Find­ing com­mon grounds

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

A Davao Face­book asked lawyer in his friend post: “In­com­ing from Ate­neo Sen­a­tor de Bato’s state­ment should be a point for re­flec­tion. What is re­ally the job of a Sen­a­tor?” “We know that they are sup­posed to make laws. I know he knows that. But more of­ten they do the role of the NBI, if not act like a court of jus­tice at the ex­pense of peo­ple’s money.” Pre­sump­tive sen­a­tor Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa asked the public, “Ewan ko kung meron bang sem­i­nar d’yan, or ano bang train­ing d’yan para matu­tuhan ko kung paano gawin ‘yung batas, kung paano gawin ‘yung tra­baho sa Se­nado.” Be­ing a pro-duterte, Arnold Cruz Abe­jaron and I

find our­selves at log­ger­heads on hu­man rights is­sues

es­pe­cially on the ex­pul­sion of Sr Pa­tri­cia Fox.

But in a strange twist of Divine Prov­i­dence, I of­ten find our­selves agree­ing on com­mon grounds. We stand for up­hold­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and even on the slip­pery slope of due process. Of course, this shouldn’t even be a bone of con­tention. We are af­ter all both of­fi­cers of the court. In the ex­er­cise of our obli­ga­tions as a court an­nexed me­di­a­tors and as lawyers, we make sure that our ac­tions are not con­trary to law, morals, good cus­toms and public poli­cies.

An­other pro-duterte is Pro­fes­sor An­to­nio Con­tr­eras of De La Salle Univer­sity who de­scribes him­self as a crit­i­cal sup­porter. He asked this ques­tion: “Pre­sump­tive Sen­a­tor Bato has a de­gree of Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion from the Min­danao State Univer­sity (MSU). He grad­u­ated from PMA, in 1986. And he holds a Masters of Public Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­gree and a PH.D. in De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion de­gree from the Univer­sity of South­east­ern Philip­pines in Davao City.

“So it be­hooves one to ask how on earth he doesn’t know the func­tion of the Se­nate and the job of Se­na­tors. Hindi ba ito dinis­cuss sa Public Ad, o sa PMA?”

We might find our­selves on the op­po­site sides of the aisle on po­lit­i­cal is­sues. But as a me­di­a­tor, I find that I am learn­ing from their ideas. They are af­ter all think­ing in­tel­lec­tu­als.

As In­tel­lec­tu­als, we are ex­pected to use our minds for in­ten­sive rea­son­ing and deep think­ing, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to sub­jects that tend to spark deep dis­cus­sion, such as lit­er­a­ture, phi­los­o­phy, or pol­i­tics.

Yes, I hope and pray that more Filipinos will use their God-given brains that amid our dif­fer­ence on po­lit­i­cal lean­ings, we can learn to find com­mon grounds.

We are not pre-pro­grammed soft­ware—or apps, as they are called nowa­days—con­fig­ured to think and say what the lead­ers pro­mote. As Catholics, I strongly be­lieve in God’s gift to His cre­ation masterpiec­e: hu­mans gifted with free will.

The Ro­man Catholic Church holds to the teach­ing that “by free will, (the hu­man per­son) is ca­pa­ble of di­rect­ing him­self to­ward his true good … man is en­dowed with free­dom, an out­stand­ing man­i­fes­ta­tion of the divine im­age.” Amen.

bq­[email protected]­

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