• The biggest threat we face and the president we need

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    First of two parts
    (Today and Thursday, this two-part article, expounds once more on the biggest threat facing the nation — lawlessness — and how well various candidates are positioned and qualified to address it.)

    So who’s the president we should elect? In choosing among Jejomar Binay, Rodrigo Duterte, Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, and Miriam Defensor-Santiago, first figure out what struggles we face. And the biggest threat today is lawlessness.

    Lawlessness on the streets, at the ports, and in the corridors of power.

    Huh? That’s what readers may blurt if their usual news fare comes from pro-administration journalists in leading newspapers and broadcasters who have kept hidden some very alarming truths.

    An explosion of lawlessness
    And the hidden truth is that breaking laws and rules has exploded under President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the very opposite of his Tuwid na Daan slogan falsely claiming to advance good governance and the rule of law.

    Crime and smuggling have trebled. Crime incidents skyrocketed from 324,083 incidents in 2010 to more than 1 million a year in 2013 and 2014, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (see https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/2015%20PIF.pdf and https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/2012%20PIF.pdf, noting that 2011-12 figures are grossly understated, with several police chiefs relieved or probed for false data).

    That’s not the work of random criminals, who don’t just triple in a few years, but organized crime, which is now even assassinating judges.

    And based on International Monetary Fund trade data, smuggling leapt from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $26.6 billion in 2014. Some P4 trillion in total undeclared or undeclared cargo slipped in under Aquino, losing P760 billion in uncollected value-added tax alone (http://www.manilatimes.net/smuggling-utterly-out-of-control-under-aquino-regime-p4-trillion-in-last-five-years/212920/).

    Not to mention allowing in guns, drugs and other dangerous cargo, including contraband in more than 2,000 containers lost in 2011, with no investigation by Aquino or his chosen Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

    Corruption from the top
    Add to unprecedented crime and contraband the corruption in key agencies and Congress, which Aquino has abetted with “selective prosecution” of graft, as Catholic bishops called it, and the use of pork barrel to grease legislation and impeachment.

    The Priority Development Assistance Fund nearly tripled to more than P20 billion a year in Aquino’s budgets, while the P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program is the biggest malversation in Philippine history.

    Plus billions of pesos in anomalies involving Metro Rail Transit contracts, license plates, military helicopters, police rifles, among other agency transactions. Most notorious is the Department of Transportation and Communication under Liberal Party stalwarts Mar Roxas, the LP standard-bearer, and leader Jose Emilio Abaya. Even respected analyst and Aquino backer Peter Wallace decries: “This government does not honor contracts.”

    Aquino has constantly defended his coterie of classmates, allies and shooting buddies, even bailing out two LP stalwarts on trial at the Sandiganbayan. That has encouraged more crony excesses like the “laglag-bala” airport scam. And remember the Mamasapano mission in which 44 police commandos died, illegally run by suspended PNP Chief Alan Purisima with Aquino’s nod.

    The narco-state threat
    What’s worse, the lawbreaking continues, to raise election funds and make hay one last time before Aquino goes on June 30.

    After he boasted in his last State of the Nation Address that Metro Manila crime was down, the Philippine National Police Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, which handles crime data, reported that in January-June last year, there were 885,445 incidents tallied, up 46 percent over the first semester of 2014.

    Index crimes surged 37 percent to 352,321. Murders jumped 45 percent to 7,245, while physical injury rose by half to 182,886 incidents. Thefts hit 105,229, up by nearly 20,000 from a year ago. And watch your car — carnapping nearly doubled to 10,039. The directorate head later claimed that many incidents were not verified, as if both police and people would actually report hundreds of thousands of crimes that never happened.

    As for smuggling, the scheme of uninspected and untaxed cargo containers getting lost between ports is back many times over. As one veteran customs broker tells it, hundreds of containers are spirited out of Subic port every week, including dozens from his former client who switched to a brokerage with no scruples and no duties charged.

    And if you think pork barrel is history after the Supreme Court declared PDAF unconstitutional over a year ago, in fact, it’s bigger than ever, as fellow columnist Rigoberto Tiglao detailed yesterday (http://www.manilatimes.net/largest-pork-barrel-ever-p24-7-billion-in-election-year/237599/). No wonder congressmen have been warned of curtailed fund releases if they don’t approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

    Plainly, if this explosion in crime, contraband and corruption continues, the Philippines will follow the not-so-straight path taken by Latin American narco-states, where crime lords wield immense political power. That’s the threat the next president must fight.

