Presumptive Pres-elect Duterte said he would “not arrest minors” (on a planned curfew order); & other random notes (still checking papers, can’t blog)

         Still checking papers and can’t blog.
Presumptive President-elect Duterte said he would not arrest minors in enforcing what he called curfew, but instead file complaints and charge their parents with violations of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) as amended by special laws on parental negligence over children. Or arrest the parents for said violations for being in flagrante delicto.

        There are such provisions in the RPC and special laws (parental negligence over children), and the Rules of Court allow for valid warrantless arrests of crimes committed in flagrante delicto.

       Clever. Clever he is. (the sentence construction is like Yoda’s, but it’s because I’m checking papers.).

         Lawyers, smart they are.

       But while he said that the minors would not be arrested, he also said they would be taken into custody. That’s an arrest. “Taken into custody” is an arrest. The better way of enforcing this is to escort the children home or to their houses. (This measure can actually be an entire program to save streetchildren through the social services agencies; whereby unfit and recidivist parents are deprived of parental authority by law and their children given to the care of the state through the social services agency and eventually to a foster care system — but it would require a very big budget… See how a draconian measure can be turned around, and turned into a social welfare program that benefits children and families? Don’t arrest children who are not committing crimes, it’s a violation of their civil liberties. ).      

          Presumptive President-elect Duterte made statements enough to fill twenty banner headlines for the rest of the month.

        Federalism, the parliamentary system, the death penalty, etc., are matters of policy or “wisdom” and are addressed to the better judgment of Congress — they can be debated  over and over.

     But matters of law should be the concern of everyone because they involve either the valid exercise of power or the abuse of power. They’re not peripheral. They’re not just matters of city ordinances. When implemented on a national level without being based on a valid grant of power or a valid exercise of power, they are not peripheral.

        They are central to a government of laws and not of men.

         “This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it.. is now universally admitted… xxx This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land…. We must never forget that it is the Constitution we are expounding…”

      (don’t get me started on this one)


       Cabinet posts: Four cabinet posts will be “given to the communist party”, such as the labor portfolio, agrarian reform, environment, and social work portfolios. The more principled way of handling this is to hold a meeting with the concerned party and arrive at a  shared vision and agree on a unified agenda – that is the principle, right?  IF it is not going to be based  on a shared vision, it would appear like the parceling out of positions and posts for accommodation and patronage when it is the opposite – it is based on a program of institutional change that the parties are capable of implementing.

      After agreeing on a shared vision for labor, agrarian reform, environment, and social work, the party concerned can recommend names of highly qualified leaders of people’s organizations. The NDF, instead of giving the names of regional committee members or central committee members, can state that the best and the brightest of their members are waging a higher form of struggle, or are detained, or are on exile, however, they can recommend leaders of people’s organizations whose record of service show their commitment to genuine social change and the qualification to manage bureaucracies. The Left should engage, and not dismiss the offer. It should however be based on a program and not a mere parceling out of positions in the way of patronage politics.

       Take note however of previous experiences. In the past, progressive cabinet secretaries were put on an “order of battle” by right-wing military groups. Cory Aquino’s labor secretary, labor lawyer Bobbit Sanchez had a contract on his head; he had to go to Hong Kong on advice of his security people. Bayan leader Lean Alejandro, who was on the same “order of battle”, was assassinated.

         i’m checking papers, these are random notes.

      Charivari. Neighbors in residential areas singing loud videoke and karaoke – go, arrest them. It’s covered by the Revised Penal Code. Ang iingay, nakakabulahaw, wala sa tono! And it’s not like they croon like Frank Sinatra or soar like Lea Salonga. The whole lot of them sound like cats screeching and falling off a rooftop, while the most modulated of them sound like cows being led to the slaughterhouse, parang mga bakang sinasakal at umaatungal, utang na loob, arestuhin. But make sure their civil liberties are observed. Mirandize them. “YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. SILENT po, silent lang po, naintindihan  po ba natin?”

       But don’t arrest children who are not committing any crimes. 

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