TERRORISM is a clear, present and actual danger that compels many to contemplate whether human rights should have primacy over human lives.
see today. And, sadly, then as now, it all comes back to viewpoints and the vested interests in those views. Previously the term “vested interest” meant financial. Now that term encompasses something much nearer religious cult beliefs.
My previous columns about the likelihood of the United States falling into a recession soon— supported with what I think are disturbing economic trends—is met with “Trump Hater!” Actually the only thing I care about with Trump is that he keeps my “Fabulously huge, Double-Secret CIA Pension” check arriving on time. Otherwise—Not. My. Problem.
Any transition, such as water from liquid to gas (steam), creates massive changes both internally to the water and to the surrounding environment. This occurs both politically and economically. Look at the shift in foreign policy more toward China that is occurring in all of Southeast Asia.
Amazon.com Inc. just bought Whole Foods Market Inc. The closest silly comparison I can make to the Philippines in terms of impact is if SM suddenly started buying hundreds of palengkes. It is a major shift in the US retail grocery business.
Whole Foods is a high-priced personal service market with exclusive and specialty items that follow “self-created quality standards for being natural”. Amazon sells things like a “Nicolas Cage Pillowcase” and a 55-gallon drum of “personal lubricant”. Whole Foods wants to “go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy, delight, and nourish our customers”. Amazon wants to deliver products by drone. This merger is a good example of the global political and economic trends of “what was” to “what comes next?”
Amazon-Whole Foods is going to fundamentally change the US retail grocery market as both companies did when they started business before. These two were part of a transition when they began decades ago. Now, that first phase takes another turn. The more things change, the more they actually stay the same.
E-mail me at email@example.com. Visit my web site at www.mangunonmarkets.com. Follow me on Twitter @mangunonmarkets. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis tools provided by the COL Financial Group Inc.
For those who understand the true concept of democracy, moral confusion is not a problem since always the first and highest consideration would be the welfare of the majority, the national interest, public order and public safety much as legitimate demands of minorities and even of deviants are accommodated.
“It would be worthwhile to go back to that basic document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that enumerates a long list of rights and people tend to overlook its concluding two Articles, without which the preceding rights would not be viable,” said the best-selling book, A Country Imperiled—Tragic Lessons of a Distorted History, published in 2011 by Amazon, one of the world’s largest publishing houses.
“Although couched in diplomatic language, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights unequivocally affirms that terrorists have no human rights. It tells us that the enjoyment of human rights is subject to the democratic requirements of public order and the general welfare,” said Gen. Guillermo Pecache, himself a respected lawyer, who wrote on the subject of terrorism and human rights as president of the Asian Institute of Strategic Studies and of the Philippine Chapter of the Asia-Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy.
“Those who insist that no threat or danger can ever justify the curtailment of certain human rights, stand on a lofty cloud of idealism, yet would not hold themselves responsible for the deaths of innocents. Their impassioned arguments only make it possible for terrorists and the lawless to move about freely and exploit human rights and liberties to violate those of others,” Pecache argued in the book authored by this writer.
He explained that the current concepts on democracy have become so liberal that some insist that democratic rights include the right to rebel (which is sometimes even called a duty). Following this logic, the Republic is denied the responsibility and right to defend itself from subversive elements among its citizenry and the Republic is required not to curtail the activities of those citizens even for reasons of law enforcement and public order. Nor should the Republic interfere with free enterprise, even when the public interest so demands this.
“Nor should the Republic compel citizens to render military service or undergo military training or its equivalent. Such limitations on the Republic make it look like the people’s adversary, which should be subjected to special restraints,” Pecache pointed out, adding, “Such limiting restraints are reflected in the line of argument of the Civil Liberties Union in defending members of suspected terrorists and other subversive elements:
- That the killing of soldiers in combat should not be punished as a crime;
- That civilians killed in crossfire are qualified in war as “civilian casualties” and not murder victims;
- The burning of buildings by rebels does not make them arsonists, because such structures have to be destroyed by fire to remove them as obstacles along the path of their military operations on their way to capture a target on which they have set their sight;
- Seizing properties in the area captured is not robbery but legitimate spoils of victory; and
- When rebels decide to detain any person, on suspicion that he is a spy of the forces of the government, it is to prevent him from pursuing said activity; therefore, the rebels did not commit the crime of kidnapping. The practice is legitimate under the laws of war.
Such extreme stretching of democratic liberalism was used to claim human rights to groups that are mostly now considered globally as terrorist groups. A judgment handed down by an American court in 1995 in a class suit made rebellion and terrorism compensable rather than punishable.
Subversives and terrorists who were injured, slain or detained in the course of their lawless activities were able to press their claims for enormous amounts of compensation from a private estate rather than from government. The implication of this is injustice itself. For one thing, the Republic could be heavily penalized for defending itself or its citizens against rebels or terrorists.
Provisions of the Constitution also make the Republic prone to instability, particularly the shortened terms of office of public officials and limitations on successive uninterrupted terms. While the intention for these are noble, these have only induced dynasties, discontinuity of policies and excessive politicking at the expense of public service.
The most glaring weakness of the current charter is less in its text rather than its nonimplementation. Of what use are the provisions on elections, impeachment and recall when presidents can be deposed anytime, and the resulting extra-constitutional succession or takeover ratified or legitimized in unorthodox ways or those inconsistent with laws?
Thus it is a great wonder if the Philippines, which is “democratic and Republican State”, as the 1987 Constitution phrases it, can develop the strength it needs to become competitive internationally and stable internally. In addition to structural changes based mainly on constitutional amendments, it appears that what is needed to mold a stronger Republic from the national security viewpoint is a disciplined citizenry, responsible government and a fervor for national unity, patriotism and nationalism.
To reach the writer, e-mail cecilio.arillo@ gmail.com.
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