SABBATICAL NOTES. 10 JULY 2014. THURSDAY. N3.
Good faith, bad faith, and Abad.
RIGHT OFF THE BAT, let me say I am not a lawyer.
I did not study law, never finished a degree in law, but I read what the law says.
The closest I had to 'lawyering' of the clerical kind--those minions of real lawyers--was being a case researcher of a law firm somewhere in the US.
But I studied philosophy and the law, political philosophy and those other things that relate to social issues, and I read and taught as many ethical theories that relate to human agency and human action, to the ethics of human conduct, and the application of our moral resolve to the right thing, translating justice into action included.
I teach courses at the university; these courses are ethics-designated, and I understand what good faith is, and I understand as well what bad faith is.
What grounds good faith is the intention of doing greater things, things that are beyond one's own selfish interest.
Somewhere, a philosopher of social justice talked about the calculus of interest, and I thought that defining good faith has something to do with the application of the 'veil of ignorance' principle: that the act of good faith ought to be good for every Tomas, Diko, and Hari including the Abads.
But not only for the Abads who are so many and so well-entrenched in the 'daang matuwid' regime of President Noynoy Aquino.
A post from a lawyer, Romel Bagares, is instructive as he cites the definition of good faith from a decision by the Ombudsman, and the last sentence in that quote has that clarity we never had before: "The essence of good faith lies in an honest belief in the validity of one's right, ignorance of a superior claim, and absence of intention to overreach another."
Here is the full quotation to put context to the Secretary Abad's claim of disposing the DAP in 'good faith':
"Good faith, here understood, is an intangible and abstract quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition, and it encompasses, among other things, an honest belief, the absence of malice and the absence of design to defraud or to seek an unconscionable advantage. An individual’s personal good faith is a concept of his own mind and, therefore, may not conclusively be determined by his protestations alone. It implies honesty of intention, and freedom from knowledge of circumstances which ought to put the holder upon inquiry. The essence of good faith lies in an honest belief in the validity of one’s right, ignorance of a superior claim, and absence of intention to overreach another." (Office of the Ombudsman v. Torres and Torres, G.R. No. 168309, January 29, 2008).
Here you go, Felipenas. Good faith?