LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it…” (Hebrews 12:11, the Holy Bible).
GEN. BATO, CAN YOU STILL REFORM THE PNP? Now that the campaign against illegal drugs under the Duterte government has been taken away from the Philippine National Police, we are being told that our police force, according to PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, would now focus their energies on murderers who are called “riding in tandem” precisely because, by twos, they attack their hapless victims while they (the murderers) are on board a motorcycle.
According, however, to my favorite barber in a corner barber shop in Diliman, Quezon City, it would be a cinch that many of our countrymen are still going to die in the hands of policemen as the days go by, because, the barber said, the PNP will be claiming that each and every person dying by their guns are suspected “riding in tandem” members.
I nearly fell off my seat in that barber shop when I heard this. I thought, these kinds of perception among many of our poor and marginalized countrymen betray their lack of trust and confidence on the police, and their view that many policemen are truly criminals. Gen. Dela Rosa, is there anything that you can still do to reform this image of the PNP?
DUTERTE’S DRUGS CAMPAIGN SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM PNP: If I were consulted beforehand by President Duterte on the issue of transferring the responsibility over his government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign from the PNP to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA), I would have counseled him that there would still be a problem even if that transfer would be effected, as it has been effected already.
First, no matter how hard Malacanang may deny that the reason why the drugs campaign was removed from the PNP was the grave drop in the ratings of the President in a survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS), the truth will always come out—the survey results shook the wits out of Malacanang and of the President himself.
Because of that, it was as if the political foes of the President were thrown “fresh blood”, so to speak, whetting their appetite to stir more controversies surrounding perceived mistakes and imperfections of the President and his government in mainstream and online media to take away the support of his followers. Indeed, the decision on the PNP-PDEA transfer will be viewed as a victory for the opposition in their efforts to undermine the President.
ONLY TOTAL WAR WILL DEFEAT ILLEGAL DRUGS IN RP: I am sure that, at this point, Duterte’s ill-wishers would double or even triple their efforts to publicize all the more, in all forms of media, the “wrongdoings” of his government (and, of course, his own supposed wrongdoings), the objective being to continue discrediting him in the eyes of the 16 million Filipinos who catapulted him to Malacanang even if he was a mere city mayor.
Second, there is not going to be anyone—detractors, opponents, or supporters of the President—who will believe that the PNP will truly let go of its role in the campaign against drugs and that it would only be PDEA who will battle, henceforth, drug syndicates, drug lords and drug addicts. Anything that happens subsequently in this drug war will still perceive to be the handiwork of the PNP, in one way or another. `
Third, it remains clear that, notwithstanding the alleged abuses and mistakes in the campaign against drugs, there is no other way to effectively fight the curse of drugs in the country except the kind of total war that was ushered in by the President at the start of his term, especially considering the negligence (or even outright permission) on the proliferation of drugs by past leaders. What should have been done was to institute reforms in the campaign to stop PNP’s abuses, which was doable anyway.
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