It’s been there for decades growing much like a multi-form cancer that grows so slow we’ve become familiar and immune to the various signs and symptoms. Our “State of Lawlessness” is nothing new except for the fact that the highest authority in the land, President Rodrigo Duterte actually had to use the term to deal with a bigger cancer called “Terrorists.”
While President Duterte deals with terrorists and regional politics, the declaration of “A State of Lawlessness” should be the focal point of discussions at home, at work, in schools, in churches and anywhere else Filipinos come together to learn or exchange ideas, because our real “State of Lawlessness” is all about our daily behavior and not some legal or political term of concern. It occurs and exists in our individual lives and personal environments. The State of Lawlessness should not be limited to a political or Constitutional remedy to deal with a crisis. It is but the final sum of the many little acts of lawlessness committed by millions of Filipinos that go unpunished.
To drive the point home I’ve made a short list of the daily acts of lawless elements of society that include you and me. Please feel free to make your own list and share it with others so we can all remind each other that we all have a hand in the heaven or the hell we create.
The most visible acts of “lawlessness” we see everyday are the Dog-Men of the Philippines who like their canine counterparts, find the urge and satisfaction in urinating anywhere and everywhere they choose. It is one clear proof that education is no match for “lawlessness.” Dogs at least try to cover their shit with soil whenever possible unlike the patron saints of the “Kalkal Kalakal” community. They are the people who love to litter everywhere and they actually set the example for future generations of Filipinos who can’t even keep their litter in their pockets or in the trash cans. They even bring littering to depths that would shock Greenpeace by discarding toxic waste materials and garbage into esteros and rivers, dumping excess concrete mix in manholes.
We of course all know of the “Mal-educados” or badly raised people who counter-flow on the road, cut in front of other drivers, ignore PWD signs, or simply put on their emergency lights or flashers and double park without care or consideration for others. Add to that all the people in residential and commercial zones who illegally park, illegally expropriate the road in front of their homes by placing rocks and barricades and placing signs claiming that the strip of public road is reserved for their exclusive use! Having enough space to cut in, being unchallenged when you place hazards on the road or putting your emergency lights on to double-park does not justify ill manners and “lawlessness.” You are in fact violating the laws on proper clearance and use of emergency lights. It also shows your illiteracy of driving rules.
The list goes on to raising fighting cocks that crow three times at night in residential areas, walking dogs and letting them shit all over the place, driving cars and motorcycles with open mufflers, using karaokes at full volume and singing out of tune at 2 a.m. are a complete disregard for Peace and Order. Begging, bribing or cursing traffic enforcers as well as BIR and Customs personnel are acts of lawlessness. Gossiping and spreading rumors or stories or hearsay as well as character assassination of personalities, politicians or movie stars all fall under libel, slander or false testimony or biblically being a false witness.
Pretending to be a high-risk personality or businessman and requesting or “paying” for police security or a permit to carry a gun is BS and a crime. Underpaying your employees, not paying SSS, Philhealth etc. is an act of “lawlessness.” Delaying payment to suppliers or forcing them to wait for 120 to 160 days before you pay them is just as bad as “ENDO” or “contractualization” where you actually short change or CHEAT people of their fair and equitable wage. It is also a sin in the Bible. Making profit from the sweat of others, profiteering, smuggling, constantly raising prices or rent without legal and fair basis is as lawless as robbery.
The worst act of “lawlessness” suddenly comes to mind. We call ourselves God-fearing people who have appropriated the name of Christ and call ourselves Christians in a country that used to be the only Catholic country in Asia. But in the very words of God as expressed through the prophet Malachi (Chapter 3 verses 8-10):