The Rights of Man

Over the weekend, the Inquirer editorial said current commanders are Nostalgic for Palparan ; but it was this news item -Ships’ 45 accidents listed: Lloyd’s details Sulpicio’s 28-year history– that provoked the most commentary, from yesterday’s editorial, Sucking up to Sulpicio, to today’s editorial, MV Scandalous .

Especially interesting to me is that it took digging around by Inquirer’s research department, and access to Lloyd’s database, for this story to emerge, when it should have been front and center from day one. And the reason it wasn’t -if you’ve noticed, letters to the editor basically supplemented original reports of the number of Sulpicio-related sea accidents- surely has everything to do with the slovenly way our government agencies maintain records. This is fruitful grounds for Congressional action but… the legislature is no paragon of record-keeping itself.

(On a related note: Passenger shipping industry drowns while budget airlines fly high.)

My column for today is Chaos in Barangay Bansot.

Last week’s columns, Bringing the world to our shores and Embracing evolution, were remarked on by The Warrior Lawyer and blackshama’s blog . Even in the context of religion, in Ren’s Public Notebook. Earlier blog entries was commented upon by missing points and Howie Severino.(A kind account of my show also appeared in Jose A. Carillo’s column recently) Incidentally, the website of the program I’m looking at is here: University of Western Australia MBA Program in Manila.

Provincial-related stories to explore further (specifically: is this a real emerging news story or a well-managed media campaign by Evardone?): PDCC brings hope to Eastern Samar bad roads and E. Samar’s biggest calamity: Bad roads.

Als, with regards to food: Food gets scarce in Cotabato as floodwaters continue to rise and P18-per-kg rice disappearing from Bicol markets.

Overseas: Stagflation Sightings Multiply:

Unfortunately for policy makers, different weaponry is called for to vanquish the two heads of the stagflation dragon. Recession can be held at bay by lowering interest rates, while inflation is usually tamed by raising interest rates. Given the impossibility pursuing both courses of action simultaneously, priorities come into play. Historically, inflation has been considered the greater long term economic menace, and has therefore been dealt with first.

This was the plan of attack successfully mapped out by President Ronald Reagan and US Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in the 1980s. With the president’s political backing, Volcker was able to kill stagflation with a short but heavy dose of double-digit interest rates. With the stable currency and low inflation that resulted, the stage was then set for a sustained and robust economic expansion.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has recognized the stagflation threat for some time. But rather than studying the playbook of Volcker and Reagan, his gaze rests on events 40 years earlier. A well-known student of the financial history the 1930s, Bernanke is well aware that when the same beast raised its head following the Crash of 1929, the Fed rapidly raised interest rates. His conclusion was that this overreaction magnified the recession of 1930 into the Great Depression of the ensuing decade.

Scared stiff that these events could repeat themselves on his watch, Bernanke is loath to push up rates. In so doing, he is ignoring the much more recent and equally instructive lessons of the 1970s, in which a politically cowed Federal Reserve stood by while inflation raged uncontrollably.

Also, a long overdue link (from July 4): Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis: Internal World Bank study delivers blow to plant energy drive.

Today is Bastille Day, the national day of France, a day of inspiration to republicans and revolutionaries down the ages.

The French Revolution gave us the metric system and, along the way, the blueprint for the abolition of monarchy and its replacement with a constitutional, republican regime. And one of its seminal documents was the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

It’s interesting that Jose Rizal set out to translate the Déclaration des Droits de l’homme et du citoyen du 26 août 1789 into Tagalog, which clearly suggests he felt it to be one of those seminal documents necessary for the public instruction of the citizenry. According to Ambeth Ocampo, it’s in Escritos Varios or Escritos Politicos de Rizal, under the title Manga Karapatan ng Tao.


(illustration above: Lafayette’s copy, Library of Congress collection)

Here is a very recent (re)translation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citzen:


The representatives of the French people, formed into a National Assembly, considering that ignorance, neglect or scorn of the rights of man to be the only causes of national misfortunes and the corruption of governments, have resolved to set out, in a solemn Declaration, the natural, unalienable and sacred rights of man,

so that this Declaration, always present to all members of society, reminds them constantly of their rights and their duties;

so that the acts of the legislative power and those of the executive power, being able to be compared at every moment with the aim of the whole political institution, should have greater respect for that aim;

so that the demands of the citizens, founded henceforth on simple and indisputable principles, are always oriented to conserving the Constitution and to the happiness of everybody.

Consequently , the National Assembly acknowledges and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen:

First Article – Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be based only upon benefit for the community.

Article 2 – The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural rights of man, which rights must not be prevented. These rights are freedom, property, security and resistance to oppression.

