Beyond the courtroom
Last February 23, the IBP Pampanga Chapter elected new set of officers for the 2019 to 2020.
Since its founding, the chapter has seen not a few of its officers served the government with distinction- if not concededly acclaimed as legal luminaries in their own right.
Anyway, through the years the Chapter undertakes community service giving priority, among others, to the much-needed health-related concerns of our local-based Aetas. And in compliance with Supreme Court administrative edict it conducted Jail visitation and legal counseling among in-house residents of Pampanga’s detention facilities.
On the larger professional perspective in a representative government, it is relevant to recall observations made by foreign visitors about life in Mainland China since the lifting of the Iron Curtain. It is indeed discernible in nearly all of these stories a fascination with the tidiness and order to be found everywhere. “No litter in the streets, no flies , nothing one-half inch out of place as the millions of human ants went about their programmed lives.
The foreign visitors’ seeming amazement with order for the sake of orderliness denotes a lingering exasperation with the shortcomings of a free society. Never mind that none of these human ant dared rise up and express an independent thought or stray an inch from the path that had been chartered for him. There is good reason to admire this kind of seeming structured life if only to sustain social tranquillity and order. Indeed, if this form of social discipline can be emulated by Filipinos, we can easily reclaim Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s boast that the Philippines is the Pearl of the Orient Seas.
On the other hand, we are now often hearing similar tales from despotic regimes marveling at the et— organization, hardwork and conformity everywhere in evidence, with never a whimper on the terrible cost in terms of the human liberty and freedom of expression that the citizens of these totalitarian rule have been required to pay. The only consolation when hearing these tales is to be reassured that the storytellers are not representative of the great majority of freedomloving people who are steadfast in their faith in human liberty on their understanding of the unstructured life essential to it.
The basic purpose of government in a free society is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. This means that government is duty-bound to bring crime under effective control and to pursue political and economic policies that will prevent a concentration of public or private power that will allow the citizenry to maintain their economic independence and social dignity.
The Philippine Constitution with its principle of checks and balances is precisely designed to deter the concentration of power within any branch of the national government. On the other hand, the bill of rights is enshrined in the highest law of the land as the best guarantee that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The legal profession has a paramount to play in this r egar d.
Congratulations to the newly-installed set of officers of IBP Pampanga Chapter.