectations.  But lo and behold, all of  sudden they were held hostages in their bus by no one else than a policeman who wanted and demanded something in his favour from the government.  Lo and behold many other policemen themselves came, eventually gunned him down as he gunned down the innocent helpless tourists.  Thereafter, a big silence to this date and time, a big shame to the Country.

The ATIMONAN MURDERS:  There were the assumptions of warring gambling syndicates – or something the like.  One car appeared to have been carrying a Gambling Lord precisely assigned to maintain public order as a Law Enforcer – plus others who seemed to be his colleagues.  All of a sudden, the car was stopped and guns were eventually fired.  While others were killed downright, the said key figure survived the murders.  The episode was hilarious enough such that no one else  than the then Secretary of Justice personally went to the place, to inspect the sight, to eventually resolve the crime.  But thus it began.  Thus it ended.  So it is that there is a big silence to this date and time.

The MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE:  Those were pre-election days.  The campaign for and the pursuit of political power among the principal election contenders were intense and fierce.  It was the blatant incarnation of the infamous triad of Guns, Goons, and Gold.  The principal contenders plus their ardent well funded followers would not allow each others’ opposition to win the elections.  Reason:  Losing downright political power and the standard wealth and prerogatives that went therewith, were in no way acceptable to the then principal contending parties.  So it was that a number of media personnel from certain agencies – together with some locals – wanting to know and record the event, went to the place.  briefly said, for one reason or another, no less than 58 individuals were nonchalantly gunned down and buried together then and there where they were killed – with the use of a bulldozer or something the like.  Thereafter, a big silence to this date and time.


It is wherefore consoling that unless done more for political motives than with the quest for truth, justice and peace, the sad and infamous SAF 44 MASSACRE appears to be now being investigated.  But how long will the investigation go on, how and when will it end – that is the question. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

LOVING THE UNLOVABLE




 It is asking  for something too demanding to comply with.  It is not simply challenging to think about but also unnerving to do so.  It is actually imposing something contrary to plain reason and simple logic.  To love the lovely and lovable, the delightful and adorable, the pleasant and pleasing – this is normal and reasonable, such is sensible and logical.  But to love the unlovable – the detestable, the despicable, the obnoxious – this is asking the irrational, the outrageous, the loathsome.  Such is not far from doing the undoable, eating the uneatable, drinking the undrinkable.  It is contradiction incarnate.

But then, how should it be, what could be done?  Hate the hateful?  Damn the reprehensible? Get rid of the condemnable?  Answer:  Yes, in the realm of the natural.  No, in the sphere of the supernal, in the context of sympathy and understanding, in the realm of mercy and compassion.  Someone nursing the sense of omnipotence and feeling of omniscience, grossly manifesting  self-righteousness, plus egoism incarnate, customarily displaying anger and hatred, talking quasi-endlessly while repeatedly cursing as a matter of course – people with such personality features and consequent actuation pattern are not really themselves whereas they are but internally driven to do so, to be so.

“Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  This is not but poetry or imagination whereas it is a profound lesson and a wise mandate.  Otherwise, what?  Those who do not know how to forgive thus wallow  in resentment, suffer from bitterness.  Those who refuse to understand but instead harbor rancor and animosity, suffer from anguish and pain.  So it is that if some individuals make fools of themselves, this is their misfortune, their liability.  Reason:  Someone having a sound mind with consequent normal action and reaction patterns is a gift, a blessing that makes him/her understanding and  wherefore forgiving.

There are certain truths that come to mind when witnessing or facing others who are obnoxious and detestable, disagreeable and unlovable:  They must not be their own selves!  They could have lost their sense of propriety and decency.  They could have undergone a traumatic experience.  They could have been the victim of cruelty.  They could be but displaying their reactive anger, trying simply to hit back, attempting to make it even.  So it is that the unlovable, the hateful, the sickening becomes pitiful, understandable, forgivable.  The hard-hearted meantime are the ones suffering precisely for being unforgiving, for being hard-headed.

There is nothing like peace of mind, goodness of heart, serenity of spirit – none of which belongs to the unforgiving.  So it is that refusing to forgive is to suffer for the hardness of heart, the anger of spirit, the turbulence of the mind.  To be unforgiving is to lose interior peace and tranquility.  There is nothing profound nor complicated in such a painful reality:  The unforgiving  suffers while the offender is enjoying life!  Strange but true:  The hard-hearted is pained while the crooked remains nonchalant and celebratory even.  So it is that in the last analysis, the hater is a loser.