Article 3 – The fundamentals of sovereignty has its origins essentially in the Nation. No organisation, nor individual, may exercise any authority that does not expressly come from there.

Article 4 – Liberty consists in being able to do anything that does not harm other people. Thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those limits that that ensure to the other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits may be determined only by the law.

Article 5 – The law has only the right to forbid those actions that are detrimental to society. Anything that is not forbidden by law may not be prevented, and none may be compelled to do what the law does not require.

Article 6 – The law is the expression of the collective wishes of the public. All citizens have the right to contribute, personally or through their representatives, to the forming of the law. The law must be the same for all, whether it protects or it punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible for all important offices, positions and public employments, according to their ability and without other distinction than that of their qualities and talents.

Article 7 – No man can be accused, arrested or detained except in the cases determined by the law, and according to the methods that the law has stipulated. Those who pursue, distribute, enforce, or cause to be enforced, arbitrary orders must be punished; but any citizen summoned, or apprehended in accordance with the law, must obey immediately: he makes himself guilty by resisting.

Article 8 – The law must introduce only punishments that are strictly and indisputably necessary; and no one may be punished except in accordance with a law instituted and published before the offence is committed, and legally applied.

Article 9 – Because every man is presumed innocent until he has been declared guilty, if it should be considered necessary to arrest him, any force beyond the minimum necessary to arrest and imprison the person will be treated with severely.[2]

Article 10 – No-one should be harassed for his opinions, even religious views, provided that the expression of such opinions does not cause a breach of the peace as established by law.

Article 11 – The free communication of thought and opinions is one of the most precious rights of man. Any citizen can therefore speak, write and publish freely; however, they are answerable for abuse of this freedom as determined by law.

Article 12 – Guaranteeing the rights of man and of the citizen requires a public force[3]. This force is therefore established for the benefit of all, and not for the particular use of those to whom it is entrusted.

Article 13- For the maintenance of the public force, and for administrative expenses, a common tax is necessary. It must be spread in similar fashion among all citizens, in proportion to their capability.

Article 14 – All citizens have the right to verify for themselves, or through their representatives, the necessity for the public tax. They further have the right to grant the tax freely, to watch over how it is used, and to determine its amount[4], the basis for its assessment and of its collection, and its duration.

Article 15 – Society has the right to ask a public official for an explication of his management and supervision.

Article 16 – Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not ensured, nor a separation of powers is worked out, has no Constitution.

Article 17 – Property, being an inviolable and sacred right, no one may be deprived of it; unless public necessity, legally investigated, clearly requires it, and just and prior compensation has been paid.

How very far off we are, in terms of achieving what these 18th Century Frenchmen envisioned not only for themselves, but for all humanity.

A magnificent retelling of the story of the French Revolution is “Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution” (Simon Schama). The great Catholic historian Christopher Dawson and his views on The Rights of Man predate Schama’s by two generations, yet his views seem to be echoed by Schama and incidentally, illuminates the Philippine situation as it’s existed since the 1960s:

For the French peasants and workers had not been taught, like the English, to follow their landlords and employers. It had always been the policy of the French government to detach the people from the privileged classes and to maintain direct control of them through the Intendant and the Cura. They lived their own life in their communes and guilds and looked for guidance not to the nobles and the rich merchants but to the ultimate sources of all authority — the King and the Church. And hence, though they had little class consciousness in the modern sense, they had a strong national consciousness which had found expression hitherto in their loyalty to the King and their devotion to the Church. Now, however, everything conspired to shake their confidence and disturb their faith. Ever since the death of Louis XIV they had seen the higher powers at war among themselves; Jansenists and Jesuits, Church and Parlements, the government and the magistrates; and more recently the continual succession of reforms and counter-reforms, such as the abolition and re-establishment of the Corporations and the changes that produced the rises of prices and periodic crises of unemployment and food shortage, caused an increasing feeling of insecurity and discontent. There were the disorders and the revolutionary agitation of the last two years, the sinister rumors of treachery in high places, and finally the appeal of the King to the nation by the summoning of the States General and the extraordinary democratic forms of election which exceeded the demand of the reformers themselves.

