respect-authority[Filipinos have always been faithful to the virtue of respect for authority as in fact, siblings do have titles such as KUYA, ATE,DITSE, MANONG. MANANG, etc. and that the elder among them is accorded respect as  a virtual recognition of authority. Let us not allow this virtue of respect for authority to die.]

In one of his more riveting press conferences, President-elect Rody Duterte made clear his abomination, nay loathing, to the uncivil practice which has almost become de rigueur in most congressional investigations nowadays: castigating and humiliating public officials including military and police officers for all the whole world to see. In that press conference, President-elect Rody announced that under his leadership, he will not allow his military and police officers to be humiliated in public.

What takes the cake in this seemingly de rigueur practice is that which transpired years ago between Senator Antonio Trillanes and the late Gen. Angelo Reyes. At that Senate inquiry, Senator Trillanes cut the explaining Gen. Reyes short, when the feisty senator growled and told the general straight in his face: “You have no honor!”

Indeed, this emerging practice could be one among the many plausible reasons why there has been a breakdown of discipline among the Filipino citizenry especially our children.

While congressional investigations shown live on TV are not daily occurrences, except when sensational issues of national importance become the order of the day; radio broadcast as well as TV telecast of media personalities castigating, dressing down and humiliating public officials have now become daily media fare.

And children learn their standards of respect from what they see and hear around them. This may seem discouraging when we look at the disrespectful world around us. But parents must remain to be the last bastion of support towards reviving this seemingly dying virtue of respect for authority and pure and simple courtesy.

Indeed, every day we hear radio announcers and commentators grilling public officials on the air, complete with audio clips which are interspersed in the background (such as “padampot na yan!” [English translation: jail that guy!] as though treating these public officials like convicted criminals or menacing culprits.

In one popular TV station too, most people enjoy hearing a trio of TV personalities who would take turns in conducting a seeming custodial investigation of a police officer (their usual prey and quarry) most of the time, who may have committed some kind of a faux pas or error in judgment.

But these who composed the trio of seeming public inquisitors are not even police officers nor are they public prosecutors nor are they magistrates or justices of the courts of law, authorized to conduct investigations.

And when these police officers are humiliated in the air for the entire world to hear and see, the citizenry would naturally have no more respect for these persons of authority. That is why we hear and see also in the media a lot of instances where police officers are being assaulted, mugged and beaten up by persons who have painted a scornful image of “persons in authority” in their minds.

With the ascension of President-elect Rody into power, I hope and pray that these media personalities, who always feel that they may have put one over ranking public officials (making them in their convoluted minds, more potent and more dominant than those public officials) would STOP their seeming inquisitorial predilection.

God bless the Filipino virtue of respect for authority! God bless President Rody!!!


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