Fallout from Jolo bombing

"The fear has reached Metro Manila."



The bombing of a Catholic cathedral in Jolo has spawned fears of a religious strife in Mindanao.

This was given credence after what seemed to be a retaliatory blast on a mosque that claimed as many lives in the Catholic church. Now, the fear of bombings has reached Metro Manila where the Philippine National Police has tightened security at shopping malls. Collateral damage in shopping malls could be bigger if terrorist suicide bombers are able to slip through the security check.

The PNP claimed that a male bomber and a female bomber from Indonesia were responsible for the Jolo cathedral attack. Suicide bombers are something new in the country’s history of blasts perpetrated by lawless elements. The Abu Sayyaf group of extortionists who passed themselves off as political rebels has not been known to commit suicide bombings. This is a method of mass murder that is new and difficult to stop. How do you prevent a suicide bomber from detonating himself in a line of mall goers passing through security check?

In light of this new development, there is now a public clamor to restore the death penalty. And why not, considering that a bombing that results in mass murder is a heinous crime? The same extreme measure should be accorded to those involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs. These evil criminals destroy young lives who in the full bloom of their lives could turn out to be useful and productive citizens. Killing them in the suspicious police scenario that they resisted arrest and fired at law enforcers has only earned condemnation and derision from local and international human rights groups.

So capture these drug traffickers and execute them after a fair and speedy trial. The public execution of Chinese drug pusher Lim Seng in the first days of Marcos martial law put the fear of God among other drug traffickers.

There is a global war being waged by terrorists. Governments world-wide should step up to the challenge of fighting these cold-blooded butchers. In other major capitals, the other weapon used by terrorists is running down pedestrians on a busy street with a stolen vehicle. London, Paris and other US cities have experienced these terrorist killing using vehicles as weapons of death.

Last week, there was the rumored death of President Rodrigo Duterte. The President laughed off the fake news while Palace officials dismissed the false report as wishful thinking by his detractors. But the President drew criticism when he told his Cabinet officials not to campaign for administration in the midterm elections on May 13. Cabinet members must have raised their eyebrows considering that President Duterte is openly campaigning for and endorsing Senate candidates Bong Go and Francis Tolentino. The President must lead by example on this issue. These two senatorial bets have enough money to mount their campaign and win senate Seats without the President campaigning for them.

The women senatorial bets—Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe and Pia Cayetano --are leading the pack in the senatorial race, according to two polling companies. But how reliable are these pollsters when their survey is limited to a small area that does not reflect the nationwide preference? And who are paying for these surveys? Obviously, it’s the candidate who has money to spend with the questions rigged to suit the desired effect of the candidate.

Expect a few surprises in the final outcome of the May 13 elections. Those who are not in the win column of 12 senatorial candidates might yet prove the pollsters wrong. Name recall, a good work track record plus a nationwide network of supporters could prove the survey polls inadequate.This scenario is possible in the national elections for senators. At the local level, congressmen, governors and mayors would most probably prevail given their family dynasty control of constituents in their area.

This then is the reason why those expensive TV commercial ads are done by the senatorial candidates who have to campaign on a nationwide basis while local candidates like congressmen, governors and mayors confine their campaign to their district, province or city.

But given their perks and pork barrel, the local bets have just as much stake to win. So don’t wonder why the pork-laden P3.757-trillion national budget was approved by Congress despite the verbal skirmishes between Rep. Rolando Andaya and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

It’s only a joke, no?

Topics: Jolo Blast , Philippine National Police , Lim Seng , Benjamin Diokno , Rolando Andaya , Cynthia Villar , Grace Poe , Pia Cayetano , Rodrigo Duterte
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