All these factors combined to rouse popular feeling as it had not been roused since the days of the League. The deeps were moved. Behind the liberal aristocrats and lawyers who formed the majority of the States General, there lay the vast anonymous power that had made the monarchy and had been in turn shaped by it, and now it was to make the Revolution. To the liberal idealists – to men like Lafayette and Clermont Tonnerre, to the Abbe Fauchet and the orators of the Gironde, the Revolution meant the realization of the ideals of the Enlightenment, liberty and toleration, the rights of men and the religion of humanity. They did not see that they were on the edge of a precipice and that the world they knew was about to be swallowed up in a tempest of change which would destroy both them and their ideals. “Woe unto you, who desire the day of the Lord. It is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand upon the wall and a serpent bit him”; they were a doomed generation, fated to perish at first by ones and twos, and then by scores and hundreds and thousands, on the scaffold, in the streets and on the battlefield. For as the Revolution advanced it gradually revealed the naked reality that had been veiled by the antiquated trappings of royalty and tradition — the General Will — and it was not the benevolent abstraction which the disciples of Rousseau had worshipped but a fierce will to power which destroyed every man and institution that stood in its way. As de Maistre wrote, the will of the people was a battering ram with twenty million men behind it.

A subsequent passage illuminates, too, the problem with Year Ones and Year Zeros, of New Societies and those who aspire to raze and refashion entire societies:

But if it was a time of freedom and hope, it was also a time of illusion. The Constituent Assembly went to work in a mood of boundless optimism without any regard for the facts of history or the limitations of time and place, in the spirit of their arch theorist Sieyès, who said that the so-called truths of history were as unreal as the so-called truths of religion. When their work was finished, Cerutti declared that they had destroyed fourteen centuries of abuses in three years, that the Constitution they had made would endure for centuries, and that their names would be blessed by future generations. Yet before many months had elapsed their work was undone and their leaders were executed, imprisoned or in exile. They had destroyed what they could not replace and called up forces that they could neither understand nor control. For the liberal aristocracy and bourgeoisie were not the people, and in some respects they were further from the people than the nobles and clergy who remained faithful to the old order. On the one hand there were the vast inarticulate masses of the peasantry who were ready to burn the castles of the nobles but who were often equally ready to fight with desperate resolution for their religion. On the other hand there was the people of the communes, above all the Commune of Paris.

The Commune of Paris would, of course, keep throwing up barricades in an attempt to return to the republicanism of the Revolution. The France of 1789 and of 1870 (the Paris Commune) are commemorated in two songs detested by the Right: the French national anthem and the Internationale, anthem of Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists.

The Marseillaise has ferocious lyrics, which may explain the unease it inspired in regimes wary of the republicanism established by the French. My favorite examples: the Czar of Russia, manifesting a new alliance with France, shocking his fellow monarchs by standing at attention while the French anthem was played; years later, when Lenin arrived in Russia after years of exile, a band played the French national anthem; in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (and mention has to be made here of Beethoven’s extremely jolly Wellington’s Victory which showed how a national anthem could be woven into a crowd-pleasing piece of bombast), and in fiction, see this marvelous paper, Bogart’s Nod in the Marseillaise Scene: A Physical Gesture in Casablanca.

And of course, the closing portion of our own national anthem pays homage to the French anthem: listen to the closing phrases of the French anthem and see for yourself; but unlike us, the French aren’t pedantic about their anthem).The other musical heritage from revolutionaries in France is The Internationale: It was the national anthem of the Soviet Union from the time of Lenin until World War II:

The Chinese also pay ritual Socialist homage to the song, in this case, beginning with the original French version and then shifting to Chinese, complete with large scale rhythmic clapping (not very different from this 1965 version in the same hall):

A Chinese heavy metal version!

Which is nice n’ rhythmic, but this other (truncated) version which mixes the rock version, which begins with Mao proclaiming the People’s Republic at the Gate of Heavenly Peace, then shifts to creepy Cultural Revolution iconography, is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine:

And of course, there’s a version in Filipino (an old revolutionary once tried to explain to me the nuances of the various versions floating around, one apparently belonging to the Huks, the other to the CCP, and woe unto any radical singing the wrong version in the wrong company: I wonder what this video set to a photo of the Great Helmsman with Imeldific is all about?): but so you know what all the Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist fervor’s about, here’s a version in English:

Manuel L. Quezon III.

146 thoughts on “The Rights of Man

  1. The French Revolution gave us the metric system and, along the way, the blueprint for the abolition of monarchy and its replacement with a constitutional, republican regime.

    The Romans already did this over a thousand years before the French. The rights of man was prefigured by the Magna Carta. Even separation of church and state in its modern form was proposed by Martin Luther. But yes, the French revolution stays in the mind because of its high drama and cast of characters (Let them eat cake.). Let’s not forget however that barely three years after Bastille, the French revolutionaries, filled with republican and ‘rights of man’ fervor, instigated the Reign of Terror.