    Who can lead this battle?
    So which presidential candidate is best suited to battle criminal syndicates, smuggling kingpins, and corrupt leaders helping one another?

    First, he must not be part of the administration that unleashed this triple scourge. It began when Aquino not only trebled PDAF, but also kept proven jueteng fighter Jesse Robredo and customs reformer Guillermo Parayno off the police and the ports back in 2010 (see http://www.manilatimes.net/is-aquino-corrupt/217735/). That corrupted Congress, cops and customs even more, letting crime and contraband flourish.

    Second, the next president should be battle-tested, for what’s ahead is nothing less than a war on crooks in concert across the archipelago. Third, the future leader must be able to mobilize the nation, for upright officialdom and citizenry must fight this war together and with God’s grace. It will be bloody.

    (The last part on Thursday will discuss who is best equipped to fight this lawless surge.)

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    17 Comments

    1. You sound like Philippines’s crime is out of hand. You won’t believe it that crime is worse in other countries whether the president is brawl, with brains or simply too good to be a president. Philippines is too over populated to fit in such a small country and it increases faster than a Gov’t can increase schools, roads, infrastructure, housing, food etc. Any president who will govern the Philippines will take a lot courage to fix in what was destroyed during the Marcos era. What Philippines need is a President who is intelligent, enough to hire the best and fierce people around him to battle crime and corruption. This is something the Filipino can be proud of whether he/she is in the Philippines or outside Philippines.

    2. Sad to say that this accumulated meltdown on all sectors and aspect of governance had been kept hidden until this election had exposed them to the eyes of the Filipino nation. And there is nobody to blame except us who had tolerated this “kasi ayaw ko ng gulo” attitude. Let this be a lesson for us to be more pro-active and vigilant in keeping our government toe the line.

    3. If “crime and lawlessness” is the only criterion for a President, then vote for Duterte. No one else comes close.

    4. Rizalito David on

      Any serious student of politics would know that in cases of serious threats to our peaceful and democratic way of life is present, the business community will always secure the guidance of our Church leaders. This is likewise true for the military establishment, which by now, Duterte already knows its true sentiments. The Church, more particularly the Catholic Christian Church will always take the lead in arresting any tendency towards chaos and disorder. As a matter of fact, 75% of our people will always turn to the Church for its leadership in times of danger. Duterte is one such danger, a clear and present one. He thought that he can destroy the trilateral alliance and impose his own will on this nation. Well he is terribly mistaken. His ignorance did him in. Duterte’s honeymoon with those who he can fool is now over. GOODBYE DIGONG! AS I HAVE SAID IN MY PREVIOUS POSTS, CHERISH THE ADORATION WHILE IT LASTS. ITS TIME TO GO HOME MR. DUTERTE.

    5. I truly hope the there is a Silent Majority voting for Binay . He has the experience
      and can Act on Day 1 on this coming election. There will be most likely a very Positive transition on all Government levels.
      We should not Risk an emotional vote for this Country . Too much at Stake.

      But if DUTERTE wins , he would Obviously be better than Roxas and Poe.
      A Change that most people want to feel.

    6. Federico Lojo on

      I believe that VP Binay is the one most qualified to handle and reverse the ever deteriorating face of democracy in our beloved Philippines. A bacttle tested one. He rose from poverty and challenges and one most likely to understand the travails of the common man unlike those who grew up in wealth and comfort. It maybe an overassessment, though I am prepared to cast my lot on him.

      • Angel DeDeo on

        You don’t understand what’s happening in Makati where this Binay stole millions if not billions of government money. You are blind to realities.

    7. Indeed, as Mr Saludo wrote, the republic is exploding with lawlessness, corruption and criminality due to the fecklessness, incompetence and corruption of the Abnoy himself. The totality of the people’s hopelessness has necessitated the appearance of a Duterte. The name does not matter nor where he comes from. What matters is whether he is up to the challenge of wiping out present bedeviling conditions pulping the Filipinos to the ground.

      Who could have foretold that this Abnoy can singlehandedly drive the Filipinos to the abyss and the country to the ground. The country does not need a Roxas, still trumpeting the farcical “tuwid na daan”. Neither does it need a Binay who will just scoop out every single centavo in the coffers of the nation just as he did in Makati and perpetuate his dynasrty. Poe , the pathological and incorrigible liar , is not even legally and constitutionally qualified. That leaves us with Santiago with the brains and Duterte with the brawns. For the moment though, we can settle with the brawns only, if the .understudy is a Marcos, who from childhood has been fortunate to have a ringside view and study of the presidency. Only this combination can herald the dawning of a new progressive era in the Philippines.

