THERE is a wise saying, “Be careful of what you promise. People might believe it.”
THE Philippines sworn in on June 30 a new President, Rodrigo Duterte—famous for his somewhat exaggerated style of speaking and for making election promises to eradicate crime and corruption in three to six months after his inauguration.
He could still make a strong impact to reduce crime and start to fulfill his promises with smart lawful executive orders and legislation and by stopping death squad and vigilante killings. He can stop officials paying bonuses to rogue police for killing mere suspects.
That’s a license to violate human rights and kill with impunity. It’s not worthy of a great people, as the Filipinos who have suffered from weak and corrupt leadership in the past.
Those who understand how deep are the roots of crime and corruption in the Philippines will know that the then-well-meaning candidate, now President Rodrigo Duterte, made promises as the bases of his presidency that are almost impossible to fulfill. But the impossible may still be possible.
Many people have taken the promises seriously and they will be expecting results. We have to help the new President succeed in fighting corruption and criminality within the law.
The killing of suspects is not the way. That will bring down international condemnation and shame, and the Philippines will be the pariah of the civilized world. The Secretary General of the United Nations has spoken against Philippine death squads killing journalists already. If the vigilantes have their way, the presidency will be gravely affected and branded as a killer regime and violator of human rights. Filipinos will lose respect wherever they are in the world. That must not happen. We must help the President succeed by implementing the strict rule of law.
Disciplined, no-nonsense, no compromise with evil and corrupt officials is the way. Civil society has to report abuse and corruption without fear and expose it so the President can remedy it. Civil society can help him to meet those goals in a right and lawful way.
The Philippines has excellent penal colonies on remote islands where the convicted prisoners work to support themselves and the colony. That is where the drug dealers, rapists, child abusers and corrupt officials should be sent to fulfill a just sentence. Duterte could have spectacular success in fighting crime by using the legal pen rather than the gun.
Reintroducing the death penalty, if the Congress will pass it, will do nothing to deter crime, especially white-collar crimes and banking crimes, the heinous crimes of the 1 percent who own 70 percent of the country. The strict implementation of just laws is the way.
The corrupt officials in government and business have to be investigated, charged and brought to trial. Corruption drives hundreds of thousands of children onto the streets in horrendous poverty and misery and without social welfare.
Hanging a few drug dealers or child rapists will not deter a child rapist or foreign sex tourist.
When a young girl, a victim of rape by her biological father and had testified in court against him, saw the news about the reintroduction of the death penalty, she said: “Please ask the President not to do it. My family will blame me for killing our father, I can never go home.”
For sure, the hoped-for anti-crime action of Duterte will be a big success if he will order the cancellation of government licenses and permits of sex bars, brothels, karaoke joints and sex hotels.
These are proven fronts for prostitution and sex and drug abuse centers for children and
young girls in debt bondage. Drugs are always there to make the girls submissive and docile for the rough foreign rapists.
That executive order or new law would be world news and a great anti-crime move with huge positive results. The sex tourists will pull up their pants and flee, and family and eco-tourism arrivals will double.
Duterte would score a very visible nationwide, anti-crime success in one stroke of the pen and save thousands of young girls and minors from a hateful life of sex slavery and human trafficking. But to pull the trigger will bring abomination on the nation and make us look worse than the criminals that are killed by death squads.
Now, if the new President really wants to show crime-fighting success, he can immediately strike a blow at the heart of the cyber-crime child abuse online. He only has to get the police and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to implement the 2009 anti-child pornography law and make the internet service providers (ISPs) obey it.
The NTC has apparently sold out to the interests of the ISPs owned by the big telecommunications companies and do not implement the law. The anti-child porn law of 2009 says the ISPs must block child pornography on the internet. The images of children being sexually abused pass through their servers.
This failure by the telecommunications companies to obey the law is a serious crime.
Duterte can strike another success by simply ordering that existing law be obeyed, and changing all the people at the NTC with his non-bribe taking, non-corrupt people. It will immediately remove millions of gigabytes of child porn data from the ISP servers and open up the broadband to faster internet connection for all.
The children who we all must protect and heal will be safer and live in a better, cleaner world.