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China Teaches the Philippines a Thing or Two About the Rule of Law

February 18, 2011

In case you guys have been watching the headlines past the couple of weeks.

** Even China’s chief justice does not have the power to overturn the death penalty set to be carried out on three Filipino drug traffickers next week, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said Friday. It said it saw no other scenario but the executions going as planned.

** Even VP Binay’s trip can’t stop executions

** Even China’s President can’t stop executions

** Foreign governments can’t stop executions of their nationals who violated Chinese law

You might as well say “dura lex sed lex” in Chinese. The phrase means – “the law is harsh but it’s the law”.

The tired Filipino argument is that the person who committed the crime is a victim. Guys listen up – playing the victim card might be able to get you freebies – but hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. This ain’t the Philippines anymore Dorothy where you get free ramen and beer in exchange for your votes – and pay for it when the trapo makes the pork barrel allotment out of YOUR taxes. In exchange for the free dinner and the overnight stay in a posh hotel one gets the death penalty – quite a hefty treat for a free lunch.

I dunno if it’s just me but if I took the argument that I can commit a crime because I am a victim of circumstance – heck, I’ll be a walking criminal encyclopedia. But no, I suck it up. I took the blows and figured out an honorable and honest way out – learn a new skill, find a new product, abstain – either raise revenue, reduce expenses so I can afford the object of my desire. But to accept a package from a stranger while in a foreign airport – what the hay are people thinking?

Unfortunately – the victim mentality will be up against another legal maxim – “ignorance of the law excuses no one”. Chinese law did not excuse the rich Cong Singson – nor did it excuse the poor “victims”. The more pinoys play this “victim” card – the more they will be “victimized” – so go ahead – the Chinese government will do what the Philippines can’t – render justice fairly and quickly.

Clearly all of Aquino and Binay’s machinations are for purposes of pogi points. What they are trying to do is to avert a potential backlash against the Aquino government – a backlash similar to what was unleashed during the Flor Contemplacion case. Thus, the recent high profile playing up of all these actions by the Philippine government to appear “engaged”.

Frankly, this engagement AFTER the fact is so typical of Da Pinoy. Going to root causes, clearly the OFW phenomemon is one of poverty or the lack of economic choices. And why is there a lack of economic choices? Because we kept investments out – we have to go out and get it – and this increases the probabilities of our Filipino citizens getting in trouble overseas.

What Filipinos don’t realize is that – their ignorance and misplaced values can be deadly overseas. And that the Philippine constitution’s protectionist provisions put Filipino citizens in harms way.

Filipinos need to stop using the “victim” card – It’s not working – focus on constitutional reform – remove the 60/40, get the jobs in so we don’t have to send Filipinos overseas.

From → Culture, Economy

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