Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Power

Force, might or strength, authority, command or rule, dominion, supremacy or sovereignty – this is power in so many words, in so many expressions, meanings and implications. It is not only the capacity and the competency to have something done, but also the vigor and effect of the thing done. In the hand of someone upright and prudent, power is an attribution in favor of those covered and served by the same. Otherwise, powers become not only dangerous but also damaging to all those covered by the power concerned.

It is said that in a sovereign and republican state – like the Philippines – that has three co-equal branches of government, therein are also three “power” supposed to be serving the people by attending to their public welfare. One is the “Power of the Sword” to penalize those found transgressing the law (Executive Department). Two is the “Power of the Pen” to interpret the meaning and implications of the law (Judiciary). The Third is the “Power of the Purse” that enacts the laws and regulates the expenditures of the first two Departments (Legislature).

Such an apportionment of power is meant to balance and counter-balance the functions and reach of the said three branches of government – all for the common good of the citizens particularly in the search for truth, in the administration of justice and in the enjoyment of peace that brings about national socio-economic development. The citizens are the ones who give every centavo and peso that the government needs, requires and demands. And, these people do so through their continuous direct and indirect taxes from birth to death.

“Deep Concern” – this is the diplomatic expression of how Filipinos look at and feel the on-going serious clash specifically between the Chief Executive and the Chief Justice. The intramurals between the Executive Department and the Judiciary are by and large caused by the GMA phenomenon plus the HACIENDA LUISITA catastrophe. The some kind of a boxing match is not only becoming worse but also being prolonged. The “Deep Concern” is by and large caused by the fact that at the end of the game, the tax payers are the ultimate losers. Why? Said two powers are fixated with one another – with the people in general they are precisely bound to serve, taking but a back seat to watch – cheer or jeer them. Result: Millions of Filipinos remain poor and hungry, miserable and destitute.

In the course of Philippine history, there was once that government that arrogated all the three functions of the “Sword,” the “Pen,” and the “Purse” to himself. Then came a government with such a weak and ineffective rule that one too many coups were staged against. Thereafter appeared government that was identified with wine, women and song. And so on – until the present government came about with much noise but no content, with a lot of posturing but without substance, with many promises but no deliveries. Pitiful Filipinos! When shall they be blessed – if ever – with competent, upright, and effective governance?