  2. Gotta give it to the French to do everything with style, including their revolution.

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

  3. mlq3: You are giving the Philippine media a pass. So the Inquirer inquired into Lloyds database to provide a report. Malaya could have beaten the Inquirer to the news; the manila Times; other newspapers could have done it, too.

    But my dissatisfaction with the media is more on heroes. I know of the dolphin; also that the UN representative had praised Philippine officials for their response. But praise for the PhilNatlRed Cross or governors and mayors doing a good job can not seem to undo what is now encoded in my memory banks — blogthread reports about Filipinos refusing their neighbors from climbing onto their roofs as flood waters raged.

    How many news articles or TV segments have been “spent” by the Philippine media to highlight Filipinos’ acts of courage and heroism during typhoon Frank? No heroes, the country needs heroes; the country needs to hear stories affirming that there are heroes still in their midst [….. in my opinion]

    And this may be unpopular — to say that there are heroes among Filipino soldiers of today. But I believe there are, and I believe that the Philippine media should not be afraid to shine the spotlight (and say thank you!!!) on these acts of heroism by its soldiers.

  4. How very far off we are, in terms of achieving what these 18th Century Frenchmen envisioned not only for themselves, but for all humanity.

    Inilapag na sa harap natin, pinaglaban na nang iba, mula sa reforma nang Monarchia sa Englatera, Revolution na Francia, Civila War sa America, revolution nang Katipunan, laban na Hukbalahap…Binansot nang manga Lideres natin, kasama na ang manga lider nang Religion at tayong Mismo manga ordinaryong mamayan na di naghihirap, pero gusto ‘ata makaexperiencia nag “actual” na struggle para ma-appreciate ang tinatawag na Rights of Man.

  5. “But praise for the PhilNatlRed Cross or governors and mayors doing a good job can not seem to undo what is now encoded in my memory banks — blogthread reports about Filipinos refusing their neighbors from climbing onto their roofs as flood waters raged.”-UP n

    @UP n

    Blogthreads, or mainstream media in Phil. setting, the reality is ‘good news is no news.’ Commercial advertisers will not bite the good news, is all.

  6. mlq3: thanks for Goodnews!

    Bert: Is Commercial advertisers will not bite the good news, is all. equivalent to saying that Inquirer only prints stories depending on the revenue the Inquirer gets from San Miguel Beer or Cebu Pacific or Sulpicio?

    That is not an attractive business-model…. seems to clash with “freedom-of-the-press” special-claim-to-fame.

  7. Found one (not for Frank, though).

    Fil-ams in US Navy help in typhoon rehab

    July 08, 2007 22:16:00
    Tarra Quismundo

  8. Sometime back, Jeg asked whether the fact that Sulpicio continued to have customers was a case of market failure

    I replied then that it could indeed be considered market failure in that there was Information Asymmetry between the passengers and Sulpicio, the former not knowing what they bargained for when they purchased their tickets:

    With the publication of the Lloyd’s database record on Sulpicio, it’s becoming clearer to me what the source of the ‘market failure’ may have been. Either it was the lack of passenger travel insurance, or if ever there was, a travel insurance premium that did not reflect the actual risks of travelling via Sulpicio. I’m now wondering why no such proper insurance appraisal has been done considering that the info is already in Lloyd’s database. Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

    (BTW, regarding the biofuels link, as i commented in other blogs, the report explicitly states that “…biofuels derived from sugarcane, which Brazil specializes in, have not had such a dramatic impact [on food prices]”, so this report cannot be used to criticize Migz Zubiri’s initiative which is based on sugar cane.)

  9. “…mamayan na di naghihirap, pero gusto ‘ata makaexperiencia nag “actual” na struggle para ma-appreciate ang tinatawag na Rights of Man.”

    mang_isko, ‘actual na struggle’ ba parehas ibig sabihin na maghirap din sila at makatikim kung paano kumulo ang tiyan sa gutom para ma-appreciate ang tinatawag na Rights of Man?

  10. In Brazil, only 3.2 million hectares, out of 320 million hectares of arable land, are used to grow sugarcane for ethacane (ethanol from sugar cane). Brazil has another 100 million hectares of underutilized pastures suitable for agriculture.

    The Philippines, on the other hand, has only 38,500 hectares of land planted to sugarcane. The Sugar Regulatory Administration identified another 60,250 hectares of new sugarcane areas that can produce as much as 274 million liters of bioethanol. Studies by the same agency showed a total of 377,182 hectares of land are suitable for planting sugar. 17.2 percent of these are in Luzon, 53.3 percent in Negros Island, 6.9 percent in Panay Island, 4.4 percent in the Eastern Visayas region, and 19.1 percent in Mindanao.

