Being kind to criminals and blind to the real victims

3
ROLLY G. REYES

ROLLY G. REYES

Sen Leila De Lima to President Digong: “May gusto ka ba sa akin?”

– I don’t know what to make of this. Maybe it was meant as a joke, sarcasm, anger, serious or sexual, this comment from a neophyte senator just made me realize that I have better things to do.

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What the critics want to hear:
We all know that he meant well in the war on drugs but it would be worth suggesting these things to say on the following points:


“To the AFP and PNP, I fully support you in doing your job well, but let me point this out – I am warning you that in the pursuit of your mission, if I ever find out that ABUSE of POWER is committed and a SINGLE INNOCENT MAN is killed, I will personally go after you and punish you by putting you in jail.”

“The list submitted to me will be carefully VALIDATED. No action should be taken UNTIL the suspects are positively identified. I will go after those who submit the list based on rumor or vested interests to mute connivance.”

“The rule of law and due process should always be observed and I appeal to everyone to constantly remind the authorities to act accordingly. I AM WITH YOU on this.”

“For transparency, we will constantly furnish you with the cases filed against ABUSIVE members of law enforcement agencies. We will also inform you of their current casualties in performing their missions.”

“Don’t ever try to run circles around me by faking arrests and encounters. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Media should be an ally in correcting this anomaly and I promise speedy action for those who are guilty.”

“This is not just my war. This is OUR war against a monster that destroys our society. We need your help badly to do this rightly and correctly.

– PRRD”

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Facebook is a freedom board all right, but like any right and privilege, it comes with certain responsibilities, too, and should be based on decency and respect. An opposed view should not be viewed as adversarial or unfriendly. We do not need to resort to harshness, name-calling or insults when postings seem to be too opinionated or may differ from their POVs. Conflicting exchanges may occur and may trigger criticisms, but liking or not liking it is enough. Own ideas should be posted on their own walls, instead of constantly searching for faults and postings to vent their ire. Civility is always a mark of a good friend unless you are confirming the lack of it. There are those who cannot resist commenting as if they are always obliged to project that they’re wiser than you. Such is life probably and that we have to live with it. But let us be ennobled by the education we are supposed to have acquired through the years. Self-control may be worth practicing, instead of trying to control the opinion of others. Healing the world starts by healing ourselves first. And that is what I do whenever I learn something new everyday. Not meant to offend anyone but just sharing what I feel. I am as guilty as anyone, but please help me learn more of a better way to be worthy of your friendship the right way.

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I was fortunate to travel with the former President and now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in seeking medical help to alleviate her pain in her neck which has been going on for years. I have been with this magnificent lady for years serving under her watch for nine years and I cannot help but still admire her dignity and composure in dealing with her prolonged illness after unjust detention. Though unjustly pilloried and held hostage to a family’s vindictiveness, partially serving a sentence without conviction, suffering detention in a 100-square meter room for almost five years, with very restrictive visiting hours, was wrongfully denied access to the outside world without a cellphone, computer and media interviews, the agony of being denied access for better treatment, obliged to foot the bills of her security entourage whenever granted occasional furloughs for being with her family during holidays and interments of immediate relatives, bearing the shame of stories published about her, with each tagged in the end with “she is now presently detained at VMMC being accused of plunder in the PCSO case.” She has been ridiculed by the yellow army as if to push her to take her own life and end it all, and with her family and friends receiving all kinds of imagined suits, including her chief justice being unseated. Yet she chose to face the courts to defend herself, and now freed, decided to adhere to proper procedures and due process for her persecutors who are now currently being investigated. Elegance of character is a strength that is rare to find these days.

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The UN rapporteur for human rights and other similar international representatives should not take a jaundiced look at our war on drugs. One foreign correspondent parachuted into the country a month ago and selectively featured the family of the “victims” of the government’s anti-drug campaign, although there were admissions that those victims were drug users. He did not even bother to get the side of the family of the grandfather who was hammered to death by his grandson, a girl gang-raped and murdered in a subdivision, and the tales of the families of the policemen shot dead during encounters. Clearly, there was an objective in his mission. He was blind to the bigger numbers affected by the drug menace. He could have interviewed both sides, including that of the law enforcement, but this was not done and he insinuated in the end that “foul play” is always the cause of the deaths, “dramatized” those reports with tears of grief and anguish. Such rush and incomplete data definitely neglected the human rights of the real victims of this menace in our society. Surely this is not fairness in the world of journalism.

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The administration of PRRD is correct in advancing an independent foreign policy. We can be a superpower’s ally, but we must not be treated as its lapdog or puppet. We have been projected for years as democracy’s poster boy in this part of the world, but we sure failed to be seen as such in their radar screen, lagging behind in receiving the grace that is accorded our previous common enemy, Japan. Right after WWII, the Americans spent an enormous amount of money to rehabilitate the conquered Empire of the Rising Sun, while they left us with chocolates and Spam to tidy up our nation’s contribution to their victory in the war, not to mention the fact that it took them decades to officially recognize our war veterans and made our land their dumping ground for surpluses of outdated war materiel. And we were expected to respond with grateful cheer and standing ovation.

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

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Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.

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3 Comments

  1. UN Human Rights is now a political tool, it criticised third world/developing country only and closed it’s eyes on developed country. They (UN) protects only the criminals not the law abiding citizens.

  2. “Dumping ground for surpluses of outdated war materiel”

    Exactly.

    When critics say we lose out on US military aid due to the “anti-American” stance of PRRD, ‘tira-tira ng guerra” comes to mind. Overpriced pa !

  3. this is the other side of what is happening in the philippines fight against the drug war we can just hope the good things will prevail for the sake of the general public. .maybe most of those small drug pusher were force of such job inorder his family can survive in this challenging time…