MEP’s meddling an utter rudeness

 

The European Parliament

I am actually referring to the arrogance and brazenness of some Members of the European Parliament (MEP) who are meddling in the political affairs of the Philippines, a sovereign country at that, by filing a resolution calling for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima and quashing the drug charges against her.

If this is not a blatant show of superiority complex, I don’t know how else to interpret it.

Let me just qualify what I mean by superiority complex. Surely, it is not about intellectual superiority, nor in terms of integrity and morality, but this pompous and imperious bunch of people think they belong to a superior race because they come from a much developed country and they are white.

That is all there is to it and they think that because they are the high and mighty, that they have the ascendancy, the authority, nay, the ‘sovereign obligation’, to bully and lecture us about justice.

Justice my ass! Justice for de Lima?

But of course justice has been done, and where she finds herself now is the kind of justice that she deserves.

And they don’t have to worry about her safety. She definitely is in good hands. She has to be because the Filipino people would really like to see how the de Lima saga ends, if only to prove that indeed she was deeply entrenched in the drug activities.

This bunch of swaggering and pontificating MEPs think that it was all the time fine and dandy and much better in the Philippines before Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got voted to the presidency.

I am sure de Lima saw what was coming to her after she won a slot in the senatorial race allegedly with the help of drug money, and seeing, too, that Duterte captured the presidency.

De Lima must have felt sorry in hindsight that she was not able to gather enough evidence to prove that Duterte was behind the much ballyhooed killings in Davao while the latter was the mayor and the former as chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and thence Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

What de Lima is getting is payback time from Duterte, after what he went through being falsely accused and humiliated by her.

Now the table is turned against de Lima and for the information of the MEPs, this is a welcome development for the country.

Duterte’s relentless and bloody war against illegal drugs, not to mention criminality and corruption, is giving most Filipinos hope that under his leadership the Philippines will grow and develop faster.

In fact Duterte’s brand of leadership for many is a breath of fresh air, even with the alleged extrajudicial killings brouhaha, but, unfortunately, the meddling of the MEPs is fouling the atmosphere somehow.

 

Better for CBCP to urge faithful to pray

Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Anytime the Catholic Church, through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), comes out with pronouncements, either in the form of a homily or a pastoral letter, strongly criticizing state matters it always frustrate many people, including myself.

Lately, CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas released a pastoral letter once again blasting the Duterte administration’s war on drugs and the resultant extrajudicial killings happening during the campaign.

Villegas seemed to be bothered by the fact that despite the violence and excessive killings, most people have been reacting indifferently to it and rather feeling oblivious at the terror they are witnessing.

Thus, the pastoral letter was written and sent out to all churches so that every Tom, Dick and Harry of the cloth shall make it their responsibility to remind their respective parishioners to get involve and be more vocal against the extrajudicial killings happening almost every day that are being attributed to the police.

Villegas implied in his pastoral letter that if the members of the Catholic faith continue to act like the three wise monkeys that embodied the proverbial principle, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, then they are just as guilty as those perpetrating the crime.

This is what bugs me and frustrates me because I think the CBCP is over-dramatizing the situation and playing to the sentiments of the people who, otherwise, are thankful that the drug menace, criminality and corruption are finally being addressed seriously and imperatively by a strong-willed president who has the political courage and the moral ascendancy to move this country forward and improve the quality of life of every Filipino.

I have said this before, and I am going to say it again: Let the political system run the state and the clerical or religious functions run the church. Let no one meddle in somebody else realm. Each is governed by its own laws and power and it is simply imprudent and discordant to encourage and advocate the members of their respective realms to go against one another.

I understand that the people belonging to the church and state are all citizens of this country and as such have the same rights and privileges under the constitution. Individually, each can voice out his or her opinion.

But it is totally different when we talk about the church and state as entities.

The state is about governance of the country and its people.

The church is about governance of the soul of people, which can be made better by prayers and other religious/spiritual activities.

That is how distinctly separate they are.

PNP chief’s moral ascendancy questioned

 

PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" de la Rosa

PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa

I do not understand why House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is now questioning Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa’s moral ascendancy to head the country’s police force after a Korean businessman was kidnapped and murdered inside Camp Crame.

“Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa should immediately resign as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to save President Rodrigo Duterte from further embarrassment and restore respect to the Office of the PNP Chief,” Alvarez said in a statement.

Yes, it is bad enough that the Korean businessman, Jee Ick Joo, was kidnapped and murdered by policemen, but what made it more damning is that the hapless victim was executed not far from the White House of the PNP chief inside Crame.

But does Alvarez think that by making Bato resign and replacing with another general will immediately solve the government’s bloody war against illegal drug and put in jail all the police scalawags involved in the now newly coined nefarious activity called “tokhang for ransom”?

There is no doubt that Bato has been committing minor indiscretions as if he was a showbiz personality, granting unnecessary interviews left and right, and, like what Alvarez described, “ doing mundane things like singing videoke and watching concerts”, but are these enough reasons to ask for Bato’s head on the chopping board?