    Was the 60,250 hectares of new sugarcane areas also suitable for planting rice?
    How much more of the 377,182 hectares of land suitable for sugarcane will be converted to produce ethacane?

  11. Supremo, those are very useful stats. 274 million liters is around one weeks’s worth of consumption in the Philippines so it does look like too much land allocated to produce quantities that would hardly make a dent on the energy market. Would you have similar stats for jatropha?

  12. cvj,

    The Sulpicio debacle is less a market failure and more of government failure, specifically regulatory capture by Sulpicio, rent-seeking, and imperfect information.

    Market failure is “the condition where the allocation of goods and services by a free (emphasis on free) market is not efficient.” A public utility, in this case water transportation, is subject to more stringent government regulation. In the Sulpicio case, it was regulation which was badly inadequate.

  13. PSI, that’s also what i thought so at first until Jeg brought up the possibility that it was market failure. I agree with you that there is definitely government failure involved. However, i don’t think it’s a case of either or since it could be both. It occured to me that shouldn’t insurance premiums protect us from these kinds of things? I mean, if an insurance company correctly appraised the risk of riding Sulpicio, with its 45 prior accidents, then its premiums would have risen to a level that would have made it uncompetitive. (At the extreme, their record would have made them uninsurable.) Since this did not happen, then there was no price signal to the consumer warning them of the true costs of riding Sulpicio, hence market failure brought about by lack of information.

  14. Thanks Supremo. So 1892 liters per hectare for jatropha vs. 4550 liters per hectare for sugar cane. The advantage of jatropha though would be that it can be planted on more marginal land so its collateral effect on food prices may be less.

  15. cvj: have they made public the insurance premiums that Sulpicio paid this year (and the years prior) for its insurance policy (or policies) on Princess Stars? What is your basis… can you put numbers… when you say

    if an insurance company correctly appraised the risk of riding Sulpicio, with its 45 prior accidents, then its premiums would have risen to a level that would have made it uncompetitive.

    What does uncompetitive mean? Costs three times normal?

    And the purpose of insurance is to protect the buyer of the insurance policy. Sulpicio bought a particular policy and protected itself. In particular, Sulpicio now has a source for the P200,000-per that it has made public recently.

    Any Princess/Stars who had bought a travel insurance policy had gotten himself/herself (or his/her survivors) some protection.

  16. UPn, i was thinking more along the lines of the passenger, had he/she availed of travel insurance whose premiums were correctly appraised to take into account Sulpicio’s 45 accidents in 28 years, would have found the price of travel higher than the other similar mode of transport (in Aboitiz for example). Perhaps the absence of such correct insurance appraisal is the key to information asymmetry.

    The regulatory implication then would be to make travel insurance in favor of the passenger mandatory (with payout of at least 3 million, maybe up to 10 million). I suggested over at Filipino Voices that the passenger can shoulder the portion of the premium that is aligned to industry safety records while the carrier can shoulder the excess premium owing to any poor safety record. An accurately appraised travel insurance would mean that information about the true risks of using a particular carrier is made more transparent. After all, the market is only as good as its price signals.

  17. “…the premium that is aligned to industry safety records while the carrier can shoulder the excess premium owing to any poor safety record.” -cvj

    Copy you, cvj. I believe Actuarians (?) or Risk analysts in the insurance industry call that ‘experience rating’ to make an insured’s current premium payments to be based on claims history (or something to that effect, anyway).

    But if Sulpicio Lines was hiding all its accidents and sea mishaps (until Lloyds through Inquirer revealed them) then our risk rating buisness model collapses. All for naught.

  18. PSI, you’re right and i think the failure to undertake an accurate insurance re-appraisal of Sulpicio would go to the DoTC going back to 1980 up to today.

  19. cvj,

    I read in another site that the 15,000 square miles of algae farm will produce 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel. That is enough to replace the current US consumption of 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

  20. to PSI: It should be breach-of-contract, hence Insurer has relief, if Sulpicio intentionally provided fake data to the underwriter’s request for historical information.

  21. @ UP n,

    But if their insurer knew all along about Sulpicio’s dismal sea record (these firms know everything about heir industry right?) but insured them ‘regular’, then they should also be liable?

    Who is their insurance carrier anyway?

  22. Like the insurer of Sulpicio Lines just would have had to check with Lloyd’s, as what Inquirer did. Hmmm, I believe that the plot thickens.

  23. The chronic problems in the Philippines are rooted in (the absence of) Article 12 of Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citzen – The force guaranteeing the rights of every man and citizen is for the benefit of all and not for particular group wielding power.

