Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Decisions, and wasting time.

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the Administration's Calibrated Preemptive Response to rallies as unconstitutional it's back to the maximum tolerance stance stated in Batasang Pambansa 880. But... Permits are still required.

I remember passing EDSA when a rally was being held in the People Power monument on the corner of White Plains Ave. and EDSA several months back. It wasn't a pretty sight: protesters going inside buses trying to convince the passengers to join them, the dozen jeeps that carried some of the protesters parked on two lanes, etc.

I didn't know what they had hoped to achieve back then, but I can tell you this: I hated the hour I spent stuck on the same spot. That's an hour I can never have back. But I was lucky, it took only an hour to get past all that noise. Many were not so lucky, some getting home way past midnight.

It's good that the Supreme Court upheld that permits are still required when holding rallies:
Supreme Court assistant administrator and spokesman Ismael Khan Jr. said the tribunal "recognized the right of the people to peaceably assemble. But it said that the right to peaceably assemble is not an absolute right because it is subject to restrictions."
And it goes on:
The court emphasized that "maximum tolerance is for the protection and benefit of all rallyists and is independent of the content of the expressions in the rally. Furthermore, the permit can only be denied on the ground of clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health."
(highlights: mine)

Maybe finally we can get some peace and quiet. But wait, there's more. The SC told the Local Government Units (Cities) to designate areas in their zones Freedom Parks where people can hold rallies without permits, and they have to do it in thirty days. Or else, all parks in their zones will be declared Freedom Parks. The cynic in me would say: "Heh, I'd bet that some of the mayors will (conveniently) miss that deadline for some reason."

At any rate, I can't wait to see the action this coming May 1. Chicken wings, check. Rootbeer, check. Remote, check.