Modest lives, thoughtless extravagance, society pages | Inquirer Opinion

Modest lives, thoughtless extravagance, society pages

02:11 AM May 22, 2015

Angeli O. Marconi slightly differed with me on public servants leading “modest lives” (“Spiritual Manny, materialistic ‘Money,’” Opinion, 5/14/15), which is mandated by Section 1 of Article XI of the Philippine Constitution. It is echoed in Section 2 of Republic Act No. 6713, The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials. This law I coauthored, sponsored and handled all the way, shepherded by Uncle Jovy Salonga at the Senate and by Ka Komong Sumulong at the House of Representatives. It helped render a chief justice jobless and now threatens a vice president.

Private individuals, however, may freely spend or waste their money in a democracy. True, as Marconi noted, Article 25 of the Civil Code “proscribes ‘thoughtless extravagance,’” a phrase followed by—to complete the sentence—“in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency [which] may be stopped by the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.”

So it will require judicial intervention at the instance of proper parties to stop the Pacquiaos from flaunting their humongous wealth. Imagine Mommy Dionisia, who was reported to have imported DIs (dancing instructors) from Manila and four costume changes in a birthday wingding in the South. Cavalier and insensitive, but they should not be singled out, of course.

One thing I liked about the imposition of martial law was the disappearance of the society page, now back with a vengeance while millions suffer and starve. Do the rich and famous care?

—R. A. V. SAGUISAG, Saguisag & Associates Lawyers, Palanan, Makati City

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TAGS: Dionisia Pacquiao, extravagance, Jovito Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, wealth

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