2016 is probably a watershed year for the Philippines, when it comes to its regard for the law. With wanton disregard for due process this year, the notion of law in the Philippines has become nearly effervescent.
This has been a long time building. From inanely proposed laws to clearly lopsided legal issues, we are now entering a brave new world that takes laws merely as suggestion instead of, y’know, the law. And for the sake of variety, we won’t even talk about EJKs here, even if that should’ve been the obvious #1 for 2016.
8. Centenarians Act of 2016
What It’s About: This year, we decided to honor those among us who lived to be a hundred years old by giving them P100,000 in cash and even a personal letter from the president himself.
Why People Think It’s Good: Who doesn’t want to pay due respects to our elders? The Centenarian Act gives a cash grant of P100,000 and a personal letter of felicitations from the president. That seems pretty cool, right?
Why It Could Be Horrible: Do we really want to give Senator Enrile 100,000 bucks and more felicio?
7. The RH Law Is Still Inutile
What It’s About: Ever since the TRO hit it, the RH Law has been left useless because it doesn’t have the funding to implement what it’s supposed to do.
Why People Think It’s Good: Specifically, the anti-RH people, such as conservatives and the Catholic church, believe that people shouldn’t access contraceptives, and the RH Law leads to abortion. We can debate this all day long, but the science on this is pretty conclusive, and the government isn’t here to legislate morality, in the first place.
Why It Could Be Horrible: Remember that statistic of 11 maternal deaths a day in the country? That’s not going away anytime soon while our so-called pro-Lifers dance on the graves of these women. Let’s not also forget that we literally defy the downward trend of teenage pregnancy as the only country with rising incidents. In the entire world. No, guys: that is not a moment for #FilipinoPride. That is our RH Law being rendered inutile, while our leader supposedly full of bravado and “political will” decides to pick on drugs as his scapegoat instead of directly addressing poverty via RH Law.
6. The De Lima “Warning” Bill
What It’s About: Senator De Lima suggested that any arrests done by policemen need to be preceded by a warning by said policemen. Via megaphone.
Why People Think It’s Good: In Senator De Lima’s mind, this will minimize EJK because this will call attention to the fact that a police operation is underway.
Why It Could Be Horrible: Literally only Senator De Lima thinks this is a good idea, when in reality, it allows criminals to actually escape, which increases the chance for them to be killed because now, the cops have a legal reason to do so, since they’re in hot pursuit of a suspect. Way to go.
5. Executive Order for FOI With Little Actual Freedom Of Information
What It’s About: Within his first week, the President signed an EO for Freedom of Information, completely leapfrogging six years of hand-wringing from the Aquino administration.
Why People Think It’s Good: Yay, FOI! Yay, man of action! What’s not to like?
Why It Could Be Horrible: The ridiculous number of exceptions to the FOI. Fact is, only four out of a staggering 140 requests were granted thanks to this EO, making us ask what the point of it all ever was.