accountability road sign illustration design over a white backgroundThree Basic Legal Devises: With Knowledge Comes Power

The three basic legal devices to use towards defending yourself from a government official who does not take their obligation, to serve the people, that seriously.

  • The Constitution
  • RA 6713 – Code of Conduct
  • RA 6770 Sections 24

Officers are just as obligated to abide by the law, aka Constitution, as the citizens and foreigners are, and foreigners are protected by the law just as much as the citizens:

“There is no question that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land of which all other laws must conform.” – Malcom “Philippines Conational Law” — found within the book entitled “Adminavive Law Simplified” page 4

“They shall at all times uphold the Constitution and put loyalty to country above loyalty to persons or party.” – RA 6713 Sections 4(A)(g)accountable-quote-Moliere

“All persons within the state, citizens or aliens, are covered by the equal protection of the law clause.” – Ricardo S. Lazo ©2009 pg. 97

So, if aliens are protected by “the equal protection of the law clause” why than are they being prosecuted without ever having a chance to defend themselves, with the law, which is called “dual process”?

How can an officer accuse a foreigner for simply answering questions, with honesty, which offended the officer? Are not all people supposed to answer an officer truthfully? If the officer does not like the answer, or even feels offended by the answer, which they should feel offended, especially when it is the truth, should not the officer than ask if the answer that has been given could be supported with facts. If the answer cannot be supported, the officer would then have the right to take the next legal steps, but if the answer can be supported, the officer than has to investigate and figure out why something has gone wrong especially within their own office.

The problem we have here in the Philippines is that all officers are treated like family instead of simply workers hired on to serve the people with utmost honesty…as Constitution Article 11 Sections 1 declares.

The officer’s obligation is to serve and not to be served. When an officer claims that we have to serve them they are than revealing to the public that they are a tyrant.

“This term is sometimes applied to persons in authority who violate the laws and act arbitrarily towards others.”[1]Three Basic Legal Devises - 4-pillars_accountability

The Code of Conduct makes it so very clear that it is an officer’s obligation to “…always uphold the public interest over and above personal interest.”[2] Do officer’s uphold the client’s interest way over and above their own, or are officers thinking first of themselves before they ever think of the client? By my own, personal, experience, I can honestly claim that those in government thinks first of themselves before they think of the requirements that comes with the job they have agreed to do. If the officer was in some other privet form of business, not related to government, and they behaved in the same manner, as they do towards the clients in a government office, they would simply be laid off or very much fired.

To confirm my own, personal experiences, that it is also happening towards others, we can read a recent article entitled “Duterte warns immigration agents against harassing foreigners in Davao City”[3] which the Davao Mayor says that “…he will personally arrest agents of the Bureau of immigration (BI) if they continue to harass and extort money from foreigners…”[4]

So what is harass?

“The Free Dictionary” claims that harass is:

  1. To subject (another) to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions; pressure or intimidate.[5]
  2. To irritate or torment persistently[6]

One other definition states that harass means to:

“…to trouble, torment, or confuse by continual persistent attacks, questions, etc”[7]

It seems very much that harass sound very much like an “assault” which most officers try and charge against foreigners so they will be deported which frees the officer from ongoing conviction that what they might be doing in office, as an officer, is wrong.

It is within RA 6770, under Sections 24(a), that we are told what the actions of an officer must be in order for charges to be pressed which states that:

“…the charge against such officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or grave misconduct or neglect in the performance of duty.”[8]

So, the question we must all ask ourselves is “how are we going to make government more responsible to the line of work that they have agreed to do? Just sitting at a desk to collect money does not really require any skills. It is when questions are being asked, by the client, that they are not able to answer which reveals that they are not cut out for the work that they have agreed to. Yes, the pay is great along with those days offs that comes with the holidays, with pay, but that will only truly feel like a reward to only those are doing their job, in government, with utmost honesty.

Let us know if you, the reader, has honest ways on keep those in government accountable with utmost honesty as Article 11 Sections 1 in the Constitution requires of them.

[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/tyrant

[2] RA 6713 Sections 4(A)(a)

[3] http://www.interaksyon.com/article/102825/duterte-warns-immigration-agents-against-harassing-foreigners-in-davao-city

[4] ibid

[5] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/harass

[6] ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] RA 6770 Sections 24(a)

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