Code of Kalantiaw can stop corruption-A A +A
By Ben Emata
From Across the Seas
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
ONE of the important matters I learned from the study of Political Science during college days is the famous Code of Kalantiaw. I remember so well some of its cruel provisions and I think, if applied these days, they can stop the notorious practice of Corruption in our government.
This particular offense, it seems, has a very strong foundation in our system that no one ever could dismantle it. No president of the country, senators, bishops, military and what have you could stop corruption in the Philippines. Never. The matter exists for decades and a lot of people even think it is a part of our system. That the matter is legal in accordance with the Constitution.
What we need are strong laws to battle this social cancer. Laws that are enforceable even to high powered and influential figures in the government. We need brave leaders who could behave like Datu Kalantiaw with his laws in the olden days. For instance, disrespect of the elders can send the offender to drowning in the river. Other punishments of major crimes are exposure to ants, cutting off fingers, throwing to the waters where there are sharks or crocodiles. And many unbelievable provisions of the code.
Certainly, all of us believe the punishments are excessive, harsh and painful but we can see clearly corruption in the government will stop outright the moment the codes are activated. During the time of Kalantiaw people were candidates for sainthood. No one violates their law because its punishment is a one way trip towards death which is extremely cruel. To modern people, the ancient code could never be applied but if we think about it seriously, it is the only provisions of law that can cease the serious open practices of corruption.
Applying the codes to today’s corruption in the country would entail fear among would-be thieves of public funds. They will think twice before going into corruption. I am sure maybe only a handful of determined thieves will ever try to violate the codes. Only those who will really gamble their lives for some public funds. It is going to be a high risk gamble an individual would commit. In today’s standard, death for thievery, disrespect or other offenses that heavy, is definitely not worthwhile.
I thought of this as a sure deterrent of the age-old corruption that nobody in the government care about it anymore. And worse, it has captured the heart and minds of majority of the people especially those in the higher ups. The matter gives dishonor to our country and everyone of us on top of the impoverished state that we belonged to. This crime is unstoppable. It has grown with us and unless stopped, it would surely destroy the future of our generations. We can never retrieve the lost honor and dignity of the Filipino people which have long joined the dust.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 22, 2013.