The 1959 (Delhi) International Congress of Jurists emphasized three principles of the Rule of Law:
1. The individual is endowed with rights and freedoms, which the State is mandated to protect.
2. There is an absolute need for an independent judiciary, bar and judicial mechanisms.
3. An enabling economic, social and cultural environment engenders a life with dignity and the attainment of legitimate aspirations.
Building on those elements, the Global Filipino Nation asserts the resulting universal truisms that:
· The rule of law and its universality are one and indivisible.
· No one is above the law: the law should be applied fairly and equally to all members of society.
· The rule of law is a necessary condition to the country's political stability, economic prosperity, social mobility and positive positioning in the community of nations.
· Its absence abets disguised authoritarianism, while subverting it creates anarchy in the administration of justice and sets back the country's development.
· Flouting and misapplication of the rule of law destroy moral values, especially the sense of honesty, and hinder the evolution of a mature nationhood, albeit involving a painstaking process.
· Citizens have an implicit trust that a functioning democracy guarantees the rule of law and, therefore, the behavior of the entire citizenry should be consistent with that expectation.
· Those in elected office should be faithful to that trust and those in the judiciary, genuinely free press and security forces should protect that trust.
· Those in public office whose actions are overtly or implicitly above the law have lost that sense of trust and legitimacy.
Recent and past extra-constitutional acts of military elements contravene the principles of the rule of law and resulting universal truisms. Assaults on the rule of law violate the oath of allegiance to protect the basic principles of our democratic society.
The restlessness of military elements reflects legitimate grievances against the Armed Forces' hierarchy. Disciplinary and legal action may address transgressions. However, unresolved festering issues ensure a steady flow of players on stage.
Military restlessness mirrors sympathetic societal dissatisfaction with deep-seated issues in public sector governance. It is essential that there be a closure or an open, objective assessment of these corrosive issues: inter alia, the Garci tapes, the fertilizer scam, the North Rail contract and human rights violations.
We can no longer tolerate the flagrant violation of the citizens' trust. We now call on all concerned: the military and police, those in elected office, the judiciary, the media and the entire citizenry. Let us never again allow the wanton disregard of the rule of law. Only then can we collectively attain our common goal of a building a nation marching as one.
It is the responsibility of civil society, including the global Filipino community, to act with resonance and dispatch should the authorities and military elements continue to disregard the rule of law.
GLOBAL FILIPINO NATION
(A multi-sectoral association committed to effective governance in the Homeland, composed of overseas Filipino organizations and leaders, their onshore families and onshore Filipinos, located in the Philippines and countries with Filipinos.)
Philippine Politics Rule of Law human rights