Friday, July 8, 2016


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PRESIDENT Duterte's order to stop all "tanim-bala" arrests comes from the presumption that all past instances of finding single bullets in passengers' luggage came from an extortion scam practiced by airport personnel (with likely consent from their officials). Will the order stop the scam? No. The extortionists at the NAIA will move on to harder methods: planted drugs, for one.
Duterte's order, which some legalist media elements and anti-Duterte citizens would point out as ignoring a law (never mind that they didn't holler a bit about Aquino's having ignored a thousand laws, the anti-DAP ruling chief among them), is---I believe---just a temporary fix and a probe. I believe that Duterte knows that the ultimate solution to the complex set of NAIA's problems is to replace the very elements that man this airport's security department and its systems, or replace the system that doesn't allow this police to be policed. Sure, erring personnel (and their defenders sympathetic to the previous government) can cite once again certain laws that may legalistically protect their positions. But we should remember that toying around with legalism is playing with fire, with the possibility that some people's frustration with laws that seem to only protect the erring will birth the death of Law itself.
Simply because the intelligent powerful have been more concerned with the letter of the law (the intent of which concern had been to protect certain interests) more than with the spirit that birthed good laws (the intent of which had been to protect the people) does not mean that that is the only way to treat laws and keep ourselves from getting into utter trouble. In fact, we ought to be careful with what we're sowing by that very legalist culture. For when people get frustrated with laws, because our legalist thinking have been turning a blind eye to the legalist effects of these laws' usage (waiting for Supreme Court rulings to reprove those legalisms), God knows if it might be too late to realize that it had been our very legalism that farmed that crop that cropped a lawless monster. [S / -I]

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