Real criminals are left unpunished, while poor defenseless Filipinos are bullied.
This was how an urban poor group on Saturday reacted to the ‘walk of shame’ forced upon seven people suspected of peddling illegal drugs in Tanauan, Batangas.
The group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) said the punishment was unjust especially since the seven suspects have not even been proven guilty of the charges against them.
They called the walk of shame as “bad PR stunt.”
Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili, who said he has shamed criminal offenders several times, claims embarrassment has yielded positive results despite there being no legal basis for the punishment.
“This type of punishment does nothing to address the sources of criminality, some of which being a combination of extreme poverty which forced them into these lives, and criminal syndicates or networks that target poor Filipinos who have nothing to lose,”
Gloria “Ka Bea” Arellano, Kadamay chairperson said in a statement.
“If Mayor Halili wants to fight crime then he should go after big outlaws orchestrating wrongdoing instead of picking on defenseless Filipinos,” she added.
Halili previously said that he is only emulating the views and principles of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte by being tough on crime. However, human rights advocates have criticized him, maintaining that immediate and arbitrary action should instead give way to due process and the safeguarding of human rights.
“Dapat ang mga malalaking kriminal at mga nakagawa ng di-makataong kasalanan ang dapat na ikulong. Halimbawa nito ang mga nagnakaw ng bilyun-bilyon mula sa mamamayan, maging ang mga nagpakawala na pagpatay at labis na pananakit sa mga kapwa Pilipino. Sila ang nagpapatakbo ng mga bagay bagay na hanggang ngayon ay nariyan pa rin [Big-time criminals and heinous offenders should be jailed. Like those who pocketed billions of public funds and those who continue to oppress their fellow Filipinos.],” Arellano said.
Kadamay said that there are many criminals in the national government and even in local municipalities around the country.
“Mayor Halili should focus on being more helpful in curbing crime in and out of Tanauan instead of victimizing and bullying poor Filipinos who have already been neglected by society,” she added.
Kadamay maintained their challenge and anticipation that the incoming Duterte administration will make good on its promise to jail and punish the criminals of the Aquino regime. They said this will show that he is not afraid and that corrupt and oppressive public leaders should have no place in the country.