How will Duterte go to Baguio City now?

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Opinion -

“…Bless those who per­se­cute you; bless and do not curse…” – Ro­mans 12:14

With the pro­hi­bi­tion on pro­fan­ity in Baguio City, what hap­pens when Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte visits and de­liv­ers one of his speeches, which, as we all know, are often laced with swear­ing and in­vec­tive? Would po­lice ar­rest him on the grounds of vi­o­lat­ing a city pol­icy? If he isn’t ar­rested, would lo­cal law en­force­ment then have the au­thor­ity to en­force the law on the gen­eral pub­lic curs­ing in pub­lic?

While the or­di­nance was mo­ti­vated by no­ble in­ten­tions, if en­force­ment is in­con­sis­tent, that only makes the pol­icy an em­bar­rass­ment, which would in­vite even more curs­ing from the all sec­tors of so­ci­ety. I find my­self wishing pub­lic of­fi­cials were more cir­cum­spect in dis­charg­ing their du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“P ***** ina mo” is a “mere ex­ple­tive”

Ac­cord­ing to de­ci­sions by the Supreme Court, hurl­ing in­vec­tive and pro­fan­ity are not im­me­di­ately con­sid­ered defam­a­tory. The court clar­i­fied, phases such as “P ***** ina mo” (or, “Your mother is a whore”) are sim­ply ex­pres­sions of dis­gust or anger.

How­ever, in Fe­bru­ary 8, 2000 de­ci­sion, then-As­so­ciate Jus­tice Bernardo Pardo said “P ***** ina mo” could be con­sid­ered defam­a­tory if the cir­cum­stances in which it was ut­tered showed in­tent to dis­par­age. The court called the phrase a “mere ex­ple­tive” often ar­tic­u­lated in or­di­nary day-to-day ex­change with no de­lib­er­ate in­tent to ma­lign an­other or lit­er­ally call an­other per­son’s mother a pros­ti­tute.

Bless­ings for oth­ers cre­ates bless­ings for us

The Bible of­fers a strict ad­mo­ni­tion against curs­ing in Ro­mans 12:14, “Bless those who per­se­cute you; bless and do not curse.” Un­de­ni­ably, we, who be­lieve in God, are com­manded to pro­nounce bless­ings to our fel­low man at all times. We should de­clare bless­ings, good­ness, good health, peace, suc­cess, and pros­per­ity to our sib­lings, rel­a­tives, friends and as­so­ciates all the time.

There is a se­ri­ous jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this.

If oth­ers are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing bless­ings, suc­cess, and pros­per­ity in their lives, they are more likely to main­tain bet­ter re­la­tion­ships with the peo­ple around them – which leads to gen­eral peace and or­der. That be­ing the case, I im­plore ev­ery­one on the side of the law, do not curse. We should in­stead de­clare bless­ings to all the peo­ple around us! Watch and lis­ten to “Ang Tang­ing Daan,” a Bible ex­po­si­tion and prayer ses­sion that runs 24/7 and is broad­cast in English and Filipino. The show airs live on Face­book at face­book.com/ angtang­ing­daan. Please send re­ac­tions to 0917-984-2468, 0933825-1308, 0977-805-9058, or via email at batas­mauri­cio@ya­hoo.com.

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