Let’s move – on, not back

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RENE SAGUISAG

RENE SAGUISAG

“YOU should not allow compassion and whatever to taint your judgment,” says Prez Digong. But, the Preamble of the Philippine Constitution speaks of a “humane society.” Compassion should inform judgment. FVR says Digong needs to learn more. I may have to agree. The Philippines is not Davao City writ large.

The resignation of a Diokno (here, Maris) matters. Ka Pepe Diokno was jailed for two years without being
charged! Uncle JovySalonga, with whom Ka Pepe tied for first in the bar exams of 1944, was inscribed the other afternoon in the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Wall of Remembrance at EDSA Quezon City. I put in a cameo appearance before proceeding to EDSAOrtigas. In both places, I seem to have seen why Digong can feel safe: we spend/waste too much time on selfies, ha, ha.

I saw Veep Leni at the Bantayog ng mgaBayani and Nikki Coseteng at the People Power Monument. But, Au Pijuan, another vision of loveliness, a joy forever, I failed to find at EDSA. Too many people in black.

Seriously, do we inconvenience people by rallying? Of course we do, on purpose, to make people think of what they’d rather not think about. And the intolerant fascistic head of the cops in our modern Police State prayed for rain, instead of listening to our grievances. We are people too who deserve to be heard but are not, in our emerging Police State as a Martial Misrule facsimile. No rain, belat.

Good, the few pro-Macoy-Digong marchers did not get pulmonya either.

His widely admired Mother marched with us against t “ “eave of the Supreme Court to submit a supplementalconstancia, on fairness, sentiments and common sense, inspired by Lon L. Fuller’s mythopoetic The Case of the Speluncean Explorers.

In Fuller’s fictional case, a group of spelunkers or cave explorers, trapped in a cave, ran out of food, drew lots on who among them should be eaten, ate one of them (anthropophagy or cannibalism) and, rescued31 days later, were prosecuted for murder. Convicted. On appeal, the fictional Supreme Court of Newgarth in the year 4300 was sharply divided, but, may we submit excerpts from the opinion of Justice Handy below, after noting that countless mourners now line up and openly grieve over the passage of Fidel Castro? What was inflicted here on the sly reflects a correct appreciation of public sentiment and common sense, which we submit may not be simply ignored.

Law is social engineering, not there to rip society. Fuller’s view is that law is an enterprise for the governance of men and nations (Morality of Law 1964). He knew scholastic philosophy and bought the definition of Aquinas that law is an ordinance of reason promulgated by competent authority for the common good.

Said J. Handy in Fuller’s case:

“I have never been able to make my brothers see that government is a human affair, and that men are ruled, not by words on paper or by abstract theories, but by other men. They are ruled well when their rulers understand the feelings and conceptions of the masses. They are ruled badly when that understanding is lacking. Of all branches of the government, the judiciary is the most likely to lose its contact with the common man.

“More governments have been wrecked, and more human misery caused, by the lack of this accord between ruler and ruled than by any other factor that can be discerned in history. Once drive a sufficient wedge between the mass of people and those who direct their legal, political, and economic life, and our society is ruined.

“This case has aroused an enormous public interest, here and abroad. Almost every newspaper and magazine has carried articles about it; columnists have shared with their readers confidential information as to the next governmental move; hundreds of letters-to-the-editor have been printed. One of the great newspaper chains made a poll of public opinion on the question, `What do you think the Supreme Court should do with the Speluncean explorers?’ About 90 percent expressed a belief that the defendants should be pardoned or let off with a kind of token punishment. It is perfectly clear, then, how the public feels about the case. We could have known this without the poll, of course, on the basis of common sense, or even by observing that on this Court there are apparently four-and-a-half men, or 90 percent, who share the common opinion.

“Now I know that my brothers will be horrified by my suggestion that this Court should take account of public opinion. They will tell you that public opinion is emotional and capricious, that it is based on half-truths and listens to witnesses who are not subject to cross-examination. They will tell you that the law surrounds the trial of a case like this with elaborate safeguards, designed to insure that thetruth will be known and that every rational consideration bearing on the issues of the case has been taken into account. They will warn you that all of these safeguards go for naught if a mass opinion formed outside this framework is allowed to have any influence on our decision.

