The Bill of Rights, Annotated

As this country commemorates the 33rd anniversary of Proclamation 1081, otherwise known as the Proclamation of Martial Law, I will deem it best to make a list of rights we enjoy per Article 32 of the Civil Code and see how far these have been slowly stripped away from us given recent events. Let’s just call this portion: “The Bill of Rights, Annotated”

So let’s start.

(1) Freedom of religion;

Join the wrong religion and you don’t get anywhere, worse, you’re branded a terrorist.

(2) Freedom of speech;

Say the wrong things and you’re charged with sedition or inciting to sedition or the fictitious crime of “destabilization.” If you can point to me where this crime is defined, I will be extremely grateful.

(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication;

See comment above. Now it may even spill over to blogs.

(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;

If nobody asserts this right for you, then you don’t get to enjoy it, sadly.

(5) Freedom of suffrage;

Well, the whole “Hello Garci!” affair screwed that one up.

(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;

See comment on no. 4. Also, look at the activities of squatting syndicates to see how due process is abused to deprive people of the property they worked hard to acquire.

(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public use;

Just compensation is paid in “Land Bank Bonds” or if paid in cash, minus the 20% S.O.P.

(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws;

Again, see comment on no. 4. You can also say the rich are more equal in the law than the poor.

(9) The right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;

One word: Tabayoyong.

(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;

Well, some smart aleck people would say to you, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the Philippines.”

(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence;

This one is still being enforced, especially if it will get you out of an impeachment rap.

(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law;

The opposition may have something to say about this.

(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress of grievances;

Ever notice that the City of Manila will never give permits to any rallies? Unless if it’s organized by the Administration or the City of Manila itself. That mayor should be sued.

(14) The right to be free from involuntary servitude in any form;

“Any form” should include “for less than minimum wage.”

(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail;

Given the hard times, any amount of bail is excessive.

(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf;

Yeah right, if you can afford it…

(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one’s self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the person confessing becomes a State witness;

Yeah right, if you can afford it…

(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and

Again, any fine these days is excessive.

Pay a visit to our jails to see what cruel and unusual punishment means…

(19) Freedom of access to the courts.

Again, if you can afford the increased filing fees.

Some may even call it a “Creeping Martial Law…”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Bill of Rights, Annotated

  1. re: The right to the equal protection of the laws;

    I’m not sure if this was a saying coined in the Marcos era – I think it was – but my father once said to me, with a look of resignation and incredulity, “well you know son, some people are more equal than others.”

    I’m not too keen on likening GMA to the Marcos era (because it’s too scary to even imagine), but, again, for lack of better words, a cliche will have to do: The more things change the more they stay the same.

  2. err!!!! kaya nga yata may batas eh! for them to control us fully!!! anyways, nice views, congrats for being blog of the week

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