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Mar 28th
Home Columns JGL Eye In the Law of the Jungle, Might Is Still King
In the Law of the Jungle, Might Is Still King PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:50


JGL Eye Column


(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)


Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (2) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, (4) for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrong. – Romans 13:1-7


C HICAGO (jGLi) – Mayor Sara Duterte of Davao City, reputed to be one of the largest cities in the Philippines, had just shrunk her city into the smallest, if not the meanest. Thanks, to the iron fist of the woman mayor, who turned the face of the Davao sheriff into her punching bag.


After watching the television footage from GMANews TV of the stunning event, one can easily tell who is at fault: Your Honor, The Mayor, just lost her wits and her cool.


Not only does Mayor Duterte need to take a leave of absence, she also needs to take an anger-management counseling. And take her father, the Acting Mayor, who is her role model, along with her. I’m sure she takes after the gentlemanly-challenged persona of her father as chip off the old block.


And her bodyguards should also be retrained on how to prevent or break up a fight. Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo should make sure that the Duterte father-and-daughter (team) and bodyguards demonstrate first that they pass public decorum test before they are reinstated.


As to the justification after the fact by Mayor Sara of her sordid deed that Sheriff Abe Andres should also be blamed for not heeding her request to delay the demolition by two hours, Mayor Duterte is also right. Because if her pleading to delay the demolition took place at 10:00 a.m., I don’t see anything wrong delaying the court order by two hours at noon. After all, noontime is still part of the same working day to execute the order and, therefore, Andres cannot be cited for contempt of court for delaying the demolition order.




W hen two persons in authority are in a collision course, both of them should take a long breath and take the path of least resistance by keeping in mind the Hippocratic mantra: “to do good or to do no harm.”


When Mayor Sara beckoned Andres to come closer to her, Andres did not show any sign of resistance that could provoke the mayor to rain her fist on him. She could have asked him first if he could delay the demolition by two hours. If he resisted, she and her bodyguards can always pull back and lodge her protest against Andres before the court.


Sara should always remember that she cannot fight fire with another fire. She can only use water to effectively douse the fire. If she insists on using an iron hand, she should remember that a mistake (the stubbornness of the Sheriff) cannot be corrected by committing another mistake (of punching the Sheriff).


We are now supposed to be under a government of laws, not of men. What Sara did was to turn back the hands of time to the Law of the Jungle, where might was right. It has no longer a place in modern society.




S ara’s father, a lawyer like her, cannot fault the Sheriff for not following the law because Sarah was not aware at the time of the confrontation that the demolition should have been implemented only after a “30-day” cooling off period. This is called delayed reaction or an afterthought. Maybe it was ignorance of law for both Sarah, the Lawyer, and Andres, the Sheriff. Maybe Sara can invoke this point of law next time if there is another future confrontation.


I don’t care if Sara does not apologize for as long she does not commit the same mistake of punching her fellow government employee. If Sarah pulls the same stunt, she should be dealt with the maximum penalty allowed by law to deter her from repeating the same mistake. There should be no mercy!


What Sara did was against the civil service policy enunciated by the Philippine Constitution that provides that public officials should “adopt measures to promote morale, efficiency, integrity, responsiveness, progressiveness, and courtesy in the civil service.”


She broke the truism that it is always better for public administrators to criticize fellow administrators in private and promote or phrase their fellows in public.

For the sheriffs, it will not hurt if they undergo training for self-defense so that in the future that they run into a similar situation as Sara’s, they can always avoid the blows and get ready to run away and protect their dear lives.


After all, it is not the end of the world. The Sheriffs can always come back the following day and file a complaint against the likes of Sara and not be accused of dereliction of official duties.  # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at: (


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