• PDU30 versus the Constitution


    “I will kill you the moment you get out of the plane.”
    – PDU30 on Peter Lim and on policemen

    THESE are very brave and chilling words of PDU30. These are the statements of the President of the country. I understand this man is a lawyer. May I ask this question to lawyers in this country: Do these words of PDU30 not constitute grave threats as defined in Article 283 of the Revised Penal Code?

    As a refresher, the Revised Penal Code defines grave threats as follows: “Any person who shall threaten another with the infliction upon the person, honor or property of the latter or of his family of any wrong amounting a crime…” In this case, what is the crime that PDU30 threatens to commit? It is murder under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, which defines murder as, “Any person who, not falling under the provisions of Article 246, shall kill another, shall be guilty of murder, shall be punished by reclusion perpetua, to death if committed with any of the following attendant circumstances… With evident premeditation”

    What do our honorable lawyers, prosecutors, judges and justices have to say? Well, it is interesting to know the answers of the officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Secretary of Justice, the Solicitor General, the State Prosecutor, and the men and women of the judiciary. But knowing these institutions of lawyers, I am afraid that the answers are never coming? Are they stupid? Of course not! Are they deaf, dumb and blind? Of course not! Are they afraid? I don’t know.

    I am not providing any answers. I am just asking a question. But, of course, any fool of a lawyer need not verbalize his answer because it is obvious since it is a rhetorical question.

    But, of course, PDU30 was just joking about Peter Lim—after all, he was his compadre in a wedding and he confronted the President face to face, saying that he had nothing to do with illegal drugs, as he is only a businessman from Cebu, and there are about hundreds of Peter Lim in the country. If PDU30 was not joking, why did he not make good his threat? Brave words, indeed! But there is quantum leap between PDU30’s lips and the finger that squeezes the trigger. Since he did not make good his threats, the inevitable conclusion is that PDU30 was only joking.

    The joke is primarily on us but the victim of the joke is eventually PDU30. He should remember that in the long view, popularity hinges on credibility. The moment credibility falls, so do popularity. When popularity falls, leadership goes kaput to the cadences of the famous lines—“Goodbye, I hate to see you go, but have a good time.”

    In the PDU30 logic, where is the Constitution?
    The Constitution enshrines due process of law, the rule of law, human rights, equal protection of the law, among many other constitutional rights. In the light of the continuing statements of PDU30 instructing his police to kill as many illegal drug users and illegal drug pushers, where is the rule of law? Where is due process? Where are human rights? When only the poor get killed and the privileged like the military generals and Peter Lim get special treatment—well-publicized in media—where is equal protection of the law?

    I have been teaching Constitutional Law for some time. I was enforcing our laws and the Constitution in my capacity as opposition provincial governor of Misamis Oriental during Martial Law, as opposition member of Parliament also during Martial Law and commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration during the time of FVR. I am interested to know from the gentlemen of the bar—IBP, Solicitor General, Secretary of Justice—where is the room of the Constitution in the light of the plain and simple orders of PDU30?

    Thus far, these institutions are silent—deaf, dumb, blind and, to borrow the words of the late ebullient Manila Mayor Arsenic Lacson, “nakapako sa silya” (nailed to the chair). What about the running dogs of PDU30—Senate President-designate Koko Pimentel and House Speaker-designate Pantaleon Alvarez—what have they to say? They are lawmakers, aren’t they? Are they also deaf, dumb and blind, just like the three monkeys?

    To paraphrase the immortal words of then Vice President Emmanuel “Maning” Pelaez, of Misamis Oriental, after he was ambushed on his return to his residence in New Manila, “What is happening to this country, General?” He was addressing this question to then-Chief of Police of Quezon City, General Karingal. This time a similar question should be addressed to the Chief of the PNP Bato de la Rosa and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP): “What is happening to our country, Generals?”

    The question should be primarily directed to the CSAFP and the officer corps and the rank and file of the AFP because there is Section 3, Article II of the Constitution that states, “The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.”

    Where is the AFP in the light of the continuing confrontation between PDU30 and the Philippine Constitution? I am only asking a question. I cannot provide the answers because, thus far, like the other institutions involved in the protection and preservation of the Philippine Constitution, I see nothing and I hear nothing from the AFP. Are they afraid that their careers will be affected if they say something even by way of advice to the President? Or are they just plain afraid? As I said, I am only asking questions, not making any conclusions.

    After all, the citizens are entitled to hear answers to these questions, and I am still a citizen of this country until Mindanao becomes independent.

    Those who sow the wind end up reaping the whirlwind
    It was the great Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “Bad means never make for good ends.” Indiscriminate killing is no solution to the illegal drug problem. The solutions are quite simple and you don’t need to be a great thinker to know them.

