Speaking before the Filipino community in Brunei, President Rodrigo Duterte was quoted saying, “If you are angry and you want to shout, shout at God because it was God that put me here… They said I would not win because I slap people. But if God wants me to be there, then that's it. In the end that is what God wants.”
He told his critics to “blame destiny and blame God”.
With this reasoning, Duterte is blameless. God should be blamed because the presidency is Duterte's destiny and the people, the alleged voice of God, voted for him.
There are two points he raised. First, was predestination and the second, the oft-quoted dictum, “voxpopuli, vox Dei”, the voice of the people is the voice of God.
The doctrine of predestination teaches that since God is all knowing and all powerful he has already destined or decided what we will become. Calvinism, for instance teaches that God has already ordained who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.
On the other hand, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1037) says that “God predestines no one to go to hell.”Obviously the Church rejects the doctrine of predestination.
If man was predestined to be in hell what's the point in doing good? If one was destined for heaven, then he can do whatever he or she pleases, like murdering, stealing, womanizing, engaging in bestiality or involving in unnatural sex, etc.
Predestination absolves a person of responsibility because he is not free to make a choice. It denies free will. This doctrine makes us robots acting only as programmed to do.
By claiming predestination, it was not even necessary for Duterte to file a certificate of candidacy or campaign; he will be president anyway.
Then he equates the people's vote as the voice of God. If that is so then he cannot claim legitimacy because 60 percent of the voters did not vote for him. They voted for other candidates.Duterte did not win by a majority vote but only a plurality.
Sterilized voxpopuli is the justification of a radical mob. Let's go to its roots.
The term “voxpopuli” sounds like it came out of theRoman Empire but the earliest known reference to equating it with the voice of Godis attributed to Saxon scholar and teacherAlcuin of York (735-804), Master of the Palace School at Aachen. In a letter to the Emperor Charlemagne in 800, he wrote, “And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always close to insanity.”
If quoted in full reference to itsroot, the present rant of voxpopuliis clearly the opposite of what Alcuin said.
It is fashionable to prate about the voice of the people as God's voice, but as Alcuin taught, the voice of the people is directly against the voice of God on a great moral and political issue.
As Biblical scholar C. S. Robinson illustrated, a thousand votes for a wrong is not enough to make it right. One nothing is nothing, two nothing is nothing, ten nothing is nothing, a thousand nothing is nothing. How many Israelite elders would be necessary so to multiply nothing as to make it something? Just as many, we reply, as at any time it would take of wrong-headed men to make wrong right.
He continued,“We become more sure as we read in (the Bible) that the majority are not to be trusted among even the wisest of men. Majorities can be gotten on almost every occasion for the right or for the wrong indiscriminately, according to the popular epidemic of enthusiasm at the time. What is wanted in our day is the virtue of an individual courage and of a personal conviction. We need voters with a conscience that impels them to stand by the right measures and support the righteous men for administering them.”
History records how majorities have erred with horrible, catastrophic consequences.
A ssociate justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez said on usingvoxpopuli argument. One “should exercise caution in choosing one's battle cry, lest it does more harm than good to one's cause.”
Duterte is misled to believe he is blameless. The vote of 16 million (a minority) out of 50 million voters was never God's voice.*
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