Monday, April 18, 2016

SOCIAL INJUSTICE



The victims of injustice in this Country is growing in gravity and in number year after year.  So it is too that the offenders to what is right and just are becoming more and more in kind and count as time goes by.  To top it all. The Justice System  in the Country has become more and more dysfunctional  - not to mention the likewise more and more political interventions therein.  So it is that Social Justice reigns in the Philippines – with the government being its prime agent such as in the infamous DAP and PDAP scams, the historical Mamasapano Massacre, the more recent Kidapawan debacle – to mention but a few.  So it is that to better know the nature and implications of Social Injustice, it is good to be well-aware of its contradiction which is precisely Social Justice.

In simple language and plain reality, Social Justice is substantive equality of people, one to another individually and in groups in the exercise of their rights and the fulfillment of their obligations as well.  One giving to another what is his/her due is Commutative Justice.  People giving to the government what is due thereto is Legal Justice.  The government giving to the people what is their due is Distributive Justice.  Bundle all said three expressions of what is right or what is wrong, this is the essence of Social Justice.  So it is that there is Social Injustice when neighbors steal from one another, when citizens do not pay the right taxes to the government, when government officials keep for themselves public funds and thus deny what is due to the people.  To say that all these unjust and wherefore unfair realities are well-existent in  the Philippines is superfluity – more concretely so in the sphere of Distributive Justice.

It is bad enough when individuals are unjust to one another.  It is unfair when the government is good in imposing all conceivable kinds of taxes upon the people.  It is worst when people do not get from the government what is their due.  This betrayal of public trust is usually on account of the customary dishonesty, serious incompetence, and/or marked indolence on the part of the public officials concerned.  And sad to say, this Social Injustice is the expertise of the still incumbent government that is unforgiving in its rigorous demand for Legal Justice but nonchalant about the observance of Distributive Justice.  

The poor have become not simply poorer but also bigger in number.  Education is expensive if available.  Local employment is always wanting.  Power is anything but cheap.  Farmers cannot farm for lack of water.  Food is less in quantity yet higher in price.  There are now public utilities that are semi-private in ownership through the infamous PPP.  Public funds are “saved” while foreign borrowing and consequent foreign debts  -- with their strictly required payments – are incurred as a matter of course.  More.  It has finally become an open secret that the Country is a great place for money laundering – with the help of Casinos here and there operating 24/7 plus the nonchalance of the AMLAC.

There are legislators who are the first violators of the laws of the Land.  There is the Executive Branch of government that is governed by and dependent on personal friend and allies.  And there is the Judicial Arm of the same government under constant threat of Impeachment if it goes against the big interests of the Chief Executive.  If all these plus the above negatives are not signals and facts of Social Injustice, then what are they?