US-RP Friendship Day, Anti-Terror Bill, And the Basic Function of Government as Stated in Romans 13:3-5.
Today, we celebrate the Philippine-American Friendship Day throughout the country by virtue of Proclamation No. 811, s. in 1996, which also commemorates the formal recognition of Philippine independence.
July 4, 1946, marked the United States’ formal recognition of the independence of the Republic of the Philippines. Pursuant to the provisions of the Philippine Independence Act or the Tydings Mcduffie Law of 1934, the Philippines was given a ten-year transition period to prepare for independence. Thus, July 4, 1946 was the culmination of the said preparation. It was also the date the Philippines became the Republic of the Philippines – the Third Republic, with Manuel Roxas re-taking his oath, eliminating the pledge of allegiance to the United States of America which was required prior to independence, this time as the first President of the Republic of the Philippines. The Congress of the Commonwealth then became the First Congress of the Republic, and international recognition was finally achieved as governments entered into treaties with the new republic.
June 12, was the date independence from Spain was proclaimed in Emilio Aguinaldo’s home in Kawit, Cavite. In his proclamation, President Macapagal cited “the establishment of the Philippine Republic by the Revolutionary Government under General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898, marked our people’s declaration and exercise of their right to self-determination, liberty and independence.”
Macapagal’s move was in accordance with the view of historians and many political leaders, that the foundation date of the nation should be June 12, since July 4 was the restoration of that independence.
Moreover, the move was made in the context of the rejection of the U.S. House of Representatives on the proposed $73 million additional war reparation bill for the Philippines on May 28, 1962. The rejection, according to President Macapagal, caused “indignation among the Filipinos” and a “loss of American good will in the Philippines.” He explained that he deemed it the right time to push the change of the independence date, a political move he was planning even before his ascent to the presidency.
Republic Act No. 11479 Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 signed by the Pres. Rodrigo Duterte
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11479, or the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, today, 3 July 2020.
The President, together with his Legal Team, took time to study this piece of legislation weighing the concerns of different stakeholders. Terrorism, as we often said, strikes anytime and anywhere. It is a crime against the people and humanity; thus, the fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach to contain terrorist threat. The signing of the aforesaid law demonstrates our serious commitment to stamp out terrorism, which has long plagued the country and has caused unimaginable grief and horror to many of our people, Roque said.
Republic Act No. 11479 defines terrorism as,
Terrorism. – Subject to Section 49 of this Act, terrorism is committed by any person who, within or outside the Philippines, regardless of the stage of execution:
a) Engages in acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person, or endangers a person’s life;
b) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive damage or destruction to a government or public facility, public place or private property,
c) Engages in acts intended to cause extensive interference with, damage or destruction to critical infrastructure;
d) Develops, manufactures, possesses, acquires, transports, supplies or uses weapons, explosives or of biological, nuclear, radiological or chemical weapons; and
e) Release of dangerous substances, or causing fire, floods or explosions
when the purpose of such act, by its nature and context, is to intimidate the general public or a segment thereof, create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to provoke or influence by intimidation the government or any international organization, or seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic, or social structures of the country, or create a public emergency or seriously undermine public safety, shall be guilty of committing terrorism and shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment without the benefit of parole and the benefits of Republic Act No. 10592, otherwise known as “An Act Amending Articles 29, 94, 97, 98 and 99 of Act No. 3815, as amended, otherwise known as the Revised Penal Code”: Provided, That terrorism as defined in this section shall not include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights, which are not intended to cause death or serious physical harm to a person, to endanger a person’s life, or to create a serious risk to public safety.Section 4, Republic Act No. 11479.
Government is Not A Terror to Good Works!
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist and appointed by God…..For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.” Romans 13:1, NKJV)
Civil government during Paul’s time were probably pagans. Believers may have been tempted not to submit to them and to claim allegiance only to Christ. Even the possibility of a persecuting state did not shake Paul’s conviction that civil government is ordained by God.
Since God is the source of all authority, civil governments exercise power by his permission. We should therefore, obey them.
The point here is not the divine right of civil rulers but of government and order, not revolution for a change in government but to oppose all lawlessness and disorder.
Civil governments are established by God (v. 1) to restrain the criminal elements of human society— even though these offices are often filled and run by evil people. We must divorce our feelings about the people that hold these offices from the authority of the office itself. Christians should be law- abiding citizens, obedient to
the government under which they live, governing themselves in all their attitudes and relations of life by the principles of the Golden Rule (vv. 8–10) and making special efforts continuously to be honorable in all things and considerate of others.
If we keep the laws of our country, we nothing to fear. We have no difficulty in cooperating with government, because the basic functions of government are the promotion of the well-being of society and the restraint of wrongdoing, and these functions are in keeping with ideals.
Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Handbook. ePub Format. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2000.
Department of Foreign Affairs Facebook Page.