“A LITTLE knowledge is a dangerous thing,” says that adage attributed to the 18th century poet Alexander Pope. The brouhaha over President Duterte’s plan to mobilize the military to clean up the Bureau of Customs (BoC) is such a perfect demonstration of the truth of that aphorism.
Right after Duterte announced his plan when he got fed up with the drug traffickers’ success in smuggling P7 billion or more worth of shabu right under the noses of Customs officials, there was a flurry of instant constitutional experts — mostly stragglers of the Yellow Cult — hysterically shouting that this is unconstitutional, pointing to Section 5 Article 16 of the Constitution.
“Malinaw na ilegal, malinaw na unconstitutional, isang impeachable offense ang ginagawa ni Pangulo dito kasi talagang culpable violation of the Constitution,” law professor Antonio La Viña pompously declared. For chrissake, La Viña is a former dean of the Ateneo School of Government. Does that explain why that school which has been the base of the Yellow Cult has been churning out so much garbage? One writer in an astonishing flight of imagination even saw Duterte’s move as his scheme to lure military men into corruption, and thus make them subservient to him!
The constitutional provision they claim that Duterte is violating “so clearly” reads: “No member of the armed forces in the active service shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries.” (more…)