Saturday, December 10, 2011

You Are Breaking the Law

A funny lesson happened to me one morning on my way to work. Before I left home, I read an article titled If US Officials Can Go to Jail Why Can't Corrupt Filipino Politicians.  It made a good point of how a balanced scale of justice equates with a civilized and progressive society.

I was getting riled up thinking of how our country ended up so stupid, pardon my language.  I had just posted the article on facebook accompanied by a note that said,  "Sorry for this sweeping statement but honestly, the Philippines is the Land of the Inarticulate."

What if former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is now under scrutiny for various graft and corruption charges, had my father in her case right now?  After all, he put together a successful one in record breaking time of six months against Congressman Nicanor de Guzman for gun smuggling in Pasay City, where, coincidentally,  Macapagal's case has been filed.

You see, my father's career in the government was all about upholding the law, from his days training at the FBI in Quantico, Virginia, not to mention Scotland Yard, to his last days in the government fighting no less than former Ombudsman Aniano Disierto who hurt my father in the end.  What frustrated me most was that nobody stood up to help him.  Need you wonder why the Ombudsman never nailed anyone?  Yet, our government is up there in terms of corruption in the world.

In one of his last interviews before he retired,  a newspaper reporter asked him what he thought about the rising statistics in criminal activities in the country then.  He said, "The problem is not in the making of our laws but in executing them."  Sadly for our country, my father was the last of the mohicans.

Then, while crossing the pedestrian lane to the subway station, I heard a voice say, "You are breaking the law."

I turned my back to look. There he was, an old man in his plaid coat and a brown cane on the sidewalk that I just passed, waiting for the light to turn green.  He said, "Joke."  

I laughed so hard.  That's it!  We need to speak out against those who break the law, like what that old man did to me.

More importantly, like what my own father,  Retired Overall Deputy Ombudsman Francisco Agrava Villa, did throughout his life.

Happy birthday, Dad!

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