    8. Viril Cordero on

      The election day is the final chance we can take
      the step to rid our government of incompetent,
      corrupt, insensitive, uncaring, and other negative
      traits we hate to see from a government officials.
      Also, we need to prevent candidates from assuming
      vital government positions who promise everything
      but have no real intention or plan to do so.

      The step to take to get our wish:
      1. Do not vote for them,
      2. Relay the message:
      ALIS DYAN.

    9. Lawlessness is a big problem in this country, yes. But Duterte is the number one lawbreaker, and he still continues to espouse lawlessness (like killing 100,000 people without due process, shutting down congress to prevent an impeachment over his hidden billions, letting terrorists and criminals (CPP-NPA, MILF, MNLF) go un-punished and, instead, giving them juicy positions in his so-called revolutionary government, handing over the Philippines to Communist China, and many other things that his spur-of-the-moment convoluted brain will dictate. There will be more lawlessness when this guy becomes president. You see, you cannot solve lawlessness if you leave the problem-solving to a remorseless, arrogant law-breaker. So snap out out of your Duterte solution, its a surefire ingredient for civil war in this country.

      • Sonia Braga on

        Did you have your breakfast today ? What you are saying does not MAKE ANY SENSE whatsoever. Your post is absolute garbage. You sound like a series of Hallmark cards written by a bungling idiot on forbidden drugs.

      • but that is exactly where we are headed fto if something/someone doesn’t forestall such a catastrophe. more of the same banana will surely hasten that descent. then surely after pnoy we need to try something out of the ordinary. give our mindanaoan brother a chance to fix this mess.

      • Is that how you understand the situation about this country and duterte? Duterte bend, not broken, the law to get the criminals. He should have been charged in court; and the people of davao would not let him continue as their mayor if his quasi-legal practical solution to the crime menace of his city is not effective and obnoxious. This is the kind of leader we should have. An educated thug who is a bane to the bad guys but a boon to the law abiding citizens. He could see the reality of how to solve a problem. What we a need is a man straddling the line of good and bad. He knows how to be good and bad.

      • Jose Samilin on

        Paolo, you seem to have unfairly underestimated Duterte’s talents and capability by taking literally many of his expressions or his gutter language when if fact a hyperbole or figurative in genre that unites the masses and understood by them. Due to your low understanding and misplaced perception, you seem to be like a headless chicken roaming in the market place, unable to look beyond the implicit meaning of the events. To me, all human rights allegations without strong evidence can just be disregarded, like alleged murders and extra-judicial killings should been investigated early on at the time of events and corresponding criminal and civil suits had been filed in court, but none. His words to kill all criminals, he might mean how to kill a person in a legal way in a due process of law, i,e, under the proposed capital punishment law. As to his hidden wealth and bank accounts, supporters of Duterte are not bothered since the accusers (Sen Trillanes and others) has not proven their allegations and besides, there is no occasions of corrupt practices where those alleged amounts can be attributed. It could be done not within the two weeks of election date, hence, now, can be viewed strongly as a demolition job or block propaganda.

        Though, you did not mention, but many who dislike Duterte’s many putangina, or cuss and profanity jokes attributed them on Duterte’s anti-social and psycho-Narcissistic Personality Disoder as revealed at the interview of a presidential aspirant VP Binay as shown in court record 15 years ago during his annulment with his wife Elizabeth Zimmerman. Needless to say (since you can justify through your persevering research on NPD) that by authoritative pronouncement, NPD is an advantage for Duterte since in the past known prominent leaders like Einstien, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other prominent scientist and US President Roosevelt, and great thinkers, Mahatma Ghandi, Napoleon Bonaparte, etc with Narcissistic personality, a psychological disorder are have great visionary, creates multitude of followers or creates greater scores to the followers, very productive, greater chance to change the very rules of the game (politics and business), operational manager and above all have the audacity to push through the massive transformation periodically undertaken. They also emerge to inspire people and to shape the future of the company or nation. This is according to the research on leadership and narcissistic personality disorder done by Harvard University School of Business. Now our country needs a radical change from poverty, corruption, criminality and illegal drugs, also, we have urgent need to be freed from the oligarch who ruled us abusively in many years and gain real independence from neo-colonialism of foreign invaders. Other candidates like Binay (corrupt), Roxas (incompetent) Poe (inexperience and liar) do not have psycho-personality like Duterte.