Post for Jul 9-15 2017

TaN: In today’s hardcopy of The Philippine STAR — titled “Ombudsman: Duterte order to kill criminals unacceptable” by a certain Elizabeth Marcelo — suddenly hit me (what I should have epiphanized at the very onset of Mr Duterte’s bloody campaign versus all things evil in the Philippines) that with a single executive policy or order, Mr Duterte has made an entire branch of government (the judiciary) completely redundant…and him (or his past) along with it (since he was once part of the judiciary branch, being a former prosecutor and all).

I think it is high time (and it is timely that) the Constitution be properly amended.  However, I caution the eager beavers of Charter change because the way the Philippines go about this very important and vital process is haphazardous and extremely dangerous.  It is best that the Philippines adopt the way the United States of America go about it — which is to do it piecemeal (one amendment at a time) and not to completely open up the Charter.

Opening up the Charter (wholesale) renders it vulnerable to all sorts of malicious and selfish manipulations and insertions and whatever can be thought of by vested interests and their hidden agenda.

Whereas Charter change one amendment at a time ensures that only a particular provision is affected while leaving the rest of the Fundamental Law intact and untouched.  Moreover, although it is a slow and tedious process, it is precisely this that piecemeal Charter amendments are a safe and secure way of making changes — making sure that the amendments are tackled one at a time and far apart (say a calendar year after each successful amendment before introducing the next one).

Anyway, returning to topic, I absolutely agree that killing criminals are unacceptable the way Mr Duterte is carrying them out.  What surprises me is that it took this long before the Ombudsman gathered enough courage and integrity to speak her mind and show her principles — or am I speaking too soon?

In addition, let us now wait and see if Congress will muster enough hutzpah and balls to at least match what the Ombudsman did.  Plus, I would like to see more major agencies and departments joining the bandwagon.

It is fervent hope that there will either be some sort of intervention or that Mr Duterte will sooner (not later) see and realize the error of his ways and behave as a (real) Christian, as he claims to be.

TaN: It used to be that we are innocent until proven guilty.  Today, the burden of proof has been shifted to the accused instead of the traditional accuser — we now have to prove that we are not what we are being accused to be, like when we are searched before entering an establishment or a port.  We have to submit to searches because we are assumed to be guilty and must prove our innocence by permitting searches to prove we are not hiding anything.  Alas, another prophecy in the Holy Scriptures has come to pass.

This is most difficult — actually it is impossible — because logic tells us that we cannot prove (or disprove) a negative.  We cannot prove that we are not something or someone because there is nothing to prove (or disprove).

A case in point would be to prove we are not a terrorist.  We can prove someone to be a terrorist but we cannot prove s/he is not. It just cannot be done.  What is there to prove?  It simply defies logic or common sense to prove that something or someone is not something or someone since there is nothing to prove.  It is pure nonsense.

Moreover, it is a principle in philosophy that one cannot deny unless one first affirms.  Extending or applying this to the topic at hand, it would mean that the accusation must first prove his/her accusation (to be true) before the accused has to prove that s/he is not.  Therefore, it cannot be that the accused must prove his/her innocence unless and until the accuser has already proven that the accused is guilty of the accusation leveled on him/her.

Finally, it is a fundamental right that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  It cannot be the other way around because it would not make sense.  People cannot just go around accusing anybody and everybody of something and expecting them to prove themselves otherwise.  For one thing, if it were the rule and that easy then imagine how much confusion and chaos if anyone and everyone accuse and counter accuse each other without the burden of proving the accusations.

And should it be the case — and it slowly but gradually looking like it is going irreversibly in that direction, especially with the First World countries and those that aspire to be like them — that it is so easy and simple to just accuse anybody and everybody and just sit back and wait for them to prove themselves otherwise.  It is a good thing that most people have not (yet) adopted that attitude.

TaN: In today’s (July 11) hardcopy of The Philippine STAR, titled “AFP balks at 5-year martial law proposal” by a certain Alexis Romero, it is good that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is against it although it is for a different reason.  From my part, such a long period only shows the competency of the leadership.

If the country is truly behind Mr Duterte, the reason for the declaration of martial rule can be done in the prescribed period in the Constitution — or even earlier.  The problem is that the perceived popularity of Mr Duterte via surveys and polls may not be truly reflective of the country’s confidence in him.

Despite the immense wealth of those who wish only their selfish interests rather than the country’s, it is not an impossible task to solve the terrorist — or any other major and urgent problem besetting the country — within the prescribed period permissible by the Constitution.

If the people is truly behind Mr Duterte, they will rally behind him and even volunteer intelligence information to resolve the twin serious issues of terrorism and illegal drugs.  In fact, there would not be any need for the campaign to be bloody.  Social pressure can be applied to illegal drug personalities while the terrorism and insurgency problems can easily be resolved with sincerity and nationalism — i.e., truly work for the benefit of all Filipinos and not just for an elite group with selfish interests.

Everything frequently gets muddled up if and when selfish greed-driven profit motives gets into the picture.  It would be so nice to have people put away their own interests and cooperate for the common good.

It has been said that the sign of a truly great leader is not in how much the economy has grown but by how much the lives of the poorest of the poor have been improved.

TaN: In a movie I watched today (July 14), there was a dialogue that struck me as an absolute truth (and is fully supported by and in the Holy Scriptures): No one is born evil, it is willingly chosen. In the Holy Scriptures, it is written that Jesus said (and I paraphrase): Children (who have not yet attained the ability to discern and differentiate good from evil) go straight to heaven when they die.  This is because they are still “pure and good”.  Evil has not yet tainted their souls.

Being good is by nature whereas being evil is by choice.  If we do evil or become evil, it is entirely due to our preference.  This is where free will comes in.

Man cannot be evil by nature because it will or does not make any sense.  One has to be inherently good and later turn to the dark side for things to make sense, otherwise temptation would be redundant.

Even if we are innately good, if our maturation foundation is weak, it is easy to succumb to evil.  It is for this very reason that it is essential our formative years are strong and well-rooted.

It is because of a weak foundation of good that evil takes root and eventually eats away at our entire being.  And this is vital (i.e., a strong foundation of good and what is right) because only complete good can be and is good.  The slightest hint or tinge of evil undoes whatever good that has been established.  [Just like a nutritional food must be completely nutritional.  The slightest trace of anything toxic and detrimental renders it unhealthy.]

All logic points to the argument that before one can deny, one must first affirm.  Moreover, it is likewise in the fundamental argument of the principle that one cannot prove a negative — as in, for example in matters of law, the burden of proof (of accusations) is on the accuser proving that we are something and not proving that we are not.  We cannot or do not need to prove that we are not, say, terrorists. It is for our accusers to prove that we are.

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