    First, you contain the source. Close or terminate the foreign sources as soon as they are on their way to our shores. The illegal drugs cannot come in without the cooperation of Filipinos—Coast Guard, Philippine Navy, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, PNP, AFP, national and local officials. These are men and women who facilitate the entry of illegal drugs. Catch them and terminate them and serve notices to the authorities of countries of their origin that we will denounce them internationally and, in the extreme, sever diplomatic relations.

    Second, almost all public officials in strategic places—national and local—know the illegal drug lords in their respective jurisdictions. Catch them, terminate them and give them the process due them. It’s that simple.

    Third, rehabilitate and reform the illegal drug users and illegal drug pushers on islands or in places away from cities or communities. Rehabilitate them by providing doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, guidance counselors, and nurses for purposes of rehabilitation. Provide skills training while in the process of rehabilitation, so when they are released to their respective communities they find gainful work.

    The primary cause of drug addiction and illegal drug pushing is poverty. For the user, the principal reason for the use of illegal drugs is to satisfy their desire to forget their problems in an effort not to commit ordinary crimes or commit suicide or go insane. For the drug pushers, their principal motive is to earn money to get out of the cycle of poverty and enjoy a good life.

    These, the government must do—not through making an oath not to do it again and release them to where they come from. This is a joke. This will not solve the problem. This is only good for publicity but it does not work—it will never work. Ask any knowledgeable doctor and he will confirm my observation.

    So, men and women of PDU30, use your heads, listen to advice and do your work. Stop these publicity stunts—they are only good for a day, and they don’t solve the problems.


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    1. Felizardo Go. Rafols on

      Crime does not pay Mr Lim will pay by kissing the tarmac dead and cold,enough is enough.Sometimes in life it takes a devil to know a Devil.

    2. WELL see, drug dealers aren’t afraid of the constitution, but now they’re terrified of Du30. Great job Mr. President.


      “the president Duterte is thus far worse than what the candidate Duterte initially appeared to be.”

      “He is not only crass, he is crass, intellectually dishonest, and breathtakingly contemptuous of the Filipino and his rights and entitlements under a modern and enlightened system of laws,” he continues. “For confirmation of at least one thing, we need not wait for the unfolding of his entire six-year term: Duterte is thoroughly undeserving of the title manananggol that our elders reserved for their respected and beloved neighbors who were members of the lawyerly profession.

      “I am a lawyer, and I am deeply offended by this President.”

    4. Daniel B. Laurente on

      Every problem, drugs or no drugs has its own end, naturally or imposed. This time both are utilized for containment of the menace these drugs caused and introduced by the greedy lords / pushers to the victims, the users. Now that one person lead the action to contain this menace everyone becomes itchy putting in their pros and cons to be counted on. But before that no one ever mentioned the ill effects of this menace to the society, they are quite in the horizon then suddenly there is a leader out to do the right thing, then plenty of experts on how to solved it comes flying out to become a problem sorter discrediting the leader. It’s another form of crab skirmishes scratching their way out the glass container fighting do it as experts.

    5. why are you not filling a criminal case, do not just say it in this newspaper. file it. or you are just taking but no action also.

    6. Corruption causes poverty, and poverty breeds hotbeds of sex, gambling and drug addiction – the very ills that Philippine President Duterte purports to destroy. If he is to effectively combat deeply entrenched corruption and poverty in the Philippines, Duterte will need constitutional reforms to help clean up the government. This includes direct yearly elections of the heads of the Executive, Legislative, Judicial and Procuratorial Branches in free and open balloting. Please refer to the Charter for Permanent Peace and Development.

    7. I will kill you the moment you get out of the plane.”
      – PDU30 on Peter Lim and on policemen

      THESE are very brave and chilling words of PDU30. These are the statements of the President of the country. I understand this man is a lawyer. May I ask this question to lawyers in this country: Do these words of PDU30 not constitute grave threats as defined in Article 283 of the Revised Penal Code?

      So Pilandok and Bato, What can you say then? And we hope that your answer will not be another joke joke joke, misinterpreted etc.

      Sarap buhay ng mga Heneral nyo at Mayor na akusado din, pero yung mga mahihirap na hinuli pinatay without due process nagdudusa na.

    8. Juan T. Delacruz on

      Uncle Bono, Is there any law that says you cannot threaten criminals? was due process given to the victims of crimes? what about the lives of the victims of crimes? You have asked question about the constitutionality on what PDU30 is doing, to the distinguished lawyers of IBP, but they seemed to be deaf, mute or blind, also referred them as the 3 monkeys – see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing.

