WE, The Times and the Filipino people, saw it. We in this paper probably bored some of our readers to tears but they did not leave us because they knew we were telling the truth: crime and lawlessness had grown so large under the Aquino regime.
We noticed how lawlessness was growing rampant as early as the second and third year of this Aquino government. Then, in 2015, this space and our columnists (specially Ric Saludo) said that under President BS Aquino we had become the most violent country in Asia, next to North Korea, and we warned that he were becoming like the drug and gang lord-controlled governments of Central America.
We did not make up those facts. We were just using figures from the Philippine National Police, the National Statistics Office, and the 2015 ranking made by the “Global Peace Index” of 162 countries. The last mentioned is made by a respected panel of international experts of the Institute for Economics and Peace.
Only we, among the four top national dailies, were reporting facts about the lawlessness and criminality that had engulfed our country. Primetime TV newscasts were ignoring the magnitude of the lawlessness. Although sometimes Ted Failon did talk about it in his morning show.
But by and large the extent of the criminality and lawlessness, the corruption in the Bureau of Customs and other agencies, the hypocrisy and criminal use of the slogan “Daang Matuwid” (Straight, i.e., Righteous, Path) were never given the attention they deserved by the broadcast networks and the press associations, the Makati Business Club, the other business associations and the foreign diplomatic associations in their official statements and analyses of socio-economic conditions. Why?
And the international agencies also, when they made their assessment of Philippine conditions, very correctly pointed to the great rise in Philippine growth—but very wrongly repeated the Aquino regime’s mendacious claim that it was responsible for these great economic advances when the truth is that the regime was simply reaping the fruits of the labors and the good planning of the previous regimes—especially that of the Macapagal Arroyo administration, whose leading Cabinet members were in fact those who—remember the Hyatt 10?—had defected to the Aquino camp.
Trebled criminality and corruption
So we now go back to the issue we want to raise in this editorial. Did they not see lawlessness and criminality treble under Aquino?
Why did the big media, the Makati Business Club, the World bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UN people assigned to our country, not join The Manila Times and the few other risk-taking souls in calling attention to the trebled lawlessnessness, criminality and other forms of corruption in the Aquino regime?
How could the leaders of these institutions and their supposed-to-be morally upright top executives have the stomach to raise toasts to the greatness of President B S Aquino and Secretary Mar Roxas, who as chief of the Department of Interior and Local Governments, was tasked with maintaining law and order as the superiors of the Philippine National Police and the other law enforcement agencies?
Why did none of them join us in calling for a deep probe into why criminality and lawlessness had escalated and what should be done at once?
Big media did not support our calls. But nevertheless the people knew what was going on.
That is the reason a girl rejected the Aquino-Roxas Matuwid na Daan hypocrisy. She voted for President-elect Rody Duterte because, said she, voicing the concern of millions, “I want to be able to walk at night without fear of being assaulted.”