    Today, the muslim and communist insurgencies have no solution polarized by the combined State military policy (of wiping out declared enemies) and rigid church stance against godless/heretic enemies. Both dominant players in Philippine society have found each other on the same side though uneasy relationship.

    The state has been sponsoring military tactical operations (extra judicial means) from Palparan method to para-military solution. Example, Kuratong Baleleng was initiated by the Philippine Army 101st to combat muslim and communist insurgency in Misamis and Zamboanga at the beginning. It was a success story to turn the enemies away from towns and cities. Unfortunately, the paramilitary killers with weapons found life easier with money by robbing banks, kidnapping and raiding companies elsewhere. Military solution itself spawn lawlessness that it had to silence its own henchmen (Lacson on Kuratong Baleleng). Human rights is virtually non existent for such purpose.

    The Catholic church is blind and silent to atrocities to Filipinos who did not have its faith.

  24. “…polarized by the combined State military policy (of wiping out declared enemies) and rigid church stance against godless/heretic enemies.”

    Last time I checked, this is also being practiced in the great land of U.S. of A. of D0d0ng, am I right?

  25. In the recent graduation ceremony at FBI training for Philippine military officers, the trainor speak of the grave challenges facing the officers to carry out their missions. Unlike, the FBI which has clear ground rules and control of various component in a tactical situation (including media), the trainor leave the control subject back to the officers who should be (sugar coated – he was smiling) experts in dealing with NPA or Abus. Translation – you follow your political officer rules.

    In short, there is selective application as opposed to uniform, wider application depending who is calling the shots.

  26. “Last time I checked, this is also being practiced in the great land of U.S. of A. of D0d0ng, am I right?”

    Not against its own people, in its own territory.

  27. “Not against its own people, in its own territory.”

    Oh yeah, because you just ship them to Guantanamo, Egypt, or Jordan.

  28. the rights of man? we cannot talk about the “rights” without mentioning the “obligations”. human existence is not a one-sided coin. every right carries with it a corresponding responsibility. what is wrong with a flawed society is that its members are focused solely on their rights while ignoring, or even resisting, compliance with their individual responsibilities. freedom has been described as having “the will to be responsible for oneself”.

    both the french and the universal declarations of human rights are not just a list of unfettered freedoms that individuals have, but also of things they must observe and obey. as one u.s. sc justice puts it, “your right ends where the tip of my nose begins”.

  29. PSI and d0d0ng: There is a long continuum from (a) we are friends, it benefits the both of us to help each other; to (b) we are friends; it benefits me to help you even if do not help me; to (c) you are not my friend now, but I will help you; to (d) you are not my friend now, but I can tolerate your presence; to (e) you treat me as your enemy, but I can tolerate your presence; to (f) you are my enemy who because your actions are to kill me, then I have to keep you away (in jail if necessary), away from myself and mine and where I know where you are always; to (g) you are my enemy who because your actions are to kill me, then I will be ready to kill you if it comes to that.

  30. cvj: On this thought … regulatory …. to make travel insurance in favor of the passenger mandatory (with payout of at least 3 million, maybe up to 10 million). There is a “but”.

    Many people do not need life insurance (except to cover burial costs). The purpose of life insurance is to protect those survivors have a financial-dependence on the person who dies. For example, KG will need enough life insurance to provide cash to ensure the well-being of his children until they reach adult-status (as well as welfare of his spouse). A 16-year old student (who is the dependent, not the breadwinner) does not need life insurance. A 72-year old whose children are all grown and supporting themselves also does not need life insurance. A 39-year old bachelor who has no obligations to provide monthly support-checks (not to children, parents, siblings or “others”) also does not need life insurance.

  31. The state has been sponsoring military tactical operations (extra judicial means) from Palparan method to para-military solution. Example, Kuratong Baleleng was initiated by the Philippine Army 101st to combat muslim and communist insurgency in Misamis and Zamboanga at the beginning. It was a success story to turn the enemies away from towns and cities. – Dodong

    I think Kuratong Baleleng is not a military creation. It had been there all along, engaged in notorious activities, but at the same time was doing a Robinhood work for ordinary folks who have been neglected by govt. The military just rode on its popularity, trying to manipulate it to do its own bidding. But certainly fighting the Muslims in Mindanao is not one of them. You may be referring to the Ilaga, a paramilitary group that fought the Barracuda and Blackshirts (Muslim paramilitary/vendetta groups).

    But you are right there, regardless of religious persuasionevery person should enjoy human rights and freedom. Even criminals should be treated with decency as human beings. That’s the spirit in a true democracy!

