THE moribund opposition may have lost their mass base and the middle class support but they have not actually run short of money. From day one, in the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, they have not given the new administration the so-called honeymoon period. Their propaganda machinery has not stopped grinding and this includes the foreign-based apparatus which does not seem to run out of cash. The likes of billionaire Loida Nicolas Lewis, who supported the Liberal Party bets in the last election, cannot accept defeat she mounted a hysterical post-election campaign to oust Duterte in an apparent agenda to install VP Leni Robredo. And goodness gracious she cannot hide her wish to be on top of the totem pole of power.
Closer to home, leaders of opposition appeared to have forged an unholy alliance with the religious activists and some elements of the CPP/NPA. This became apparent in the September 21st rally purportedly to condemn Marcos and his martial law regime. But the event which is almost half a century ago was merely an excuse to actually denigrate President Duterte and his administration. With the paltry attendance, this should have stopped the cabal from their vicious propaganda, but no, the spigots of financial support obviously have more from where these came from.
For lack of deleterious issues the cabal was practically nitpicking for something to beat and they found that in the death of minors in the police campaign against drugs. President Duterte had actually addressed these issues but they simply stonewalled the government action.
In the pulpit last Sunday, a priest intoned that victims of extra-judicial killings have reached 30,000. The exaggeration of Father Damaso is simply inconceivable. In fact, he sidetracked from the gospel and the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, just to indulge in a hyperbole which made perjured witness Matobato and Lascanas small issues.
The war on drugs and criminality is not kid’s stuff that you may indulge in cajolery. Talking of kid’s involvement in various crimes could be attributed to the Senator Kiko Pangilinan law that exempts children from detention and conviction.
Kiko lived in gated subdivisions thus he is ignorant of what is happening outside of his safe confines. He sponsored that law that looked like it was patterned after a New York ordinance, but for lack of knowledge of how correctional institutions for child offenders operate, he did not bother putting a single centavo to support the program. Now he is throwing the blame and responsibility to the Duterte administration.
Already thousands of children are out on the streets. If they are not committing crime by themselves knowing that the Pangilinan law will set them free in case of apprehension, they are being used by hardcore criminals to engage in criminal activities.
Funny how the clique of political opposition, CPP/NPA and the Catholic clergy conjure still another slogan: “stop killing the children”. This is a shabby and desperate propaganda to demonize Duterte and his campaign against drug menace and criminality.
For who is sick in the mind to order the killing of children? Who can be guiltier in abetting children to indulge in crime than one who authors a law that incites and entices children to commit crime?
That is for the salivating political opposition and the clerics to answer. In Davao City where President Duterte was mayor for over two decades one of the significant awards the city received was “The Most Child-Friendly City in the Philippines”. Why? Because the mayor had instilled discipline to both child offenders and their parents. Those involved in drugs, either pusher or user, are being rehabilitated. The rehabilitation centers are funded by the city government because the Pangilinan law does not provide funds for the centers. In Davao City too, Duterte put up a center for children afflicted with cancer. Today, cancer patients all over Mindanao including some patients from Visayas are housed in the institution. Duterte saw to it that even the parents of the child stay close to the clinic for free. Even as President, Duterte saw to it that the center is well attended to. Without fail, he saw to it that he spends a day and night with the kids especially during Christmas season, gifting the children with toys and hugging them in compassion like they were his own children. I saw this man, dubbed by the rallyists as killer, murderer and foul-mouthed, cry seeing the children suffer from malignancy.
Stop killing the children? Who’s pushing and protecting the children to commit crime? If Senator Pangilinan has any sense and sensibility, he should at least move to amend his law and stop rationalizing his idiocy. If the Church wants to help the children away from committing crime, they should counsel them and their parents. If they cannot visit their homes for fear of being mugged or their sandals soiled, they can do so in the pulpits. But when they do, they should not resort to exaggeration and barefaced lies because not everyone who still goes to church is ignorant of the facts.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 30, 2017.
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