“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.