Thursday, September 08, 2005

Governments Should Be Like Airline Companies

It was quite sad to see the impeachment complaint reeling down the drain, like a washed up memento of everything that we need to fight for. I was really hoping that the truth could be given even just a moment’s chance to be tested by the fire, like in a full-blown impeachment proceeding against the President, irregardless if the President may eventually be exonerated or not---at least, in that manner, Congress had not resorted to such numbing insensitivity to the public’s cry for a thorough investigation of the alleged election anomalies believed to have been committed by her. Things like these ain’t suppose to get away so easily, otherwise we can half-expect that every election we will have from now on would most probably be rigged. And we have the present Congress to blame for that.

I can recall now, as we examine the sad state of our politics, an episode of Ally Mcbeal that was shown about five to six years ago. It was too long ago but because that episode was so interesting, I have always recounted the story to some of my friends from law school every now and then. In this particular episode, the team of Ally Mcbeal was suing for damages in behalf of nearly two hundred plane crash victim—the plaintiff’s side. As the case went on, the plaintiff’s side was very disheartened to learn that the investigators and aviation experts that was tasked to examine the crash site had found no single evidence whatsoever of negligence on the part of the airline company. In suing for damages in cases like airline accident, it becomes necessary that the plaintiff should prove that the airline company or its employees had committed some form of negligence or breach of care that is necessary for such sensitive industry. When negligence is not proven, damages or full compensation may not be had.

In this case within the TV episode mentioned above, the court could not seem to pinpoint to any wrongdoing on the side of the airline company and like one counsel for the airline company there said, “The plane just went down for no apparent cause”. No pilot error. No maintenance lapses. No engine trouble. No bomb explosions. Nothing. Nada.

And so when the day of reckoning came, the Ally Mcbeal team was not so encouraged by their chances of winning the case while the defendants were already almost celebratory. But then the unexpected happened when the judge finally handed down a judgment in favor of the Ally Mcbeal team, this despite that the investigation did not find any evidence of negligence on the part of the airline company. In the reading of the judgment, the court decided that while it is true that the plaintiff side was not able to prove negligence on the part of the airline company, still the airplane crash victims should be paid damages and their families fully compensated, for it had opined rather strongly that the court does not believe that airliners could just go down in flames without any reason. There must be a cause and this cause, the airline company should be held responsible for. The decision went on to say that the award of damages should give notice to all airline companies that from now on, they should do everything possible in this world to make sure that the safety of passengers are guaranteed by all means. They must do everything, anything lesser is not acceptable. They may have to train their pilots every month if it need be or do maintenance work more often than what is usual. They may have to discard their twenty-year old planes and buy new state-of-the-art aircrafts. They have to do everything to keep danger almost to a nil, if that is possible. Whenever an airliner goes down in flames and lives are lost, airline companies should always recompense the victims. No ifs and no buts.

Now here comes the analogy to the state of our nation. Governments should be like airline companies. The people it serves should not be force to accept malefactors and wrongdoings in the government by masking the truth or manipulating a political exercise. By all means, governments should remain morally intact in order that it becomes a primal force in urging the upswing of a nation, both economically and socially. Any taint in the face of the government that presently serves us should be dealt with accordingly, either by proving the accusations wrong or by just letting the public know the real score. So what’s the real score? The administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has so many things to explain and yet it had chosen to hide rather than be forward and answer every doubt cast upon its name. The mishandling of the truth may serve as a bad precedence in the future where a people becomes deserving of a tainted government and governments from now on may not care anymore to be morally fit because after all, an unfit government had been allowed to escape unscathed once before. This “act of Congress” will go down badly in the annals of our political history.

Like an airline company, governments should exert every effort possible in order that no airline crashes happen. Meaning to say, it should be ideal for a developing republic like us that our governments should not wallow into any dirt, like having its hand into Jueteng money because bribery is the one singular crime that had brought this nation down from its gloried past. And if talks of election rigging are so prevalent and pestering, the talks should not be allowed to die down. The truth must be uncovered. The GMA administration had preferred to be evasive, as if admitting something and yet not being ready to pay for it. In that sense, it had contented itself into becoming a government masked in doubt and disrepute rather than be a moral and upright one.

The Filipino people deserve a government that is moral and exemplary. But as of now, we will keep on looking for that, for we haven’t got it yet.
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