• The President we need for the battle we face

    9

    Last of Two Parts
    (This concludes the two-part article that expounds on the biggest threat facing the nation — lawlessness — and how well the various candidates are positioned and qualified to address it.)

    What kind of leader does the nation need for the bloody battle against lawlessness that the first part of this article, published on Tuesday, warned about? And which presidential candidate best fits the bill?

    In contrast to the false image of good governance foisted on the nation by pro-administration media, President Benigno Aquino 3rd has in truth unleashed unprecendented crime, contraband and congressional sleaze on our nation.

    Crime incidence, the undeclared or underdeclared value of imports, and pork barrel outlays have all tripled since 2010 (see http://www.manilatimes.net/the-battle-we-face-and-the-president-we-need/237779/).

    Hence, the nation and our next leader face a monumental struggle against syndicates, smugglers and scammers — including many leading politicians — bent on expanding their clout for another six years.

    If this cabal of lawlessness continues its nefarious advance, which has already spawned a million crimes a year in the past three, and P4 trillion in smuggling in 2010-14, as detailed in Part 1, the Philippines could well go down the devilish path of Latin American narco-states, where criminal syndicates wield immense political power.

    This is the paramount challenge facing the nation and the next President. The tsunami of crime, contraband and corruption threatens not just peace, prosperity and progress, but democracy itself. If lawless elements further expand their power through their political allies, as they have increasingly done under Aquino, then they undermine the sovereignty and welfare of the Filipino people.

    The next Chief Executive must enforce the law
    Hence, the next leader’s top task is to put out the conflagration in lawlessness, and rein in lawbreakers on the streets, at the ports, and in the corridors of power. Criminals and contrabandits must face justice, and corrupt officialdom held accountable and not allowed to inflict graft on the citizenry, as has been done at the Metro Rail Transit, the Manila international airport, and the Land Transportation Office.

    In that struggle to enforce laws, rules and standards, the next Chief Executive must possess three indispensable qualities.

    First, he cannot be part of the administration that unleashed the lawless scourge on the nation. For all this writer’s personal regard for Mar Roxas, a colleague in the Arroyo Cabinet, he is standard-bearer of the Liberal Party and his campaign is directly benefiting from the election war chest amassed by the LP since 2010.

    Moreover, Roxas was in charge of two Cabinet departments — Transportation and Communication, and Interior and Local Government — under whose watch the unprecedented crime wave and the egregious MRT and LTO anomalies burdening many millions of Filipinos, happened.

    Even if Roxas admits and pledges to address Aquino-era excesses, his victory, if it happens, would only show that the powers-that-be can gorge themselves on jueteng, smuggling, and public spending lucre, and still stay in charge and continue shielding themselves from accountability. That would spur even more lawbreaking.

    The new leader must be battle-tested
    Second, the next leaders should be battle-tested, for the war on lawlessness will be tough, nasty and bloody. Jueteng, drug and crime lords, smuggling kingpins, and corrupt politicians will fight with no moral or legal strictures whatsoever.

    For all his Wharton education and his years in business, politics and government, Roxas has not fought against powerful forces ready to decimate their opponents. Neither has Grace Poe, who may be wholesome, upright and learned (she studied at the Jesuit-run Boston College), but has never faced ruthless, lawless foes.

    But Miriam Defensor Santiago, Rodrigo Duterte and Jejomar Binay all have. The lady senator gained fame in the 1990s as a judge sending hoods to prison, despite death threats. She doesn’t flinch at firing guns and once graced the cover of Asiaweek, the regional newsmagazine, pointing a pistol at the camera.

    Davao’s mayor, of course, is no stranger to bloody battles with criminals. Indeed, many fear he may be too eager to use violent force in enforcing the law.

    As for the Vice-President and former Makati mayor, his life-threatening tussles with the ruthless and powerful happened during the Marcos dictatorship. As a human rights lawyer, Binay stood up to the martial law government and military, braving the ever-present threat of being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested, tortured — or worse.

    In the battle against lawlessness, we need a battle-hardened fighter like Rodrigo Duterte, Jejomar Binay, and Miriam Defensor Santiago (not necessarily in that order).

    Which tough guy can you live with?
    In choosing the VP, mayor and senators, one key consideration is the negatives each one brings. Which of these worrisome factors can the electorate live with most easily? — that question may well point to the best leader for the country now.

    Santiago’s main drawback is her health. Having ended successful cancer treatment less than two years ago, she still faces the threat of malignancy within the six-year presidential term. That possibility of life-threatening disease could generate instability.

    For a good number of voters, the corruption ascribed to Binay and the liquidations attributed to Duterte are enough for them to look elsewhere. Still, unlike issues with other candidates, Binay and Duterte’s negatives can be addressed somewhat with public and media vigilance and legal action.