      In reality uncle Bono, the lawyers were silently asking themselves, “How can Bono be asking these stupid questions? He should have known better than asking stupid questions. If he keeps in doing this, his life expectancy might be shortened.”

      Lastly uncle Bono, PDU30 could have employed different strategies in solving these complex problems, and still operate within the bound of laws. The complexity of the issue, too many variables involved in the equation, that makes it difficult to solve, and for now, let us give him the benefit of the doubt and wish him well. His approval rating has sky rocketed and that should tell us something on how well he is doing, so far.

    9. alvin maruhom on

      It’s obvious that the writer belong to the 9% out of 91% who trust President Duterte. Go on on your way as we majority want our President to fulfill his promise..that is to finish the drug problems in the Philippines because just like him, we love our country. We want those who destroy the country to be eliminated by either killing them or put them somewhere.

    10. jose n taganahan on

      I agree with your comments, Atty. Adaza. But may I add that not a single lawyer objected to the statement of Pres. Digong Duterte“I will kill you the moment you get out of the plane.” (which clearly violates existing laws). because lawyers both in and out of government are cowards.

    11. yes, i admit i had to laugh when i see on tv last night all the drug users and pushers lined up hand raised taking a oath never to use drugs again, what a joke, who in their right mind would believe this, its like grade 2 primary school.

      • At least not killed. I rather see them taking an oath than six feet under the ground. I don’t know where to side anynore its becoming complcated reading the news about someone calling its illegal to kill someone who is involved in drugs and in other hand if those who were caught taking an oath its a joke. Why can we just gave a constructive opinion than destructive, instigating, intimidating and lecturing about things that you know is right than anyone else. Stop being hypocrite.

    12. As always, an erudite essay by a brilliant ex-future president of the Philippines. I hope, and pray, that the entire bureaucracy listen and adhere to the unsolicited advice given by a knowledgeable old timer. God bless the Philippines.

    13. Manuel Atienza on

      AMEN!!!! You Got It Right!!! In some European Countries, they treat drug addiction as a disease and not a crime. A disease that needs rehabilitation!! Not KILLING!

    14. Sir, Bono your observations were all true. Our country is ruled by many bootlickers who can not stand up and depend the truth.

    15. Jose A. Oliveros on

      “So, men and women of PDU30, use your heads, listen to advice and do your work. Stop these publicity stunts—they are only good for a day, and they don’t solve the problems.”

      And neither does a torrent of words in a newspaper column from somebody who has been preaching about a coming revolution for the last 30 years or so, solve the country’s problems.

    16. Ramon Eamiguel on

      Totally agree. Kill the supply and you slowly kill the demand. Scarcity of supply will push the price of illegal drugs beyond the means of ordinary users. Fewer users is easier to manage and eliminate. Fortify border security, pinpoint and raid drug laboratories, on land or seas; identify chemical and pharmaceutical companies that could be sources of components to produce illegal drugs. Killings of small time users/pushers and even drug lords are only band aid treatment. There will always be willing replacements who will rose from the ranks in as long as there is supply.

    17. I have observed that only few journalist like you have balls to confront Du30 about his policies against drug and criminality. Being just an observer, I wish he succeeds in his promised to eradicate drug and criminality but not at the expense of the lives of the poor. As you have said, the rule of law must be observed and implemented.

    18. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers,New York
      20 July 2016

      President Rodrigo Duterte is supposed to have studied Law at San Beda [as testified to by former Senator and co-Bedan RENE SAGUISAG] and moreover to have passed the BAR.

      Therefore, he should be assumed to know what the Constitution, the Rule of Law and all the other legal niceties which have for their purpose the protection of the individual from abuse by any party, whether by individuals or by instruments of the state.

      Now comes President Duterte who obviously has no use for the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and all those other legal protective niceties. He has boldly authorized policemen to just kill suspected drug lords and drug pushers even drug addicts. And that presidential authority to murder he has also given even to civilians–many of whom may just have a grudge or a score to settle with others, but who may at last have the authority to murder at will!

      President Duterte has the ambitious goal of ordering the killing or assassination of a total of 100,000 corrupt Filipinos whose carcasses will be denied the formality of a burial, but will be dumped in the Manila Bay “to fatten the sharks there!”

      That number does not include corrupt journalists who deserve to be assassinated, their carcasses to hang at the end of a rope tied to a branch of an acacia tree on Taft Avenue and other such places in the country!

      Under a Der Fuhrer Rodrigo Duterte, it should be more than abundantly clear that the Philippines is entering “A time of troubles”–to borrow the felicitous phraseology of Arnold Toynbee.