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Friday, September 20, 2019
CAGAYAN DE ORO

Luczon: Back to the open

Pencalibur

SINCE the news of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted of rape of a student and murder of her companion, about his possible release from prison, there has been a domino-effect.

Because there will be hundreds, if not thousands, more to follow after Sanchez.

Some may have already been freed because of the law that was passed in 2013 -- Republic Act 10592.

Under the law, convicted felons may get a good conduct time allowance (GCTA), which means if they "behaved" inside the jail, their stay there will be reduced, to put it simply. But these numbers do not translate how the family and the victims of the felons would react.

Just like what the family of Sanchez's victims said, that they will never forget what the former mayor and his henchmen did. Worse, the wounds and trauma were resurrected, as if it happened yesterday.

Other than the public outrage, we are faced again at a realization that we should, and always be vigilant of what our lawmakers have been making legislation.

RA 10592 was a result of public passivity, which means there were few to none in the different sectors of society to care about whether it should be passed or not, until it gets implemented and would yield an unfavorable results.

Can the law granting law convicts for a reduced jail time be repealed? It rests in the hands of the legal luminaries, and the lawmakers who are more than willing to sacrifice personal agenda in the name of public service.

***

The offensive against communist rebellion is intensive, the battle is not only about the skirmishes on field, but also through propaganda by winning public perception.

And here comes the red-tagging operations made by unknown forces.

This year alone, many times personalities, who are known to be human rights defenders and activists, being targeted and harassed through posters and social media postings that they are sympathizers of communist rebels and that their organizations are fronts of Communist Party of the Philippines and New People's Army.

Even journalists and their organization are not spared.

Government entities, especially the military, would be quick to disclaim that they have no hand on such red-tagging movements. Probably only God knows, as well as those who were unfairly tagged would be firm into saying that activism, and even journalism should not be seen as an act of rebellion or a machinery of communist propaganda.

This must be stopped. This is not the way to end insurgency.

(Nefluczon@gmail.com)


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