Too much human rights, too little discipline
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 4, 2018 - 12:00am

It was the late Lee Kuan Yew, great founder and leader of Singapore, the strongest economy in ASEAN, who told President Marcos in the ‘70s that what the Filipinos need is not more human rights, but more national discipline. That statement might have sounded insulting coming from a foreign leader, but if we humble ourselves enough to accept our behavioral weaknesses and problems in human character, we should be able to discern that Lee was right. Today, the opposition, the militant and progressive organizations, even the Church are all ganging up on the president who is trying to discipline us.

The Filipinos need to learn how to respect authority and the law. In the name of human rights, in the name of freedom and liberty, we tend to lose our bearing and become disrespectful and out of bounds. We lambast our own head of state in social media, the international press, and over radio, television, and in print. The Malaysians and Singaporeans never do that. They have their gripes and their grievances, who doesn't have any? But they raise these in proper fora, not over CNN or using the human rights groups as a platform to desecrate the honor of our national leaders.

Many Filipinos have not learned how to follow traffic rules, they cross even when the traffic light is red. Both drivers and pedestrians do not respect the traffic rules. People throw their waste anywhere, they spit and even urinate in the side streets, and they sell their wares in the midst of traffic jams, thereby exacerbating the horrendous gridlock. Also, people do not come to meetings on time, always invoking the traffic as the cause of their tardiness. They do not learn to listen while others are talking, and waiters keep on making movements and noises while a guest speaker is delivering his speech.

The students in the state institutions, especially those in Diliman, whose tuition fees are being subsidized by taxes we pay, are always the ones leading demonstrations and rallies that further cause traffic problems and then they leave truckloads of garbage that they do not dispose of. Many workers stage mass actions when a number of them are also committing a lot of violations of company rules, they insult their employers and their management even as they have shown gross and habitual neglect of duties, serious misconduct, and willful disobedience of company rules.

Our people are being taught to demand for what they think they are entitled to. They are not trained to fulfill their obligations, perform their duties, follow the rules and respect authority. If this is the kind of character we are building, then there is no way the Philippines can even hope to become what the tiny tiger economy, Singapore, has achieved. We shall continue to be the sick old cat in Asia, and the laughing stock of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

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