  32. “Oh yeah, because you just ship them to Guantanamo, Egypt, or Jordan”

    You are lost on the issue that Philippine military is killing Filipinos as sponsored by the State within its own territory.

  33. sulpicio lines is insured with Oriental Assurance valid from August 16, 2007 to August 15 this year.
    benefits to passenger and victims family:
    the family of victims listed on the vessel’s manifest are entitled to receive P200,000 in insurance compensation.

    It also entitles the kin to additional benefits as well. These include an added P20,000 in burial benefits and another P20,000 in repatriation expenses.
    On the other hand, injured passengers are entitled to an added P50,000 compensation.

    Marina warns Sulpicio against having victims’ kin sign compensation waivers….

  34. about samar bad roads…
    is the result of corruption and utilization of poor service. roads will not last a lifetime. conflict of interest exist between the politician and contractor. very common even until now. no actual bidding and bidders have no history of quality service. initial projects were not disclosed to public until public complained the result of the project. the cycle will continue. the best thing that happened between samar and leyte in terms of transport.. is the san juanico bridge ( marcos time)

  35. Di ba sinabi ko na pano tayo mag gather ng lumot?

    kukuha ba tayo sa dagat?
    I know brackish water would do, so this has to be near the shorelines as well.

    sa sugar cane, pagkain ba ito?

    madami artificial sweeteners, meron nga lang sa sugar din kinukuha tulad ng splenda,sugar cane vinegar can be replaced by sukang paombong the problem is gagamitin din ito para sa cocodiesel.

  36. from a columnist who used to be an insurance guy.

    Every passenger in the ill-starred Princess of the Stars was insured for P200,000 under a group accident policy. Will paying this amount wipe away all of Sulpicio Lines’ liabilities for a passenger’s death, especially if the Board of Marine Inquiry rules that Sulpicio was negligent?

    I do not think so.

    The passenger’s kin had better be careful when he signs the claim release. This paper should refer to the accident policy only. It should not free Sulpicio of any and all other liabilities. The kin’s lawyer should guard against this.

    The insurance policy that could have covered all of Sulpicio’s liabilities is Protection and Indemnity. P&I covers every conceivable liability. It covers unlimited liability to passengers and crew (including loss of wages). Personal injury and property damage to third parties are covered.

    If the ship rams a pier or another vessel, that is covered in full. If a vessel is diverted from its intended course because of mechanical trouble, the extra expense is recoverable from the P&I policy.

    Of course, a P&I cover is expensive. But a prudent ship owner pays it because it is far, far more expensive to carry those liability risks all by yourself, as Sulpicio has surely realized by now.

    But Sulpicio does not have a P&I cover on the Princess of the Stars and the rest of the fleet.


    Sulpicio had to apply to enter a ship(s) into the P&I Club, a London-based cooperative enterprise of ship owners worldwide. A basic requirement is: the ship has to pass the rigid rules of a so-called classification society.

    There are about nine such societies, with branch offices in Manila. I know the names of only three, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, American Bureau of Shipping and Bureau Veritas.

    A society has to approve the plans of a ship to be built. It supervises the construction. Then, the hull and machinery are “classed.” This classification has to be maintained though the life of the ship to keep its membership in the P&I Club.

    Apparently, none of the Sulpicio fleet is classed and has ever been entered into the P&I club. And even if the fleet qualified for membership, the P&I Club would have thrown out Sulpicio a long time ago because of its terrible loss experience over the past 20 years or so.

  37. about the records of congress

    I asked Congresssman ruffy biazon (in his blog)about the inquiry and pending bills.

    I will paste his reply:

    Has this senate bill of your dad has a counterpart in the congress?

    Biazon filed Senate Bill No. 2417 which seeks to create the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) – an independent body and non-regulatory agency that would ensure thorough and impartial investigations of transportation accidents.

    Yes, I filed HB 77. Ironically, it’s been pending since July 2007 (there hasn’t been even one hearing on it) in the committee that’s investigating the MV Princess of the Stars tragedy. That’s why on the day of the hearing, I issued a statement urging the committee to focus on the legislation which the inquiry could produce. During the hearing, I mentioned that there are bills currently pending that we just need to act on.

    During the hearing, once congressman berated the Coast Guard, “Why are you acting only when people are killed?”. I was a bit ashamed for the institution with that remark.

    Because nine years ago, the Board of Marine Inquiry which investigated the sinking of MV Princess of the Orient (another Sulpicio Lines vessel), the Board recommended in its final report the creation of a Transportation Safety Board-Maritime Division to replace the BMI itself.

    The last statement of that report said that many of their recommendations need to be acted upon immediately by COngress…if not, we can be sure that such tragedies will be repeated in the future.

