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The Rule of Law

April 1st, 2008

Our government, when faced with an intense political pressure and crisis would simply cry, uphold the rule of law. As if those who are questioning its corrupt practices are not following the rule of law.

Through this “Uphold the Rule of Law” dictum, MMDA’s Bayani Fernando draws mandate for his URBANIDAD campaign — a campaign of instilling discipline in Metro Manila citizens. As if to help remind people about law and order, Bayani Fernando has used tax-payers money to print and mount his gigantic portraits with a few wordings about law and order, on the columns of MRT covering the long stretch of EDSA. At the bottom of these Bayani Fernando portrait-posters are written, “Government property do not remove. Mere possession of this sign is punishable by law. – MMDA.” So for all of you taxpayers out there, there goes your hard earned money.

Remember people, Uphold the Rule of Law!, those are the marching orders with the whiplash in the background. But wait, what law? And whose Law?

 

For two days now, the MMDA (again!) had grabbed the Metro news with its new antic—the spray painting of buses they caught to be out of line and had no chips (whatever those are). They lined up the impounded buses and this MMDA honcho named Roberto Esquivel happily led the spray painting spree. The buses were spray painted with the scarlet letters, “Out-of-line, Colorum”—as if it was the poor vehicle’s fault.

Not so long ago, this shame campaign was used by Alfredo Lim in his anti-drug campaign. He used to mark houses of suspected Drug Users and Peddlers with warning signs, without effect but only to put people to shame. Mayor Alfredo Lim did not paint his son’s house. But just recently, his son was busted for narcotics.

This shame campaign has drawn flak because it is in violation of the constitutional rights of due process of law. The Court of Appeals, in a decision issued in 2000, ruled that the shame campaign was ‘invalid.’ That decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003.

The bus operators protested the MMDA’s spray-painting activity saying “Buses are not criminals. They are used to transport people. Spray-painting buses is not only an attack on private property but a senseless, uncivil attack on public utilities.” Likewise even the LTFRB Chief, Thompson Lantion cautioned MMDA. But this MMDA subaltern named Esquivel is unfazed and proudly told media that he will not stop because they (the LTFRB Chief and the Bus operators) are not his boss. He said, only his boss, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, can tell him to stop the spray painting scheme.

There’s the catch! Even if it’s the law, the MMDA horde will not stop breaking it, as long as it is not Bayani Fernando who will command them to stop.

Below those gigantic Bayani Fernando’s protraits are wordings that are supposed reminders for us, that says “KAAYUSAN, ang mga Batas ay Solusyon na dapat alamin at sundin.” (roughly in English, “ORDER, Laws are solutions that all must know and obey.”)

hitlermelon.gifWhose Law then are these people following, and whose Law do they want us to follow?

A society that uses shame campaign as tactic to instill law and order is a society who does not believe in laws. In the history of human civilization, there’s only one prominent example that will stand out using this tactic—the reign of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.

If the likes of Esquivel obey no one, not even the law, except Bayani Fernando who is just MMDA Chairman, imagine what the rest of the Bayani Fernando horde is capable of doing if their cult hero becomes President of the country. Bayani Fernando is now starting his bid for the Presidential race on 2010. Heaven Forbid!

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  1. April 2nd, 2008 at 00:18 | #1

    Geez, the prospects of a Bayani Fernando run for Malacanang in 2010 sends chills up my spine. If he wins, there won’t be a shortage of opportunistic politicans who would be willing to serve as his Dr. Goebbels. Kit Tatad might want his old job under Marcos back.

    I wonder what the Supreme Court is doing to speed up the resolution of cases. The justice system badly needs an overhaul to become a more effective arm of Government. That’s one of the most effective ways to put a stop to people like BF and Esquivel who love to impose their will on people in defiance of existing laws and constitutional rights.

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