“As we all know, our Chief Executive is a man now well advanced in years, of very stiff notions. Public clamor usually operates on him with the reverse of the effect intended. As I have told my brothers, it happens that my wife’s niece is an intimate friend of his secretary. I have learned in this indirect, but, I think, wholly reliable way, that he is firmly determined not to commute the sentence if these men are found to have violated the law.

“I must confess that as I grow older I become more and more perplexed at men’s refusal to apply their common sense to problems of law and government, and this truly tragic case has deepened my sense of discouragement and dismay. I only wish that I could convince my brothers of the wisdom of the principles I have applied to the judicial office since I first assumed it. As a matter of fact, by a kind of sad rounding of the circle, I encountered issues like those involved here in the very first case I tried as Judge of the Court of General Instance in Fanleigh County.

“As I studied the case I became more and more involved in its legal intricacies and I began to get into a state approaching that of my brother Tatting in this case. Suddenly, however, it dawned on me that all these perplexing issues really had nothing to do with the case, and I began examining it in the light of common sense. The case at once gained a new perspective, and I saw that the only thing for me to do was to direct a verdict for the defendants for lack of evidence.”

Fuller suggested that “law be viewed as a purposeful enterprise, dependent for its success on those who conduct it. . . In opposition to this view it is insisted that law must be viewed as a manifested fact of social authority or power, to be studied for what it is and does, and not for what it is trying to become.” Not a Catholic, he appreciated St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of law as an ordinance of reason, promulgated by one in charge of the community, for the common good, and admired the natural law philosophy.

I have problems with the subject furtive, clandestine, surreptitious, shameful and scandalous burial without the usual public wake and funeral march. Digong and the Marcoses correctly appreciated how the people would have reacted in Metro Manila. We joshed in Ninoy’s historic passage that more people would line up and attend Macoy’s, to make sure he was gone. Rulers may not ignore sentiments.

That is why a burial in the Ilocos where Macoy is cherished, is much better than in divided Metro Manila.Look atwhat is going on in Cuba as Cubans honor Fidel Castro. Nothing secretive as multitudes of people line up in respect (no unanimity of course).

On Operation Tokhang, I advise those who ask that we should not cooperate in making our country, after Martial Misrule, a Police State. “Stay at home,” Digs says to druggies, but home is where some of them were killed. Unlike Digong, most of us have only one home to come home to. Uncomplicated.

Complicated is you may “resist”kuno in your own home and you are dispatched to the Promised Land, for grabbing the gun. The police may not “invite” anyone, per the Bobby Tanada law we passed in our time (RA 7438). The right to remain silent, not to speak, to be let and left alone, remains in our Bill of Rights.

But, we have a talkative Prez who keeps trying and convicting by publicity. Secretary Vit Aguirre and I found it hard to fight such, and our client, Hubert Webb, had to spend/waste more than 15 years in jail, baselessly.

Nixon publicly condemned Charles Manson et al. and the White House quickly retracted. Digong does it routinely and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is quiet. Deafeningly. A cruel lie may be told in silence as it were.

Digong may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas in Lanao to go after terrorists, but in the entire country? Are we really in his bizarre “state of lawlessness?” I prefer the constitutional language of “lawless violence.” No anarchy yet when we can ballroom dance, laugh and sing, take selfies, and stop and smell the flowers.

He may have led us far—in the wrong direction. He should try to reflect more why his widely admired Mother marched with us against the Marcoses—and change course.

My only sis, with two U–not for Useless People—engineering degrees, not as Jurassic as I in hi-tech, called my attention to a message that had reportedly gone viral, where I supposedly bashed Digong. Fine, but I, torpe, shy and harmless, tell my comrades-in-arms I fantasize that I can arrange my own seductions, ha, ha.
Pero una si Tsikboy Meyor?

