Social Justice and the Imperfect Societies of Saudis and Filipinos

Establish a perfect society? Constitutionally, Filipinos have the noble goal to build a “just and humane society.”

The phrase means we’re after the promotion of social justice or “katarungan panlipunan” and respect for human rights or “karapatang pantao” (Muyot, 2003). Philippine social justice is defined as “the humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic forces by the State so that justice in its rational and objectively secular conception may at least be approximated.” Adds the Philippine Law Dictionary by Moreno (2007): “(It is) the promotion of the welfare of all the people, the adoption by the Government of measures calculated to insure economic stability of all the component elements of society, through the maintenance of a proper economic and social equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of the community constitutionally, through the adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-constitutionally, through the exercise of powers underlying the existence of all government on the time-honored principle of salus populi est suprema lex.”

Cecilia Muñoz Palma is frequently quoted as saying that the Social Justice Article is the “heart of the Constitution.” (It’s written as, “Article XIII – Social Justice and Human Rights.”) Its first two Sections provide: “(Sec. 1) Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good… (Sec. 2) The promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance.”

That “those who have less in life should have more in law” is also what social justice calls for, thanks to President Magsaysay’s dream.

Extra-constitutionally, we removed Marcos as President via People Power revolution in 1986 when people felt they had “enough” of his dictatorship and that social justice had to be served that way. Record-high cases were filed in relation to highly perceived human rights violations of his martial rule.

Within the ambit of social justice, Erap became the second President ousted by what is now called Edsa Dos. This time, though, it was intra-constitutional. The government branches supported the Vice President’s ascension to be the de jure President. Erap, convicted plunderer later, resigned; his resignation, according to the High Court, cannot be doubted as it was confirmed by his leaving Malacanang, the seat of power.

Social justice has become relevant globally. Its concept, however, isn’t intertwined with that of human rights.

Saudi Arabia, No. 1 in human rights violations, also has people who love to serve social justice. Saudis have got easily employed in their Kingdom in recent years instead of expatriates getting favored in hiring, thanks to Saudization.

May God continue to bless the role I play (played) relative to social justice in the Philippines and expatriates-rich Saudi Arabia by (1) raising awareness of the poor that they are not poor at all and by (2) helping them through empowerment initiatives. DC Alviar


Jubilant members of “My Family” have marked May 2013 as a month of thankfulness to the Lord even as they extended their helping hand for four Fridays and counting, giving bread and bottled water for undocumented OFWs housed at the so-called “Tent City” beside the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in Jeddah. But our Tatay was quick in saying that it was, in fact, the Family’s privilege to offer such help and the Members of the Family was out to listen to whatever their thoughts were, praying for their repatriation in as quick time as possible among other things. Separate organizations, individuals, and companies also provide relief goods and other support for these OFWs, who have been affected by the Saudi Arabian government’s intensified campaign against undocumented workers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s