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Monday, May 23, 2011

Rene Saguisag versus the RH Bill

From Rene Saguisag's Manila Times article, The day’s foolish questions, on tuition, RH, etc.:

IF my Church does go for Civil Disobedience, amen. The King’s good servant, but God’s first. Let’s protect babies who cannot lobby or vote. Poverty requires RH? What might I have become as a rich kid? We seven siblings had the advantage of poverty, driving us to get a good education and develop street smarts. The Good Lord takes care of the lilies of the field, even if it took the 2007 passage of my Dulce for me, as co-heir, finally to be able to sleep under the roof of a house I can call my own. From star boarder to co-owner, in a neighborhood where we may have five wakes at the same time. On the well-lighted streets! Where we lost her is very, very dark and the national and local authorities may have a silly turf war. 
At Harvard with no tuition fee ceilings, I learned that one task of a university is to make poverty respectable. The simple life. Here we see the Reign of Greed and low tuition fees can solidify that hegemony. We may not be that poor. It is just that the wealth is so grossly unevenly distribute.

And from an earlier Manila Times article, Saguisag on CD and RH (CD = Civil Disobedience)

Civil disobedience is said to be a “a crucial test case for any theory of the moral basis of democracy.” It is a technique which is a “public, nonviolent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law done with the aim of bringing about a change in the law or policies of the government” and “fidelity to law is expressed . . . by the willingness to accept the legal consequences of one’s conduct.” Lex injusta non est lex. An unjust law is no law. 
Frederick Douglass said that those who favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the field; they want the ocean but without the awful roar of its many waters. 
I applaud Manny Pacquiao for supporting our Church on Reproductive Health. Was he just sandbagged? Or will he, like Muhammad Ali, put himself where his mouth is and endorse civil disobedience and not pay taxes? How much time does he have to study tough issues when his handlers say to prep for the next bout? He must study issues, which take time, to think, research, consult, etc… x x x
Thoreau wrote Civil Disobedience in 1849 and spent a day in jail, to protest a tax measure. Gandhi called the technique satyagraha and spent a total of 2,338 days in jail in his lifetime protesting a variety of laws. They were willing to break the law and go to jail to demonstrate how unjust it was. In 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, broke the law by refusing to give up her seat to a whitey. A successful boycott of the legally segregated bus system in Montgomery, Alabama ensued. Martin Luther King, from the Birmingham, Alabama city jail, urged others to disobey segregation ordinances as morally wrong. So must we be disposed, risk prison terms to raise a moral issue, and dramatize the intolerable, as perceived… x x x 
In the early 80’s, we boycotted elections. Anding Roces was prosecuted. MABINI, through Sen. Tanny, Bobbit, Joker, and me, defended him. Makati municipal Judge Elo Ynares-Santiago acquitted him, at a time when the Supreme Court (SC) was so accepting. (Gutsy Elo retired as SC Justice a couple of years ago…) Anding’s defense: “The right to vote comes from the State. The right not to vote comes from God. Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s.” x x x 
If my Church carries out a Civil Disobedience campaign, I cannot be prouder to belong. Let’s defend defenseless babies who cannot lobby or vote. Our heart, in the right place, should be on our sleeve. Let’s dialogue, genuinely, di po nadaya na lugue pa, as in the times of martial dictators Macoy and GMA. And let’s get educated. If Harvard Law were to be subjected to tuition fee limits, it would be Tambakan Law. Government, alums, big business and the rich should do more.

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