TaN: In today’s (June 15) news in The Philippine STAR — broadsheet headline titled “Emergency powers for Rody vs Sayyaf“, where “Rody” refers to the incoming president Rodrigo Duterte and “Sayyaf” referring to the bandit group Abu Sayyaf — it dawned on me that this seemingly never-ending “request or recommendation or clamor” for such authority to do what ought to be already inherent in a president’s duties and responsibilities is a glaring manifestation of either: (1) the incompetency of the government (and the sitting chief executive) to carry out his/her sworn duty or responsibility or (2) the weak political will to perform his/her function or (3) a sign of criminal negligence and a form of betrayal of public trust. In any case, it is not good and unwise.
I doubt if there is a lack or deficiency in the laws currently in effect to deal with the matter adequately. What the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group), as they are usually known or called, are a group of low-life bandits with only murder and anarchy in their hearts and minds. Their acts cannot be attributed to anything ideological, noble, nor even the slightest trace of worthy cause or movement. And as such, they are to be treated as ordinary criminals and there is nothing to prevent the government to hunt them down like mad dogs.
There is no need for special powers. All authority and laws are already in place. There is sufficient legislation to go after such criminals. They are no different from the ordinary run-of-the-mill thugs and goons.
Why do we have this penchant to grant some sort of special/emergency powers to solve public issues that already have so much laws and policies in place. Worse comes to worst, the president can always invoke national security.
TaN: In the light of the continuing global incidents of macabre and gruesome violence, I reiterate that there is no such “animal” — as my favorite and much-respected former mentor in Mathematics in college, Dr Achilles del Callar would frequently use — as: Lesser of two evils. In is just Satan’s way of manipulating us into doing what is evil.
It is but normal for a culture, religious group, country, or any group of people with shared or common ideals and values to condemn evil acts done to one of their own in place outside of their (jurisdictional or territorial) domicile. However, this does not mean that the heinous act is any greater or less that it is.
People, societies, governments, and states, a majority of them, fall prey to compare one evil act against another in a feeble attempt to justify or escape blame or guilt, arguing that the wrongful act they are directly involved with is or may not be as bad as the other they are comparing it with. This would fit nicely to explain a growing trend of “lesser” evils being “tolerated” as some kind of “exchange” because it could have been worse.
As Albert Einstein is alleged to have said (and I paraphrase), “One death is a tragedy; many deaths are a statistic.” Aside from the obvious interpretation or understanding of the phrase, it likewise implies that violence and evil, if permitted to become chronic and become a regular occurrence, people become callous and apathetic and this is where the other saying comes in: All that is needed for evil to win is for all good men to do nothing.
TaN: From a statement (allegedly) made by a candidate (in the recently-concluded Philippine elections), I realized that the reason why some politicians can say, with a straight face and with all candor, I have done nothing to be ashamed of is that they may have no shame to begin with. It is not surprising that there are such people and most are proliferating in politics and mega businesses and cartelized industries.
It would appear that this is the evolving new “acceptance” — I honestly cannot apply the term “new normal” because it will never be normal for people to become shameless and guilt-free. It is dangerous and foolhardy for people to become callous and insensitive as this would mean that people will have to stop being compassionate and caring, people will have to be apathetic, people will have to stop being people and become less than human or even less than being an animal. Even (certain) animals — such as most mammals and birds and even what we consider lower forms of animals (like sea horses and mouthbreeder fish) — exhibit compassion and caring not only for its offsprings and even relations (for those living in communities) but even for other creatures on a different species.
It would be a terribly wretched state if and when it has come to that point where people’s minds and values have become so distorted and skewed that one would not even flinch when uttering lies and untruths. No one will be trustworthy anymore and paranoia will just be a tiny step further, when one would think ill of others and suspect every motive or social interaction.
For the life of me, I really cannot comprehend how people can lies with such “sincerity” and not shudder. The secret is to lie to oneself, for if one can lie to oneself, one can lie to anyone. And unilaterally redefining terms is the first step to guiltless and shameful lies.