Justice and Politics are matters separate. They are related only in significance, one proceeds from the other.
Justice is indispensable and the truths Justice serves are changeless. For the ideals of Justice are older than time, original to being, and inherent in all living purpose.
(There is a kind of justice that harms. Sadly, we know of this kind of justice in the aberrations we feel our own justice system is capable of. Know it enough to harbor mistrust in the Justice of the State and even fear it. This we will reflect upon in a separate post.)
Politics is necessary but its effectiveness must rely upon how well our Justice is able to deliver - not to change what has already happened last Jan. 25, but to make amends and ultimately reconcile ourselves to what we had lost by the gain of their memory.
It would be disadvantageous to the Republic to confuse the pledge of Justice which is eternal with the mission of Politics which is temporal.
Anger will not serve us in the pursuit of Justice.
Anger if it can be transformed into a passion for what is necessarily a good, may fuel the Political but may also cause it to exceed itself. Politics are always bound by the real and what can be real is always limited by many things. Anger turned to hatred can be boundless.
We may recall to mind examples of this... politics of last resort. Politics must be joined to a vision that is a good that embraces the nation to safeguard it from excessive passion. Reason shepherding emotion.
Lives lost is never a political issue. These things do not go away. There is a saying, "the angry can be made happy but the dead can not come back to life."
This to me is a principal lesson that we ought to understand from Mamasapano:
Let us be careful when it comes to human life.
It pays to appreciate how fundamental human life is to our nationhood; how central human dignity and human promise are to the obtaining vision of the Republic and the success of the national peace.
Even if we were as a nation blessed by Providence enough to obtain from the memory of our painful experience in Mamasapano, the most good it may offer to our communities there will always remain among us the silence of those names... (if only we can hear what from behind the silence cries out...)
All of them, every one of us who perished during that day, everybody we lost who are each of them Filipino by grace of God - especially those civilians no matter how few who had nothing to do with battle and only wished for something better than a constant state of war.
We are, by our names, always more than just numbers. The visible universe is made up of numbers. We who behold the universe and ascribe it beauty are much more than the universe.
I want us to remember this...
For however political one may wax and for any reason one may think, they were all of them Filipino and this nation shall be made to account in the truth. The absence of this "we" presence in our hearts and therefore, in our times is a primary source of all our internal troubles.
I am not defending any evil done. I wish to consolidate in our thoughts and in our love on what in us is good that it may be easier for our communities to let those evil days flee in and of itself - because we are as we are.
Think about it.
Some say the Moro people do not or have never considered themselves to be Filipino.
What matters to me however, is that I recognize the fact that they are. Because I am. And I will never do them justice as least spiritually if I allow myself to be swayed by the misguided political opinion of others.
In another place and time, all those whom we lost that day could have been fighting shoulder to shoulder for a cause that is common to all... building, building, building toward better days.
Some disagree with the usage of the word Filipino because of historical or other reasons.
Words are both meaning and sound/script - essentially the meaning of words can neither be voiced or written. Words say something they can not really express by calling our attention to it - by sound or by other mediums physical.
Think about it.
What you hear or read and what you understand are two different things.
What matters is that one understands.
It is better to wear your truth inside your heart than to speak it loudly just to be heard.
Past generations of Filipinos including Rizal and Bonifacio and their illustrious generations did not have any qualms in the usage of the word Filipino. To challenge this now would only dislocate us further from the line of our history.
There is an expectation and a responsibility in citizenship.
Most of the ideals that have shaped, informed, and enlightened our civics belong to the memory of the nation. Our identity remain constant to our mind and hearts even in the midst of change. For everything about being a Filipino are truths that are for always. All these things has to do with the national peace.
I wondered at one time what the real name of our nation is. Before the Philippines was. One can reach back into the past only so much until it becomes wishful thinking. Know the truth, and you will know the name of it. It is motion.
In the temporal realm, we go by name first introductions. The name itself is not as important as the acts that proceed from friendship or lack of it.
In the timeless, one recognizes the truth first, the motions of it, then the name. The name is the most intimate expression of unity, and makes it whole.
Our nation goes by the same principle... What matters is not things before, though we have an obligation to memory; not things a day past today, though we have a responsibility to duty and vision, what matters is the here and now.
Citizenship is what comes out of your heart.
And so I do not feel any prejudice nor am I imposing any upon anybody by saying I am Filipino.
A street kid once asked me for alms. I was by a fishball cart at the time and offered him fishball instead of money. He was happy to have it. I was happy to give it. And the fishball seller had a smile on his face... That smile gave me a thought.
Who were we to each other to relate like that? We were not related by blood. We were in that timeless moments, Filipinos, that is why.
In a way, all nations are like that...
The value of human life in this nation is to be realized. Human respect and the recognition of the human potential in every single Filipino is an aspect of our equality as citizens.
Integral to our sovereignty as a nation is the inestimable value of the life of each Filipino.
Mamasapano is a Justice issue. Central to this issue is the question of overkill or proportionality of response. If we lost too many because of administrative lapses (the sanctions of which I understand will vary accordingly), this is no excuse for us to have lost too much because of the bloodlust of a criminal few. These individuals being as they are - unchanged and unrepentant - have no place in Mamasapano, in the future Bangsamoro or in the whole of this Republic - ever.
The BBL is a Political issue. The citizenry ought to return to our ideals of what good governance is. How we, the people, commonly enjoy the simplest of everyday things within a state of domestic tranquility that may be characterized as dependable, durable, meaningful, equitable and quite cognizant of our human needs. And how this state of domestic tranquility may be shared.
Instead of tearing the basic law apart let us please ask, "how may the blessings of our democracy (meager though it may be at present) be shared more equally across the Republic, and in particular in the ARMM region?"
I believe the question of constitutionality is a question of accommodation first.
What is truly unconstitutional is what is missing and what is lacking in our peace to make it more perfect. Why is the ARMM a failing experiment? What can the BBL contribute to make it work?
How may the promises of the 1987 Constitution be more effectively brought to the lives of the people on the ground in that beleaguered region?
Constitutionality becomes a question of exclusion only when we derive from it laws and political behaviors that are unclear, being furthest from the guidance and intent of its policies, principles, and provisions.
The BBL in the first instance is an approach at accommodation.
The legislature ought find the balance between the both Justice and Politics to arrive at a final form of the draft law; one that is effective, equitable, and compatible to the end by which the peace process is dedicated to - which is a more perfect peace in Mindanao and by extension, across our one Republic whole.
I, having determined my own limitations, will devote another post on my own personal observations on the draft law and go into detail about it. That I may keep my civic peace. And my thoughts be brought forth into the councils of the national conversation.