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Tatay Digong as 'parens patriae'

  • Written by Jay De Castro
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 335

Magkaisa para sa bayan

Many of our people, young and old, call President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, “Tatay Digong.” They do so, because they see him as a “tatay”, who has genuine desire and concern to protect their interest and welfare.

Thus, in view of Tatay Digong’s warning to drug pushers and addicts to stop their nefarious activities and surrender, they say to people hooked or dependent on drugs, “Hala, magbago na kayo, ’pag hindi, lagot kayo kay Tatay Digong.”

The great majority of our people welcome and approve Tatay Digong’s serious campaign against illegal drugs. His firm resolve to eradicate illegal drugs, even if geared at killing its propagators, is not met with opposition by the people,  who believe that the President is doing it as father of the nation.

Many times, Tatay Digong explained to our people the ill-effects of illegal drugs on the Filipino family and they believe him.

He cited the case of a friend, who sought his help, in dealing with a drug addict son, who raped and impregnated his sister, then killed their baby.
   
He mentioned the case of a drug addict who raped his niece who was less than a year old.
   
He said that minors who commit drug-related crimes in Davao City, like the 14-year-old boy who raped his sister while high on shabu, are confined in the Davao City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents (DCTRCDD), where they are given treatment, counselling, education, and other services, which they did not get while in the streets, uncared for and abandoned by their parents.
   
Actually, what Tatay Digong is doing in his firm and resolute anti-illegal drugs campaign is part of his legal and moral duty as “parens patriae” or “father of the country.”
 
Parens patriae is the legal doctrine which says, that the state, which for the purpose of this article is represented by Tatay Digong, has inherent power and authority to provide protection to its citizens, like minors, insane or  incompetent persons, or those unable to  defend and protect themselves.
   
This doctrine originated in England, where “royal prerogative” was given to  the King,  to help or save his subjects,  in his role as father of the country.
    
In the US, the doctrine applies in the treatment of children, mentally ill persons, and individuals who are legally incompetent to manage their affairs, and those without parents, family or relatives to fight for their interest and welfare. 
   
It says that the right of parents, to exercise full parental authority over their children, is not absolute, because the State may come in, when the natural parents fail in their duty to rear and protect their children.
    
In this connection, Duterte vowed to implement a 2 a.m. curfew on drinking in public places and a ban on children walking on the streets alone late at night and punish parents who allow their children to loiter in the evening. 
   
Parens patriae also finds support in the Constitutional provision that “the family, being the foundation of the nation, is a basic social institution which public policy cherishes and protects.”
    
Consequently, when Tatay Digong implements his severe anti-drug policies, he has in mind, the protection of our youth and the Filipino family and does so, in the exercise of his duty as “parens patriae” or “father of our country.”
   
Tatay Digong has explained to our people the extent of the drug menace in our country.  He said that the peril of our country’s drug problem has affected all sectors of our society, from the poor, who live in the slums, to the rich, who reside in affluent subdivisions and exclusive condominiums.
    
He said that the tentacles of China and Mexico’s drug cartels have reached our shores, such that, to prevent the demise of our society and protect our youth from the evils of illegal drugs, he has to continue with his campaign until the last drug lord or pusher is arrested, jailed or killed.
 
In his inaugural address, Tatay Digong said, “he has seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined family relationships.”
   
In the same speech, he said, “No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance, unless he has the support and cooperation of the people, he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.”
   
We, in Magkaisa Para sa Bayan, believe in the serious resolve of Tatay Digong to eliminate the evils of illegal drugs in our country.
   
As “parens patriae” or “father of the nation”, who at the age of seventy one, is tirelessly working for the protection and welfare of our country and people, particularly our youth, it is but proper that we reciprocate his sacrifices, by supporting and cooperating with all his programs of government, particularly his all-out war against illegal drugs,  never done by any of our “parens patriae” before.