WHEN THE RULE OF LAW LIES IN THE HAND OF ONE MAN THAT IS WHAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY CALL “LAWLESSNESS”
It is being without a law or the absence of another power to check or to balance a power; left unrestrained, will surely result in absolute power or dictatorship.
The president openly and many times displayed his disgust of the law especially if it does not conform to what he “wants.” On the other hand, he would readily cite the law whenever the law would “suit or favour him.”
His constant pronouncement to declare Martial law is a glaring indication; he abhors restraints. He openly criticises the check and balance put in place by the 1987 Constitution – on the provisions and prohibitions of the declaration of Martial Law; simply, he wants an absolute power, no restraints at all.
He did say that the Cory Aquino’s administration clipped the power of the President with regards to Martial Law provisions, its stipulations; including its prohibitions, saying that it was because of Cory’s “hangover” from the Marcos experience. “Martial law is good,” he would readily add.
He is a very impatient man and he “wants” things done immediately and according to his specifications. His supporters are more than happy to defend his actions and call it a political will, but others will simply call it no regard for the rule of law. The President in his own mouth admitted that during his 10 years as a city prosecutor: he learned to manufacture or plant evidence. “We first planted the intrigues, so that we would know where they were or where they came from.”
A prosecutor, bestowed with enormous power by the law is a law-breaker himself, and openly bragging publicly that he bends the law to get the desired outcome.
Now as a President, how many times did he brazenly mock the law and even challenges it? Let me cite a few, starting with his so-called “War on Drugs” Oplan Tokhang. It violates people’s constitutional rights, clear as crystal. The Senate committee on justice and human rights said that “the conduct by which authorities ask alleged drug users and pushers to surrender and sign a waiver or document is downright illegal (absence of a lawyer).
I don’t even have to add that the death toll of the so-called war is now more than 6,000 and counting. Most of these deaths are either the result of police operations, or other people would say “Oplan Nanlaban Diumano,” where police operatives in many cases, would barge their way into houses without a search warrant; based only on tips and so-called “concerned citizens” call or and operate under the so-called continuing crime scenario, and the suspect ends up dead (shoot-out).
On the other side of the picture, more than half of the more than 6,000 deaths are caused by “vigilantes” or unknown assailants. It does not require for someone to be a criminologist or even a grade school student can see that almost all of those vigilante victims are those who surrendered already and trusted the Oplan Tokhang; have taken the oath, and gave their personal circumstances, such: full name, address, relatives and the likes. How else can these vigilantes know exactly where to find them?
No one in his right mind would dispute the fact that illegal drug is a menace to the society and it ruins lives. But, there must be a better way to cure the problem without resorting to violating the law. Killing a suspected criminal to resolve a crime is by itself – a criminal act. What disgusts us more is when an official of a government of a democratic institution and orientation, especially a president, whose primary obligation is to preserve and enforce the law is encouraging his people to violate the law.
He does not fall short of (protecting) saying that he would side with his people (police) even if they are found guilty of a murder if the victim is involved in the illegal drugs.
His penchant of displaying arrogance and disgust to those who criticises his method is abounding. He does not fall short of getting back and issuing veiled threats coupled with curses and irreverent words. He wants his own law rather than enforce the true law of the land. One can only say that “He probably thinks that he is above the law.”
A President who is a lawyer and an administrator apparently is enjoying the best of both worlds, and I am saying this in a negative premise. His familiarisation with the law, being a prosecutor for ten years, a congressman, and a man accused of extra- judicial killings during his reign as a mayor for more than 20 years, “is he thinking that he can play around with the law and gets away with it?”
Did he not often brag that he is smarter than all of them? His remark is with reference to other head of states; belittling the likes of president Obama, the European Union, and the United Nations, whose sin against him is raising “concerns” on the spate of deaths as a result of his war against drugs. These concerns are legitimate concerns coming from a democratic state or an institution that promotes the “rule of law and value for human rights.”
He would simply dismiss these concerns as meddling to his (country) affairs, and justify his actions as promoting an “independent foreign policy.”
I can only surmise that the “RULE OF LAW” is applicable only if the implementer abides by the law, to the letter, otherwise, I can simply call it, “LAWLESSNESS!”
Sy Reeko Nga Ako
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