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Ronald Roy — Nov. 19, 2015

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte holds the nation in suspense as time ticks away toward December 10, the last day for him to file his substitute certificate of candidacy for president. His countless admirers, led no less by former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos, remain hopeful he will not let down an entire country helplessly sinking in a quagmire of crime.
If our critically ailing democracy is to be restored to normalcy, the eradication of crime — where public safety, funds and properties in particular are involved — should be the government’s first reform policy; and there are numerous approaches to the solution, classified as long-term, short-term and immediate.

Immediate solution
The longest of the “long-terms”, education, in the moral-regeneration context, should take at least one generation to extinguish the engulfing flames of criminality. But it will still fail unless aided by a reinvigorated legal system that puts would-be capital offenders in fear of the death penalty. Likewise, curative legislation will move at an unimpressive short-term pace, as it will be hampered by the usual cryptic bribers from criminal networks.
Many therefore see Duterte as the “immediate solution”, or an “on-the-spot” remedy, to riding-in-tandem killings, robberies, human trafficking, smuggling, drug pushing, abductions….you name it, he’s the guy who can stop it….and we believe he can because he has been saying “Davao City is the 9th safest city in the world according to a United Nation’s study, and that’s because I have been killing all the criminals there”.
And he has succeeded because Davao is a small place where his extrajudicial recipes are celebrated by the residents, and where evidence has never been produced to indict him for so much as anybody’s disappearance. It is intriguing to note at this point that a Duterte presidency is seen as becoming increasingly viable, as the country continues to reel under the inexorable onslaughts of criminals brazenly challenging public scrutiny of their acts.

The top criminals
However, the outrage of it all is that: the top criminals are the very civilian and uniformed officials, officers and personnel of the Law who are tasked to promote and preserve peace and order. It is therefore the obvious failure of the Law that generates the belief of a substantial segment of the national voting force that a Duterte presidency is the imperative response to the rising tide of criminality.
It’s no surprise to legalists that Duterte has not been prosecuted for the felony of Grave Threats. “I will kill you, Mr. Juan Pedro Aguirre!” is a statement that makes its author liable for Grave Threats, as defined under the Revised Penal Code (as amended). But no crime is committed if the object of the threat is not identified or named, as in “I will kill drug pushers under my presidency.”
We could go on and on delightfully conjuring up felons mysteriously disappearing under the watch of President Duterte, thereby feeling relieved that finally our streets and bank accounts are safe, the homeless given homes, the poor eating better from plentiful harvests, etcetera. But then, a paradise is not just for dreamers; it is for the lionhearted who are willing to die for it, like our men and women who go to the warfronts to defend the colors.

When dreamers wake up
Then one day the dreamers that we are wake up to the shocking reality that a number of high and low-ranking functionaries believed to be responsible for the tanim-bala extortions and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s shocking revelations, have mysteriously disappeared, or have been liquidated by unknown gunmen, and soon the country is turning into a killing field.
But of course Rodrigo Duterte will not allow the foregoing hypothetical scenario to happen. Being a lawyer, he knows that on mere “substantial evidence”, he can be easily impeached and convicted for having committed Breach of Public Trust — that most nebulous ground for ousting from office impeachable officials.
As demonstrated by his predecessor, however, he could evade impeachment raps by controlling both houses of congress, via the pork barrel facility and other “bribing” ways well within the powers of the presidency. But then, he would have merely resuscitated the monster that the de facto yellow dictatorship was, and would have become just another colossal flop that lived in the Palace.
Duterte should therefore not run for president despite his latest announcement that he would, after supposedly being disappointed with the SET ruling favoring presidential bet Grace Poe. For, if he does, he surely will have to deal with the unsavory scuttlebutt that his candidacy was the object of a deplorable business deal. In any event, what he seeks to stop will all the more happen because his candidacy will create a rainfall of sympathy votes for the foundling.

Crystal ball
—- The crime wave will escalate despite the best efforts of the next administration and, consequently, inclusive growth targets will not be hit. Only an enlightened and fed up citizenry, acting on its exclusive sovereign prerogatives, can normalize our blighted lives.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com

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