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12 Comments

  1. Yonkers, New York
    02 Dec. 2016

    Again I take my hat off to former Senator Rene Saguisag for another column which surely will rub Little Tyrant Duterte the wrong way!

    I can only hope that if Duterte finds the time and the inclination to read it, he will not try to “get even” with Senator Saguisag, one human rights activist who has not retreated into the safety of a deafening silence, like many other human rights activists, including the members of the PHILCONSA.

    But who knows? I suggest that Senator Rene Saguisag take all necessary precautions to avoid getting shot to death by one of “Bato’s” rampaging policemen.after “resisting arrest,” of course. I shall rue the day he gets “done in” or dispatched prematurely to heaven where he rightly belongs because as that favorite John F.Kennedy poet recited on his inauguration, “he has promises to keep.”

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  2. Maribel Calanda on

    We have better things to do than to be sentimental about your cause which to me is very political in nature. You will not be forgiven in your sins if you don’t forgive others too. Imagine yourself as former Senator calling for the exhumation of the body of the dead! You and your fellow Yellowtards do not deserve our attention. You are all noisy. Your Yellow regime has turned the country into a narco-state.

  3. I find it confusing why people like rene saguisag who is a lawyer find it hard to accept the supreme courts judgement? He of all people should uphold the law. He seems to think he represents the majority but the real majority are fed up with this marcos burial pissing contest. you call 20,000 people at Edsa a representation of the poeple’s sentiments? Please. The people have better problems to think about.

    At least he got one thing right their Nov 30 rally was just a showroom for all the witty placards and the selfies they did. Clearly as shallow as the cause they are fighting for.

  4. Kuskus Balungos on

    People already knew of Duterte’s plan to allow Marcos burial at LNMB and still voted for him.

    Divided Metro Manila? hmm. Duterte won the entire Metro Manila last May except for Makati.
    The yellowtards and reds are not even looking at the approval ratings that PRRD got recently. Mukhang nananaginip pa sila na sila yung silent majority.

  5. 1. Why was Ninoy absent when the plaza miranda bombing happened, when he was the famous opposition leader expected to be there. He arrived after the bombing happened. Victor Corpuz and later on Senator Jovy Salonga admitted that it was Joma Sison who was responsible in the bombing. 2. Commander Dante was introduced by Ninoy to Joma Sison. 3. Father Luis Jalandoni and Sister Consuelo Ledesma disappeared during the height of martial law and their disappearance was blamed to marcos. Later on they were found in Europe as husband and wife and joined Joma Sison in Netherlands. 4. Father Balweg was killed by his fellow NPA and prior to the killing, he mentioned of the abuses made by the NPAs in the innocent civilians. 5. FVR is the head of Philippine Constabulary during the time of Marcos, and most of the abuses committed during martial law was done by the PC. He wanted the Marcos family to apologize to the victims of martial law which he was a part of. FVR became president after cory endorsed him. It was FVR who coordinated with america to the take marcos to hawaii. These events enlightened me about the marcos and martial law and the aquinos.

  6. Yes, the SC should have ruled that public opinion does stand over the strict rule of law. They could have cited EDSA 1 and EDSA 2 as the basic rule that were following. Then instead of watching demonstrations we could be watching the impeachment of the SC justices. But then we may have demonstrations in favor of not following the rules of law.

  7. I did not participate in Ninoy Aquino’s funeral party although they were able to fool a lot of people at that time into believing that he was a hero. I am glad today that the majority of Filipinos young and old alike are asking, what did Ninoy Aquino do for the Filipinos? What did Ninoy Aquino do against the Filipinos? The honest answers to these questions leads to the conclusion that Ninoy Aquino was a selfish, ambitious traitor who did everything including character assassination, mass murder and rebellion in order to achieve his political goals.

    • Ninoy Aquino was SHOT at the tarmac upon arriving from USA. His death spelled the outburst of the long silent volcano of resistance vs Martial Misrule of Macoy which eventually esulted in the overthrow of the Diktador. I was at my graduate studies, then, thus knew what was going on. In his death the Filipinos found a rallying point: TAMA NA! SOBRA NA! PALITAN NA!

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