I RECEIVED unflattering feedback (always seems to happen whenever I write something that disagrees with, or is critical of, what government officials say or do) in the comments section of my column last week, which took an excerpt of President Rodrigo Duterte’s address about war on drugs on Monday evening, Aug. 17, 2020. In that,
I RECEIVED unflattering feedback (always seems to happen whenever I write something that disagrees with, or is critical of, what government officials say or do) in the comments section of my column last week, which took an excerpt of President Rodrigo Duterte’s address about war on drugs on Monday evening, Aug. 17, 2020. In that column I pointed out that there is, in his own context, an explanation of why he said “hanggang ngayon bumabaha pa rin ang droga.”
Somebody said: “Mr. ingming aberia. Yes, Four years of failure for the yellowtards like you who cannot change public opinion whatever you say, write or advertise… Your (sic) also making yourself a fool for less than 4.5 minutes.”
This one has more or less the same opinion: “Aberia you exposed your total lack of intelligence in one article.” And one that completely dumped me: “‘di ka nakatutulong… ungas.”
And here was one, to whom I am grateful, who tried to help me test my logic: “Only the minority of the population believed what you believed. If it’s a failure, how come the majority of Filipinos still support this president? The support was shown during the midterm election wherein his critics failed to win even though he was attacked by mainstream media, the church, leftist and liberal yellowtards. Losing few battles does not mean a failure, you have to [have]fought many battles in a great war.”
To refresh the context of that piece, I quoted that part of the President’s speech on the war on drugs (which ran for 4.5 minutes) almost verbatim. I will try to summarize the core elements of that quoted speech here, with my own comments:
1. On human rights advocates, the Chief Executive hardly bothers to display the kind of keen appreciation for the division of labor among government agencies that is expected of him. The job description of law enforcers and human rights duty bearers is not one and the same, yet he talks as if there are no distinctions. He said:
“Kayong mga Pilipino, every day, EVERY DAY, you see drug cases either busted, arrested, killed, at running into millions ang amount. Makita ninyo sa inyong telebisyon.
“Napakatorpe naman nitong human rights, e. ‘Pag hindi kayo ano… ang ano ninyo, magbilang lang ng patay? E p****g i*a n’yo. Maglipat kayo ng trabaho. ‘Wag sa human rights… Funeraria.
“Kung ‘yan naman ang trabaho ninyo, what about the social problem? A serious and grave problems of drug addiction in this country. What are you doing about it?
“At least meron kayong, you know, you have advocacy. It does not begin and end in the life of the criminal. Naloko ba kayo? It should be something like you’d also do it… all around the Philippines, warning the citizens, about being killed, about being slaughtered, if they do drugs. ‘Yan ang tama magawa ninyo.
“Then, if they are killed, despite or in spite of your educating them, then, you can always investigate and file cases.”
2. On what seems to be an admission of failure of intelligence, despite billions of funds at his disposal. Why does it appear to be easier to track down thousands of street peddlers than to hunt down a few of the big dawgs? Transparent reporting on the recent news about 2.1 tons of assorted pieces of drug evidence, worth P13 billion, having been destroyed by authorities through thermal decomposition, should continue to inform the public, not only because the reported value is too big to be ignored, but also because cases of fraud in government have become commonplace as if they are the new “normie.” Here is what the President said:
“Pero itong mga durugista, and most of them are really not from the Philippines, I cannot say, hindi ko ma pinpoint, sometimes it comes from China, Malaysia, sometimes dito ginawa, minsan… ayan … basta ang akin a shabu is a shabu is a shabu. I do not… hindi ako nag ano kung saan galing.”
3. On why it disappoints to blame somebody that neither has mandate nor equipped with corresponding resources to perform a task:
“… Come to think of it … if it is really effective … if prayers do … if the shouting inside the church pulpit… kung nakakatulong bakit po hanggang ngayon nagbabaha ng droga.”
4. On why drug-related killings are justified (outside of a legal framework). Prior to this Duterte-speak candor, he lamented that unlike Malaysia, China or Indonesia, the Philippines does not have a law imposing the death penalty for illegal drugs offenders.
“Sinabi ko, if you destroy my country, I will kill you. I never said if you destroy my country, I will order the military or the police to kill you. You must be…’yan…. don’t impose a lie… Sabi ko, I will kill you, if you destroy my country. And I will really kill you. Malas mo lang kung ma-timingan.
“Kung ganyan ako… sabihin ko sa mga pulis, umalis kayo dyan, hayaan mo ako dito sa p***** i***g ‘to. I will…I will… I will do it. Have I done it? How many times? A secret… Bakit ko sabihin ko sa inyo yan.”
I wish to thank all those who take time to read and comment on my articles. I cannot please everyone. But I always try to pin my opinion on the side of universal truth, supported by facts, and guided by my best lights.