BEING a veteran in public service, I, as well as Rep. Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, though a neophyte, have always adopted the “consultative-collective policy” with our mayors and leaders, who have the experience and political savvy, in the district.

The long years of my public service allowed me to observe good and bad politics. And bad politics happen if we consent to have an incompetent leader lead our country.

On this score, my good friend Bobit Avila said that “the Alayon Party must have confidential information through Secretary Roxas that the Comelec would somehow find ways to cheat in the 2016 elections.”

Nothing is farther from the truth.

The reasons why Alayon supports Mar Roxas in his projected presidential candidacy are the following:

First, he authored the Cheap Medicine Law that made medicines affordable and accessible to the poor.

Second, as pointed out by Rep. Samsam Gullas, he brought in the BPO industry that has generated revenues and jobs. As of 2014, the BPO industry contributed billions of dollars and over a million jobs to the Philippine economy.

Third, three former presidents appointed him to be part of his Cabinet.

Fourth, he has never been tainted with corruption. He held these different positions with distinction and honor.

On a more personal note, even before I joined public service, I openly supported Gerry Roxas, Mar’s father, throughout Cebu Province when he ran for the Senate in 1963 and won, and also in 1965 when he ran for vice president and lost.

Further, in two senatorial elections, Alayon and her district leaders supported Mar. In his unsuccessful vice presidential run, Alayon supported him too.

Thus it does not come as a surprise why I, Congressman Samsam and Alayon, our local party, support Mar. After all, it is the voters who have the power to install our leaders by their own choice and free will.

The fate of this country is to be decided by our countrymen and we must ensure that this fate belongs to someone who shall devote his career in public service and genuine reforms.

At best, I see no reason why I, Congressman Samsam and Alayon would not support Mar Roxas. --Atty. Eduardo R. Gullas

Deadly Duterte

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is an interesting study in political psychology.

He is perhaps the only lawyer and member of the 60,000-strong Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) who openly and brazenly advocates the use of illegal and unconstitutional methods to stamp out criminality and still go unpunished.

Duterte says that the Western concept of human rights does not apply to this country and reiterated his open advocacy that to curb criminality is to “kill all criminals” (PDI, May 16, 2015). To those who are impatient with our justice system, Duterte’s bravado earned popular applause and rising points in poll surveys for potential candidates for the presidency in 2016.

The Davao City mayor may have the noblest of intentions to cut legal corners to achieve his purpose of earning the admiration of his constituents and making Davao City the world’s 9th safest city. But the end does not justify the means.

To eradicate criminality in society with the use of criminal methods is against the penal laws, the Constitution and the laws of God, whatever be one’s religion.

The claim that Davao City is crime-free and the safest city in the country is not entirely true.

On June 12, 2014, Richard King, a reputable Cebuano businessman was gunned down in the heart of Davao City and the principal accused is a police officer based in that city. More than two weeks ago, a grandmother, her two grandchildren and their house helper were murdered in cold blood inside their residence in Davao City.

To execute criminals without the benefit of a fair and public trial will not solve criminality but will only promote anarchy. Who is to determine that one is a criminal?

Under our laws and our Constitution, only the courts can determine the guilt of the accused. But under Duterte’s concept, only he, his police or his death squads have the sole authority to determine the fate of a suspect and, playing God, have the exclusive authority to decide who will live or who will die.

Such practice will certainly lead to absurd and unjust results. Duterte will impose the death penalty on poor thugs and robbers only.

But what about high public officials who are known to have plundered the people’s money? What about the big-time tax evaders? Will Mayor Duterte or his policemen execute these plunderers and tax evaders? And how sure are we that the executioners of today will not be the plunderers or tax evaders of tomorrow?

I dread the day when Duterte’s “success” in Davao City will be used as “model” in the entire country when he, God forbids, becomes president.

Assuming that all outcasts of society will have been eradicated through extra-judicial killings, the cycle of violence will always recur. Duterte’s executioners, whose hands have been soiled by the blood of human beings but who remain unpunished, will be emboldened to kill more victims with impunity.

Today, their targets are the poor robbers and criminals; tomorrow, the dissenters, critics, and opponents of a bloody regime.

The clergy has been so vocal in defending the “rights of the unborn.” Why are the bishops now observing a sepulchral silence on the rights of full-fledged human beings whose lives have been exterminated in the name of peace and order? --Democrito C. Barcenas