Moral Rectification; "Whatever You Do, Trample Down Abuses, and Love Those Who Love You." - Voltaire

Manila Bulletin, August 22, 2006 | Go to article overview

Moral Rectification; "Whatever You Do, Trample Down Abuses, and Love Those Who Love You." - Voltaire


Byline: By HECTOR R.R. VILLANUEVA

THE main difference, between the systematic and continuous killings and elimination of alleged communists, social activists, and crusading journalists in the Philippines, and Gen. Augusto Pinochet's brutal dictatorship in Chile and the military atrocities and summary executions in Argentina about 20 or 30 years ago and the Philippines today is that there appears to be a campaign to undermine Philippine democracy; promote chaos; erode the credibility of the government, and push the Arroyo administration into submission and capitulation which is easier said than done.

First, unlike previous isolated sporadic killings, the spate of assassinations of activists all over the Philippines today has not only received local and international condemnation and notice but the large number of killings in such a short span of time is a record of sort.

Moreover, these killings, carried out with speed, surprise, professional precision, and impersonal detachment lead to the doorstep of the military, which is the only organization licensed to kill by law.

Second, the fundamental question is how to restore moral leadership among our highest officials; how to repair our damaged moral values; and how to restore a basic sense of decency and honesty among our people?

However, the fact is that the common approach to solving problems is fundamentally flawed.

That is, in lieu of moral leadership and moral uptitude, the trend had been to enact more laws; impose more restrictions, add more regulations; add more signatures; impose more fines and penalties, and confound the citizens no end. The same conundrum of overlapping and conflicting laws and regulations tend to spawn and perpetuate red tape, corruption, and unethical practices instead of reducing them. …

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