    Well, it seems the BMI was prophetic…the proposals were unacted upon and nine years later, another Sulpicio Lines ship sinks.

    How can Senator Escudero’s coast guard bill be reconciled with your dad’s coat guard bill.where your dad wants the coast guard to be under the DND and escudero(maybe the rest) wants it to be under the DOTC.

    Well, one has to give in. My version of the bill establishes the PCG under DOTC. I guess I would have to invoke my privilege as a son for the father to give in. he he!

    lastly if trillanes can’t legislate , can he still file? ano ang mangyayari sa bill na ito:

    14th Congress
    Senate Bill No. 1944

    Filed on December 7, 2007 by Trillanes IV, Antonio “Sonny” F.

    Sen. Trillanes can still file the bill. It would just be unfortunate that he wouldn’t be able to defend it himself.

    With regard to the bill, it would depend now on the committee chair to act on it.

    We filed that bill before, but the creation of a new department is really difficult. The cost involved in establishing a new department will have difficulty finding space in an already tight budget.

    There are other bills filed that would address the needs of the maritime industry, such as the codification of maritime laws (HB 76), rationalization of all maritime and admiralty agencies and creation of admiralty courts (HB 87), establsihment of a maritime and ocean affairs center under DOTC (HB 73)and of course, the PCG and NTSB bills. I filed those in the House of Representatives.

  38. congrats to manolo for taking MBA…

    In today’s world, the candidate’s qualification that is most beneficial to
    everyone, anywhere, is efficiency in money management. Anything else is
    secondary. Not choosing a candidate with a solid background in economics and management is foolhardy. Economics or business administration background should be a condition sinequa- non for most candidates today. His managing proficiency — or the lack of it — will reflect on how skillfully he will manage the public affairs and your tax money, once in power.

    The poor financial health of our country ( inequality of income and unemployment) is a result of a mismatch of talents. Gloria must have her team equip with economics and business skills or else, her talent is also a mismatch of her very own team. Thus the team is non existence or obsolete.

  39. leytenian,

    ikaw sa tingin ko nag mba ka, at feel na feel mo sa mga words na sinisingit mo sa comments mo.

    But,by admitting that you let others do the budget for you is normal for a higher up,but it is not normal not to know how to prepare it.(for a higher up with an mba degree)
    the budget needs justification,ilan taon na justification na ang nadinig mo.
    dapat marunong ka na mag budget nyan.

    if that is a way you run your company,how can you expect me to listen to you on how a government should be run.

  40. UPn (at 4:15am), what i’m more interested in is the price signalling function that mandatory insurance (given an accurate insurance appraisal) would provide. Karl’s comment (at 7:04 am) on how Sulpicio should have had Protection and Indemnity cover, is relevant particularly this sentence:

    …even if the fleet qualified for membership, the P&I Club would have thrown out Sulpicio a long time ago because of its terrible loss experience over the past 20 years or so….

    Sulpicio’s inability to qualify for P&I Insurance given its track record would have been a very useful signal to the passenger (or regulator). Unfortunately, the regulators did not make such insurance cover mandatory, hence the market failure.

  41. The Rights of Man according to our Charter:
    Section 1
    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

    Section 1 Charter of Rights of Freedoms:
    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

    Here, the Charter is specific as to the limits, that they should be:
    1. Reasonable within the context of a Free and Democratic Society and

    2. The Limit is Justified.

    Prescribed by law, means that the limits should either be prescribed by code, common law or statutory law that can stand the Challenge to its constitutionality or had already stood the challenge. Or the courts should establish what is the justified limits according to the standard of Community at the time the case comes before them..

  42. cvj: you really do not have to work very hard to claim Pinas is beset with market failure regarding information that save lives. Just think smoking. Think pre-natal care.

  43. UPn (at 9:35am and 9:40am) which underlies the crucial role of government in creating, shaping and sustaining markets. The absence of proper regulation and its enforcement leads to market failure. That’s why i think government regulation and the market mechanism are not necessarily opposites but in many ways, complementary and mutually reinforcing.

  44. Now to remember about Princess Stars. Its load-factor at time-of-mishap was only 40%. Market-failure notwithstanding, another “strong wind” had affected the magnitude of the disaster —- competition from Cebu Pacific and other airlines.

  45. also that apparently, the income of Pinas travellers have risen to a point where a large (enough) number can afford the peso-premium of air travel over Sulpicio fares [ evidence : from plus-80% load-factor to below-50%-load-factor. ]

    “Regulatory” (per KG’s blogposts about bills still pending in congress) has been weak and slow.

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