Loyalty to whom or to what PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 May 2017 13:24

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Loyalty is a wonderful  virtue to cultivate. People who find us loyal feel comfortable with us for they are assured that we  will stand by them  during those times when they  need to know who their  friends are. But loyalty to friends or family is not the only kind of loyalty there is. I use loyalty here to mean “faithful adherence to a friend, a government, a leader or a cause”.

Loyalty to a friend or one’s family is something that we take for granted and we presume will usually win out. Sometimes though it does not happen and the hurt this causes can be very deep. To choose between one’s friend or one’s family and a principle we believe in can cause strong emotional turmoil.

House Speaker  Alvarez showed this very clearly recently when he gave House members the choice: vote in favor of the death penalty bill or lose your committee chairmanships in the House. A number of congressional reps chose to follow their conscience and voted against the bill and got the consequence  promised.

There are now two controversial issues that Congress is set to tackle soon: the impeachment move against VP Robredo and the cancellation of election of barangay officials this coming October  so the President  can simply appoint them to their positions which they will hold until 2020.

Let us take up the move to impeach VP Robredo. Senate President Pimentel said that the move against the VP is more likely to happen because the majority party in Congress has the numbers. But it is not just a matter of number of warm bodies who can cast a vote in favor of impeachment. There has to be established first of all that there is strong evidence that she has committed an impeachable offense. But what offense is that?  Most often mentioned is that she gave a message to a UN body citing data on killings connected to the violent drug war of this administration.  Should congressional reps consider their loyalty to their party or loyalty to truth and thus cast their vote in the house?

The second item is the cancellation of barangay elections this October and having the President simply appoint all barangay officials to terms that end in 2020. PRRD has  considered this because, as he claims, 40% of the current barangay officials are hand in glove with drug lords. Where this claim comes from has not been revealed. Nevertheless, should our loyalty be to PRRD or to the rule of law in our land, since we know that there is a specific law defining how barangay officials acquire their positions?

Living in a democracy is hard because it remains a democracy only if we engage ourselves in how the government operates.