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How will Duterte go to Baguio City now?


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…” (Romans 12:14, the Holy Bible)


HOW WILL DUTERTE GO TO BAGUIO CITY NOW? So, there is now a prohibition against hurling invectives and profanities in Baguio City, by virtue of an ordinance that was passed by its City Council or Sangguniang Panlunsod, and which was signed into law by its Mayor, Mauricio Domogan. What are we to expect then if, one day, President Duterte would need to go to Baguio City to deliver a speech which, we all know, is often laced with profanities and invectives?

Would the police in the city arrest the President on the grounds that he has committed an infraction of the City Ordinance prohibiting profanities? If Baguio City policemen will not arrest Duterte after violating their ordinance, would officials in the city (which has become internationally-famous because of its cool weather all year round) still have the moral suasion and authority to enforce the law against cursing in public?

I can concede that the ordinance was motivated by highly noble intentions on the part of its proponents. But, if its enforcement would be pockmarked by infirmities, that would only make that city law a source of shame and ignominy which would certainly invite more cursing from all sectors of society. Funny but I found myself wishing that our officials would be more circumspect in what they do in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.


SAYING “PUTANG INA MO” IS A MERE EXPLETIVE, SC SAYS: The truth is that, there are now decisions by the Supreme Court which say that hurling invectives and profanities could not be immediately considered as defamatory. In these decisions, the Court clarified that uttering the words “putang ina mo” (or “your mother is a whore”) is now simply an expression of disgust or anger.

On the other hand, in another decision of the high tribunal which it released on February 08, 2000, the Court through Associate Justice Bernardo Pardo said that the words “putang ina mo” could be considered defamatory only if the circumstances under which they were uttered clearly showed that the intent of the one who blurted it out was really to defame.

The Court further noted that the words “putang ina mo” is a mere expletive, or words which are often uttered as a form of ordinary day-to-day expression, although there is no intention to malign or defame, or characterize the mother of the person to whom they are uttered against as a “whore”.


PRONOUNCING BLESSINGS TO OTHERS CREATE GOOD BLESSINGS FOR US, TOO: The Bible meanwhile contains a strict admonition against cursing or saying invectives and profanities. In Romans 12:14, which is this column’s “Life’s Inspiration” today, says: `Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse’…”

Undeniably, we who believe in God are commanded to pronounce blessings to our fellowmen at all times, and under any and all circumstances. We should declare blessings, goodness, good health, peace and success and prosperity to our siblings, relatives, friends and associates, all the time.

There is a serious justification for this command: if others are experiencing blessings, success, and prosperity in their lives, they are more likely to maintain better relationship with all the people around them. What all these would amount to would be general peace and order everywhere. That being the case, I implore everyone who is on the side of the law: let us not curse. Instead, we should declare blessings to all the people around us!


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