IT cannot be denied that the active members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are perceived by the public as predators, instead of protectors. Perception is reality. Instead of being defensive (re:”ingrato” remark), it is high time for Police Director General (PDG) Bato Dela Rosa to institute the needed reforms within his organization if he is sincere to effect change for the better.

Professionalism in the service should be his primary goal and proven to be abusive cops should not be only exiled to faraway posts as disciplinary measure, but summarily dismissed and administratively or criminally prosecuted.

PDG Dela Rosa wields enormous authority with the backing of President Duterte if he really wants to bring back the trust and confidence of the people towards men in uniform in the PNP service. Otherwise, this timely opportunity to have the PNP serve the best interest of the nation would have passed us by.--Rainier A. Belleza, Jr. of Pardo, Cebu City

Cimatu’s confirmation

The speedy confirmation of ex-general Roy Cimatu as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) means the big business plunderers and polluters have found their right man for the agency.

The mining industry lobbyists who decried the supposed lack of technical proficiency of the previous DENR leadership under Gina Lopez did not raise a hoot about Cimatu’s complete lack of credentials in environmental science. Being a hypocrite is apparently not a problem when your lobby money is already making a hefty return on investment.

Not a single mining oligarch in Congress, especially in the Commission on Appointments, grilled Cimatu on his track record of corruption and human rights violation. A case of shared values, it seems.

Cimatu’s confirmation is the biggest and clearest stamp of approval the Duterte government can give to him. It means the Duterte government approves of Cimatu’s reversal of Lopez’s stringent regulation on land reclamation, much to the chagrin of poor fisherfolk, coastal communities, and biodiversity conservationists.

It means the Duterte regime’s official policy on mining is to eat all its rhetoric on cracking down on irresponsible large-scale miners. It is a go-signal for Cimatu to continue his review process to reverse the closure, suspension, and agreement cancellation orders against mining projects found to have violated various environmental and socio-economic standards.

We did not see Duterte exercising his ‘political will’ against these steps taken by Cimatu that run counter to his pronouncements of protecting the environment. It is becoming clearer that Duterte’s firebrand rhetoric against big mining plunder is just a more flamboyant case of empty populism.

At the end of the day, mining lobby money not only talks but resoundingly commands in the Duterte regime.--Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment