Photo courtesy of Ms Anabel Ong
I am bothered by a current post of one of my high school closest friend. The news is about police officers arresting every Chinese people they can see at 168 and 999 malls here in the Philippines without valid reason. It is disturbing since they don’t have warrant of arrests and other supporting documents to validate their manhunt. They are also asking 100 thousand pesos to 250 thousand pesos for each head to be released.
This is an obvious act of graft and corruption. Through blackmailing and misuse of their power, many people are being abused and extorted with money. Moreover, similar to what Confucius had said that if a person is not loyal to his duty anymore then it will lead to chaos. As an example given by him, if a ruler is not governing his subjects accordingly, then his subjects are now permitted to disobey and rebel. This leads to anarchy as citizens doesn’t trust the government they are under.
Photo courtesy of Ms Anabel Ong
I know that there is also a saying ” ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to law.” My problem here is that it is not applicable to everyone. Just like those Chinese people who are disturbed by this similar incident every year, they do not know their rights and technically the law itself. We can say that it is not an excuse to be an ignorant, but naturally, they don’t have the means to do it. By means I intend to say, the knowledge and the sources. Although, we are already in the progressive era of technology and communication, these people are illiterate to Philippines laws since 1. Their Tagalog and English comprehension level is very low. 2. Only educated people would be able to understand the technicalities of law. 3. Majority of them are not educated and don’t have the knowledge on where to reach the necessary credible information regarding their rights unless they will hire lawyers and 4. The people they trust to maintain peace and harmony are the ones who are catching and blackmailing them.
Basically, they are ignorant and they are being abused by those with authorities. Can we say that it is justifiable for these flips to those things since they are not native Filipinos? Of course not! Everyone should be treated equal in a democratic country and as part of our natural rights. Even if these people are ignorant, this also roots from the seldom expression of human rights and other related laws with the use of media and communication.
Technically, with the littlest that I know regarding the SOP of arresting someone or investigating someone’s property, police officials must have warrant of arrest. This document comes from a legal party like a judge, who decides that a person is a criminal and a danger to the community that he/she must be imprisoned.
Disclaimer: I can’t find a good source yet regarding this issue, but I really want to express my opinion regarding the wrong actions done to a minority group in my country. This event will obviously affect economic, social and political relationship between the Chinese migrants here in the Philippines and the Filipino people. There is already a growing racism between the two groups and for the government officials whom the people trust to act in such a way will heightened the tension for sure.