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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Espinoza: Death penalty, Duterte’s promise

PRESIDENT Duterte promised to hang “five to six” death row convicts once the death penalty is restored. He made that statement during the birthday celebration of boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao in General Santos City.

I don’t think the President said this as his birthday present to celebrant Senator Pacquiao. If you notice, he would not miss mentioning the restoration of the death penalty whenever he speaks in public.

President Duterte handily won against his opponents in the last elections on the promise that he would restore the death penalty, eliminate corruption in government and run after and kill traders of illegal drugs, pushers and users.

After December 2016, the six months that President Duterte promised to eliminate the illegal drugs trade and finish off the drug lords, a promise echoed by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Bato dela Rosa as doable, will end. Surprisingly, the number of personalities in the President’s drugs list is increasing.

I agree with President Duterte that past administrations were unable to carry out the execution of convicts on death row, defeating its purpose of deterring the commission of crimes. However, I doubt if the death penalty, even with the strong backing of the President, would be re-established because the Catholic Church and pro-life groups oppose it. House representatives are elected every three years, unlike the President that has a fixed six-year term.

Still, the promise of President Duterte to hang five to six convicts on death row should the death penalty is restored should already serve as a warning to the criminally inclined. You know, it’s worth the wait.

***

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has once again showed he is not a pushover politician despite being tagged a “has-been” by his critics. Of course, that goes with his family name, a byword in Cebu and the city.

While he complied with the order of the Court of Appeals (CA) to close the Inayawan sanitary landfill, he ordered the Department of Public Service (DPS) to dump the city’s garbage on a vacant lot in the South Road Properties (SRP) near the office of the Department of Public Services (DPS).

Many suspect that he dumped the city’s garbage at the SRP instead of outside the city, like the landfill in Consolacion, to spite the establishments and those who bought the lots sold by former mayor Mike Rama despite his warning not to do so.

They’re wrong. Mayor Osmeña only wants to protect the health of his constituents. He does not want city residents to endure the sight of uncollected garbage that may cause illness. He even chooses to be cited for technical violation by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 than be cited for contempt by the CA. Mao nay mayor!

What now Mayor Tom? The EMB has ordered you to desist from dumping garbage at SRP for violations of the environmental law. Would you not set aside your pride and renegotiate with the operator of the sanitary landfill in Consolacion?

***

The homeless or the abandoned children in Bogo City have every reason now to smile and feel safe and protected. Former Bogo City mayor Junnie Martinez, sometime in 2008 when he was mayor, built a home for these kids in his property in Bogo. The home, which is now run by the sisters of Beato Tommaso Maria Fusco, is called Beato Tommaso Maria Fusco Hope House, Inc.

On Tuesday night, former mayor Martinez tendered a thanksgiving concert for the sponsors and guests at Montebello Villa Hotel with singer Anthony Castelo as main entertainer. A children’s rondalla from Bogo city provided string numbers. YouTube sensation Roland Bunot Abante also sang.

In his speech, Martinez thanked the sponsors, one of them Landmasters, Inc. of Joe Soberano III. He said he started the Hope House after he ordered the policemen, sometime in 2008, to gather the street children in the city. Mayor Junnie, may your tribe flourish. God Bless!
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