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A topic substantially discussed in law school is international law’s application within our municipal jurisdiction. In other words, may international law give rise to a demandable cause of action or defense before our local courts? The answer is in the Constitution.
There’s this interesting scene in the movie Too Big To Fail, which is about the 2008 financial crisis that almost brought down the entire global economy. The setting was after US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (played by William Hurt) asked the CEOs of the world’s biggest financial institutions to work through the weekend and try coming up with solutions to avert the crisis.
“Unintended consequences” is a phrase policy makers, legislators, and those in the academe should get to know intimately. That certain measures may cause effects not fully comprehended. Hence why it’s said that the road to Hell is not only paved with good intentions; it’s lighted, gilded, and fully furnished with it.
Perhaps because a bunch of local musicians decided to give the National Anthem the “We are the World” treatment. Perhaps because some Filipinos began to think we’re actually Americans and feel nothing of jazzing up the “Lupang Hinirang.”
PROBABLY it’s intersectionality. Or identity politics. Or the glorification of victimhood. Whatever the cause, everyone nowadays seems to demand preferential treatment. Of course, it’s never stated that way. Usually, it’s called as a plea for “rights.”
One thing that astonishes many Americans (by which here meant citizen of the United States) is how close Filipinos feel towards the “land of the free.” Ride a taxi, listen to the radio, grab a bite at the nearest fastfood joint, read a newspaper, the similarities, the feel, of the US is palpable. Actually, all too real.
The passage is famous itself: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
News cropped up on social media, to the apparent glee of those who hate schooling or were mediocre in academics, that university degrees are no longer considered necessary in the workplace.
What’s funny about this “trade war” are the ironies. Ironic that US President Donald Trump is coming off as the protectionist anti-trade isolationist. Ironic that China is being made to appear by mainstream media as the champion of globalization simply because the latter hates Trump. And ironic that China’s supporters in the Philippines are attacking Trump for “winning” his trade war, when many of those same Filipinos advocated for protectionist measures few years back.
The National Transplant Ethics Committee (NTEC) was created for the purpose of overseeing “ethical issues and dilemmas regarding organ donation and transplantation.” Such matters are apparently on the rise and it is a good thing indeed for people to be aware of the concepts and discussions surrounding this highly sensitive topic.
If to migrate means leaving one’s country, then one is entitled to do so. Our own Constitution provides that the right to choose one’s abode or to travel cannot be impaired except by court order or by law in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, respectively.
Unbeknownst to many Filipinos, two quite significant developments in the academic world happened this month. One was the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings before the US Senate in relation to his appointment as Supreme Court justice, which revealed the deep leftist bias that many law schools have (including Kavanaugh’s own alma mater, Yale).
For progressives, Brett Kavanaugh’s true alleged sin is not sexual assault. Rather, were they sincere, his crime is actually much much more horrible: Kavanaugh is a lawyer who believes and upholds the textualist and originalist schools of constitutional interpretation.
Amidst fresh allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the child sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church remains in limbo. Abp. Viganò writes: “The silence of the pastors who could have provided a remedy and prevented new victims became increasingly indefensible, a devastating crime for the Church.”
Of course, martial law per se cannot be a bad thing. Otherwise, that presidential power would not have been provided for in the 1935, 1973, and then the 1987 Constitutions. Even the draft constitutions being considered today include martial law provisions.
Education in the Philippines has been getting a boost, money-wise. For 2018, the budget for the Department of Education was set at P553.31 billion, making it the second highest (next to the military) in allocation. It will increase by around 12% in 2019, for a possible P659.3 billion. There is also the free tuition law starting this schoolyear 2018-2019.
THERE is the persistent misconception about federalism being merely a division of governmental functions: essentially one layer but of two levels. This is not true. That’s what we have right now with the present Constitution and the Local Government Code. It can be mostly top-down or bottom-up depending on how Congress formulates implementing legislation.
The Resolution released last week by the Supreme Court was simple enough: reaffirming both the trial court’s and the Court of Appeals’ decision and resolution of criminal guilt, conviction, and imprisonment in Carlos Celdran vs. People of the Philippines. The four-page document didn’t even bother with further explanations, except to point out that: “We agree with the CA in its findings that the acts of petitioner were meant to mock, insult, and ridicule those clergy whose beliefs and principles were diametrically opposed to his own.”
Well, it’s not really the ConCom (or Constitutional Commission) but rather a ConCom (for Consultative Committee). From a read of EO 10, Series of 2016, the Committee’s job is to study, conduct consultations, and review the provisions of the 1987 Constitution and, thereafter, submit its report, recommendations, and proposals to the President. He then transmits said recommendations and proposals to Congress. And that’s that, the “Committee shall cease to exist.”
The figures are staggering: perhaps 5% of all priests have committed sexual abuse on minors, with the US alone accounting for 6,000 such priests and 100,000 victims within the past half-century. The Philippine Catholic Church apologized in 2002 for the sexual abuses of more than 200 priests, and President Duterte himself confessed to being molested by a Jesuit as a teen.
This Monday is Apolinario Mabini’s 154th birthday. This year also marks the country’s 120th as a Republic. Not a bad time to revisit the life of a man many kids today seem baffled as to why he’s always sitting down.
The constitutional right to due process has always been foundational for the Philippines. Yet an unfortunately resignedly accepted aspect thereof is the delay with which justice is dispatched. Surely, “justice delayed is justice denied” but other consequences -- particularly on the economy -- also prevail.
As we move closer to possible changes to our Constitution, now is a good time to reflect and remember its philosophical and historical foundations. The Constitution was not made and does not exist in a vacuum. There is a context to it and much of that context is all too human.
It was Charles Krauthammer who coined the phrase “Bush Derangement Syndrome” or “BDS.” It is defined as the “acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush.”
“Indeed, however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause. And they lose this just when the winds of change were freshening at their backs.”
It’s quite gratifying to see that, after so many years writing and speaking publicly against the dangers of the “Living Constitution” theory and allowing the Supreme Court to assume prerogatives not provided for in the Constitution, that people are slowly coming around to my points of view.
The big news last week was China showing off its ability to drop bombs over the Philippines, what with a reported H-6K bomber making...
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