    Indeed, both the people and the press would be far more watchful of the two men — the opposite of the unwarranted trust toward Aquino — and that wariness is in fact the best way to guard against corruption and human rights abuses.

    In the end, of course, the nation will elect a President with all of his or her pluses and minuses. Then we must unite behind the winner and battle Aquino’s legacy of lawlessness. So help us God.

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    9 Comments

    1. Ako po ay saludo sa inyong walang kinikilingan komento, Ginoong Saludo, at sa halip ay ipinakita ang kalakasan at kahinaan ng bawat kandidato. Ako po ay sumasang-ayon na walang perpekto sa kanila, at walang magiging perpekto sa larangan ng pulitika. Sa bandang huli, tayong mga mamamayan ang gagawa ng desisyon na babago sa ating bansa, mabuti man o masama. May mga isyung kailangan ng hinahon para masolusyuna, subalit mayroon din namang mga problemang kailangang gamitan ng kamay na bakal upang makakita tayo ng mahusay at agarang resulta.

      Sa mga “criteria” na inyong ibinigay upang maging gabay, naniniwala ako na “CHANGE IS COMING”.

    2. I think this as non biased and as objective one can make an assessment of the whole political picture.

    3. too much focus has been given to duterte, but this guy from the south is a socialist and a keen student and follower of joma sison. his previous management of davao city (which many attributes to success) is an implementation of a socialist indifference to those who are tagged as criminals and therefore collateral damage to society- similar to how the ccp pursues its interests bordering to criminal behavior wherein they easily liquidate without due process those they tag as sinister to society or their own cause.

      duterte is a dangerous man and a threat to the rule of law and fairness. roxas and poe have flavors of being puppets by the money managers and powerful families in this country. binay is the face of the unrepentant, the corrupt and the greedy. only miriam stands for what is true and have the courage. SHE IS I BELIEVE WHAT THE COUNTRY NEEDS, BUT NOT WHAT THE COUNTRY WANTS due to their lack of morality, barangay mindset and deception from misinformation on all fronts.

    4. We’ve been fed a steady diet of lies by a sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocritical government. It’s like we’ve been used to using “fake” items. When we see the “real thing” and find out it’s a bit rough on the edges we clamour for it. Who wants to subsist on fakes anyway? I don’t want another 6 years of “claim and blame”. This government has always blamed its opponents particularly GMA for so many things but would claim the glory of the achievements of past presidents. They have the gall to claim that “they ushered in the growth of the BPO” and even the “4P’s”, among others. Kapal! Tama na, sobra na, palitan na!

    5. Duterte has the best chance to stop lawlessness in this country where it has become an option to follow the law or just plainly ignore it. Criminals and syndicates and the political scumbags that you mentioned are having a feast daily while the decent and struggling ordinary people are getting insecure by the day and afraid even in their own homes.Impose law and order and go after the corrupt and syndicates really hard is what Digong will do.The rest of the narrative of progress and peace will follow.

    6. ernie del rosario on

      I fully agree to your “thesis” Ric. If I may add, we should also watch out the possible expansion of the Smartmatic Inc. criminals into other nefarious activities in the country beyond their so-far very lucrative business of marketing fraudulence-filled election automation systems.

      More power to you and God bless !

    7. Rio Legaspi on

      I know now who you want to be president, but for the sake of argument not a leader who is unreasonable. Maybe it’s better to read some of your colleagues reasonable article for your own reference.The bottoline in all the mischief in our political system is the abandonment of reason! People are injected with faith and the doctrine of altruism resulting to collectivism which is the prima facie flatform of the Witchcraft and the Brutes! This two entity weakened and threatened peoples reasoning power thereby not trusting their own mind! It is the educational system that is weak in innovation to improve reasoning thru epistemology not by faith. Think about it in general view.

    8. Rio Legaspi on

      I know know who you want to be president, but for the sake of argument not a leader who is unreasonable. Maybe it’s better to read some of your colleagues reasonable article for your own reference.The bottoming in all the mischief in our system is the abandonment of reason! People are injected with faith and the doctrine of altruism resulting to collectivism which is the prima face flatform of the Witchcraft and the Brutes! This two entity weakens peoples reasoning power thereby not trusting their own mind! It is the educational system that is weak in innovation to improve reasoning thru epistemology not by faith. Think about it in general view.

    9. seb garcia on

      All the candidates ,must unite and support Duterte if only to make sure PEENOY and MARRED ROXAS to nor perpetuate their crime against the people,,,,,,,,economic sabotage and impoverishment of the majority to enrich the oligarchs and friends.,,,,,,that is the only way to stop all these age old shenanigans and RAPE of the country !

      Solve your problems alater, at least the others willshow that they can unite to stop this cancer of Peenoy and Mar, The 6 + % brwoth is a cancer and not a healthy growth,,,,,,,
      it is like a cancer growing so fast that it starves the body of healthy growth,,,,,,,,it kills the other parts onlt to feed the cancer,