In fact Bato finds the call for him to quit his post as “cruel,” saying he can’t even find time to sleep as he’s too busy solving the country’s drug problem and weeding out bad eggs in the police force.

I think President Duterte could not have found a better man to lead the country’s police force who is competent and tough enough to toe the line in accordance with what Duterte wants in his declaration of war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

Despite Bato’s minor screw-ups he has been ably doing his job and continues to have the respect of his men. Bato has just to change his ways now and not allow his popularity to go to his head.

But what people should realize, and I think Alvarez knows this, is that the extent and magnitude of illegal drugs, criminality and corruption in the country involving unscrupulous members of the PNP is so mind boggling that one can’t help but entertain thoughts about where this country could have gone if Duterte was not elected president.

It is not about Bato’s ineptitude. It is more about our collective moral obligation as people to help him instead of criticizing him.

Isn’t this the very reason why the exasperated Duterte talks about declaring martial law if and when he deems it necessary, come hell or high water?

Much ado about Duterte declaring martial law

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Let me just ask these questions to those making a big fuss about President Rodrigo Duterte’s emphatic admission that he has no qualms whatsoever of declaring martial law, if the need for it arises.

Why, what do you think Duterte has been doing? Isn’t it that what you hear and see all these seven months that the former Davao City mayor has been president are manifestations of martial law – Duterte style?

Political opposition and detractors seem to forget that Duterte is known for who he is precisely because of the iron hand and dictator-like rule he implemented in Davao City, which was never duplicated by any other mayor in the country today.

Nobody can take away the bragging rights he has when he tells all and sundry anywhere he goes how he tamed wild and lawless Davao City into a peaceful and livable place recognized and acknowledged by every Filipino.

As if you haven’t heard of then Commissioner of Human Rights (CHR), then Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary, and now Sen. Leila de Lima, harping here and abroad about Duterte’s impunity of human rights violation.

Isn’t this what martial law is partly all about?

Now that Duterte is president he is simply trying to reproduce for the whole country the success he had in Davao City, and for a good measure of obvious reasons.

Illegal drugs, criminality and corruption are the battle fronts that Duterte and his police and military forces are fighting against in trying to preserve the dignity, the sovereignty and the existence of the country as a whole.

These are the scourges that the country is facing. These are the same plagues that have hindered the nation from growing and developing. These are the crosses borne by Filipinos and made heavier each time by unscrupulous people, including leaders and politicians, who take advantage of their power and influence to satisfy their own selfish interest and forgetting that of the country and its people they have been sworn to serve.

“You know, I have to protect the Filipino people. It’s my duty. And I tell you now, if I have to declare martial law, I will declare it. Not about invasion, insurrection, not about danger. I will declare martial law to preserve my nation, period,” Duterte said.

This is very far from what the dictator Marcos had in his evil mind for the country and Filipino people, thus, to make much ado about Duterte declaring martial law is not only useless but baseless as well. Duterte does not even have an ambitious and rapacious wife to think about, thank goodness!

What I am just trying to say here is that every time Duterte threatens to declare martial law, take it with a grain of salt. Not that you doubt his resolve, but for all intents and purposes it is there already, like an installed screw, and all he does every time he talks about declaring martial law is turn the screw tighter and deeper, which is his way of showing that what he wants is happening – only in a very ingenious way.

 

Robredo should resign from the Liberal Party

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo

There is no doubt that while the Filipino people have collectively and overwhelmingly ensured the victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be the country’s president in the 2016 presidential election, I am also sure that most Filipinos have breathe a sigh of relief that Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo won the vice presidency over the late dictator’s son and namesake, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

By now we already know who Duterte is and how zealous he is in carrying out his promise, which have been supported by the people, to wage war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

On the other hand we have also seen the warming of relationship between PDP-Laban’s Duterte and Liberal Party’s (LP) Robredo which culminated in the latter being named Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson, thus, becoming member of Duterte’s Cabinet.

Despite being clearly identified with the “yellows”, the symbolic color of the LP, Duterte took chances of appointing Robredo as Housing czar and making her participate in Cabinet meetings as a token of acceptance and belief that she has the intelligence, diligence and the integrity to further boost the capabilities of the Duterte administration.

From the very beginning also, and even to this day, Robredo has expressed her continued support for the Duterte administration despite the latter’s colorful language and perceived chauvinist attitude towards women, but there are issues that she simply has to oppose and speak against like the dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the extra-judicial killings that have been happening in Duterte’s relentless war against illegal drugs.

I don’t think there is really anything wrong with Robredo expressing her opinion against these issues as she is only articulating her rights, but what makes her and her statements controversial is that she continues to be highly seen as the leader, if not the mouthpiece, of the yellow movement of the LP.

This is what made Robredo persona-non-grata in the Duterte Cabinet, and for a reason, because now she is even being blamed for being part and parcel of a clique calling themselves Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) that is planning to oust Duterte.

