Three positive points about the study: 1) It critiques the Labor Code and puts the democratic and

constitutional rights of the people at the forefront. 2) It is a pioneering research in this field. There is not much literature with regard to the domestic labor sector. 3) It is practical in that it is an applied research: findings will be used to solve practical problems in the labor sector. What is worthy to note in this study is that it takes the notion of “national interest,” which is typically taken in a realist context of international relations, into the realm of domestic labour conditions. It is not a wrong perspective but an interesting take in fact that actually needs attention. This is such considering that one is bound to find literature on national interest connected to foreign policies and realist thinkers, most especially Hans Morgenthau. (Assimilating realist definition of national interest with Marion’s definition) Now, realist thinkers frame national interest in the sense that external interests and relations reinforce internal purposes.1 Morgenthau maintains that interest is always defined as power, and he goes on further stating that national interest is seen in the statesman taking up his official duty.2 As I see it, this is where Ms. Sevilla rightly contextualizes her study: national interest as she puts forward becomes a justification for the exercise of the statesman’s duty, particularly the Labor Secretary’s emergency power or the Assumption of Jurisdiction. And this justification finds root in protecting the national economy, a.k.a. the common good. Strikes and lockouts are deemed not suitable for the economy, and thus the Secretary assumes emergency powers to save the economy. But he does not end here. She invites us to critique this very provision: is national interest actually manifest in how this emergency power is exercised? What does national interest actually mean in terms of practice of the Labor Secretary?

1 2

Greg Russel. Hans J. Morgenthau and the National Interest. Society. January/February 1994 Hans J. Morgenthau. Six Principles of Political Realism

the study actually implicitly makes use of the interpretivist approach (as it takes on a historical perspective and uses hermeneutics). In other words. national interest then perhaps becomes only a pretense for individualistic objectives. one cannot help but look into corruption issues in one’s analysis. analyzing laws.4 One possibility would be: is the Assumption of Jurisdiction articulated as national interest or perhaps just mere individual preference? Especially in the Philippines. in examining empirical evidences to support her claims. By being clear about it. and jurisprudence. I think an interpretevist approach to defining national interest will be of help. heavy on content analysis. I think looking into personal interests will give much more character and substance to your study. we can come up with more questions for analysis that go beyond questions about the effectiveness of legal measures. however. thank you. Sevilla attempts to do as he starts from the Martial Law period and ends with the Arroyo administration. With that said. this approach is historical in the sense that it situates or puts people and events back in history.(Theory) These are great questions to ask especially as the study takes on a qualitative method. Interpretivism focuses on the hermeneutic (interpretation of written texts) interpretation of lived social experience3 – in the case of this study. however. social experience is understood in a historical progression which the current study of Mr. 3 4 Formal or informal interactions among people Although you mentioned that you wanted to be objective in your analysis. If their socialization with other actors highlights their individualistic interests. is greatly needed to guide the study and tie things up. An explicit (theoretical) framework. More importantly. policies. . Not that the study has no cohesion. Intrepretavism considers individuals as coming from their own contexts or having their own background.

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