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Freedom from hunger, poverty, fear, injustice: A continuing endeavor

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The Preamble of the Philippine Constitution serves as a timeless reminder to all Filipinos that building a democratic nation is a continuing endeavor:

“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society and establish a government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace, do ordain and promulgate this Constitution.”

During the 125th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, both President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo acknowledged the imperative to achieve the full fruition of our nation’s democratic aspirations.

The Chief Executive cited that there are “manifold unfreedoms prevailing in society that stand in the way of human development… such as poverty, inadequate economic opportunities, disabling rather than enabling living conditions, inequality, and apathy.”

Similarly, the Chief Justice declared that freedom – not only from oppressors but also from hunger, poverty, fear and injustice – and its blessings should be shared by all Filipinos: “(If) the freedom to live happily, with dignity, love and hope are reserved for a few, freedom will not be meaningful and complete.”

Inequality breeds injustice. This prompted the late President Ramon Magsaysay to state, “Those who have less in life should have more in law.” President Marcos pointed out that through the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the government seeks to achieve sustainable economic growth that would enable the Filipino masses to unshackle themselves from poverty and hunger.

Fear springs from insecurity. In 2007, the Supreme Court instituted the writ of amparo and habeas data to support the writ of habeas corpus. The writ of amparo provides protection to witnesses and families, while habeas data give access to information pertaining to surveillance or prosecution carried out by state agencies, especially the police and the military. These writs sought to put an end to extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.

According to Chief Justice Gesmundo, the Supreme Court is implementing the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations (SPJI) 2022-2027 that “weaves together various aspirations, plans, and proposals towards a single goal: A judiciary where justice is delivered promptly — in real time.”

Both the current Philippine Development Plan and the Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations provide a roadmap and framework for bringing the country closer to the attainment of its long-term vision Ambisyon Natin 2040:

“By 2040, Filipinos enjoy a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life. In 2040, we will all enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s future. Our family lives together in a place of our own, and we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient, and fair government.”

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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