I believe Robredo when she says she is not involved in any plot to oust Duterte, but no matter how much denying she opines the problem lies in the fact that she refuses to accept that she is being used and manipulated, and this definitely speaks bad of her.

If Robredo disavows any participation and has still an iota of faith in Duterte’s governance that he is doing it for the country and people, then she should resign and disassociate herself from the LP in any manner, shape and form that allows her to keep her independence, sincerity, integrity and incorruptibility intact.

Working with Duterte with the same determination and passion, while expressing objectively her displeasure over some unpalatable issues, will be good for Robredo instead of being used brazenly by unscrupulous “friends” as an arrowhead to target Duterte’s indiscretions.

 

Duterte continues to dominate news

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Being an unorthodox or an unconventional president when compared to past leaders, Rodrigo Duterte has been and will always be an extraordinary fodder for news.

And to think that Duterte is just in his seventh month of his four year presidential term!

Whether Duterte’s words or deeds project a good or bad image for the country really depends on who you are or where you find yourself in today.

For one who has made the war on illegal drugs, corruption and criminality as cornerstone of his presidency, Duterte has not only showed his unique style of leadership but has also served notice to the world that under his leadership the sovereign state, that is the Philippines, has to be respected.

This is what makes Duterte stand up head and shoulder over the past presidents – his humanity, his determination and his political will to apply unconventional ways if only to eliminate the scourges responsible for hindering the growth and development of the country, establish lasting peace all throughout the archipelago and once and for all improve the quality of lives of poor Filipinos.

Obviously, some sectors like the members of the Catholic Church and human rights advocates and some political adversaries are making so much noise and blaming Duterte for the killings and this is what is making news abroad, too, but fortunately or unfortunately this is apparently how it goes as Duterte has proven it in making Davao City a peaceful and progressive place.

But what really has the country and the whole world talking about Duterte are his overtures towards China and Russia while in the process of letting go the coattails of the U.S., which the Philippines has always been pictured to be hanging to.

Duterte’s promotion and upholding of his independent foreign policy stand is how he was able to earn the respect of the other leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) and with the Philippine strongman now fully committed to the organization, ASEAN could be a force to reckon with in years to come.

No wonder, therefore, that China’s magazine, the equivalent of America’s Time magazine, has named Duterte as the “Person of the Year”.

What seems to be a certainty in the future, too, is that the Philippines will no longer be conducting joint military exercises with the U.S., but rather with Russia and China, and in such a controversial place like the South China Sea, which no doubt is part of China’s domain now.

Indeed, it is interesting to see how this will be viewed by the incoming U.S. President Donald Trump.

Talking about unceasing news on Duterte’s presidency.

The revival of the death penalty

death-penaltyThe revival of the death penalty whether by the use of the electric chair, hanging, firing squad or lethal injection, under the Duterte administration is now as sure as night follows day.

It is getting to be controversial again since human rights advocates, the Catholic Church, and even politicians who believe that death penalty is not a deterrent to commission of crime, are opposing its restoration.

But the die is cast, knowing how much support President Rodrigo Duterte has in both Houses of Congress.

This time Duterte and his supporters believe, as I do, too, that the re-imposition of the death penalty will become an effective means against carrying out heinous crimes. Drug related offenses could very well fall now under this category.

The reason why we seem to be gasping for breath every time we see photos of overcrowded jails is because the inmates have been committing crimes with impunity thinking that they are still able to live and see their families even if they will be in prison for life or in reclusion perpetua.

I tend to believe in Duterte’s wisdom that the death penalty before did not have much of an impact to the psyche of the perpetrators as it was done sporadically because of political consequences.

Now the country has Duterte who, not only oozes with political will, but does not really give a hoot about human rights, much less having qualms at disrespecting God by killing His own creation.

But what will really help make the revival of death penalty successful and sustainable this time is the fact that it will be imposed as retribution and not simply as a deterrent.

Indeed there is a whole lot of difference between retribution and deterrence.

What is filling up the prison cells are people who have committed heinous crimes thinking and believing that their life will still be spared no matter what and at the expense of someone brutally killed by their bloody hands. To them the end still justifies the means.

But not anymore.

The wicked that plan to commit a heinous crime have to think many times over now whether or not he has to proceed with his evil thoughts because the law of retaliation is back in place and no less than an unflinching president of the republic vehemently asking for its restoration.

The day of reckoning for criminals and would-be criminals has come – an eye for an eye.

And if this will not still work for the benefit of the country under Duterte, who has been overwhelmingly voted president under his cornerstone policies of declaring war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, then we are doomed for it is only Duterte, among past presidents, who has shown passion, determination and the political will to make sure this country moves forward while improving the quality of life for Filipinos even as his rhetoric and out-of-the-box decisions have ruffled the feathers of some of our allies in the Western world, most notably the US, and other international organizations concerned with human rights.