Absurd statements and ideas
Remember that asinine move in the House of Representatives to decriminalize the use of marijuana in the Philippines? The sponsor of that stupid move cited developments abroad, the United States in particular, where some states decriminalized marijuana consumption for medical treatment. As far as the sponsor of that measure was concerned, what works abroad must work in the Philippines.
That measure is no different from that silly idea suggested in the Internet that drinking one’s urine can be good for one’s health—silly because urine contains the toxins the body rejected precisely because they’re toxic.
Fortunately, that pro-marijuana bill was shelved after Philippine medical experts opposed the move, particularly because something that is addicting like marijuana can hardly be considered something good for the body.
As if that marijuana measure were not unsettling enough, Leni Robredo, who currently holds the title of Vice President of the Philippines, suggested in a recent assembly at the University of the Philippines campus in Los Baños, Laguna, that the Philippines ought to consider decriminalizing drug use, just as it has been decriminalized in Portugal. According to Robredo, when the Portuguese government decriminalized drug use in their jurisdiction and reduced it to a health issue, the drug problem in Portugal was nearly eradicated.
That may be true in Portugal, but it does not follow that it will work in the Philippines.
Portugal is a developed nation. Many of its people are educated enough to know that drug abuse is inimical to health.
The Philippines is the opposite. Many Filipinos do not have sufficient educational foundation to resist narcotics. Even those who are educated engage in drug abuse, well aware of its consequences. Because poverty is rampant and the cost of living is very high in urban centers, corruption is inevitable. When corruption prevails in government, all norms of humane, rational behavior are ignored.
Many Filipino motorists—taxicab, jeepney, tricycle and motorcycle drivers in particular, do not obey traffic rules. Many physicians feign medical emergencies to circumvent road use restrictions. Roads and sidewalks in the metropolis are converted to private parking lots. If Filipinos are not disciplined enough to comply with basic traffic and road use rules, they will not be disciplined enough to shun narcotics when the criminal liabilties previously imposed on drug use are abrogated.
The drug menace in the Philippines is so entrenched that decriminalizing it at this time will aggravate the problem. So far, the nefarious trade is extensive enough, notwithstanding strict penal laws against it. Imagine what drug lords will do when there are no more laws to restrict their evil business.
Obviously, the Robredo proposal is unacceptable in the Philipppines. It’s also an indication that Robredo is bereft of original ideas and has resorted to suggesting impractical foreign solutions for local problems.
Another absurdity came from ex-President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In a press conference held at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City, and attended by her lawyer, ex-Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, Arroyo blamed her successor, ex-President Benigno Aquino III, for Communist China’s current island-building spree in the West Philippine Sea.
More specifically, Arroyo said that Aquino III provoked Communist China to embark on its expansionist maritime activities in the area by suing Beijing in the United Nations arbitration tribunal at The Hague, in Holland. From the Arroyo perspective, if Manila did not lodge that arbitration case, Beijing would not have built those structures in the first place. Really?
Aquino III may not be an ideal national leader, but it is not fair for Arroyo to blame him for Communist China’s bullying in the sea lanes of South East Asia. According to a study prepared by Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who is arguably one of the most knowledgeable persons on the subject, Beijing began its expansionist activities in the sea lanes of South East Asia as early as 2009, when Arroyo was still president. It appears that while Vietnam and Malaysia protested Red Chinese intrusions in those sea lanes, the Philippine government under President Arroyo did not do anything about it. Manila protested only in 2011, after Aquino III assumed office.
From all indications, the Arroyo statement is a mere disclaimer calculated to wash off any responsibility on her part for the Red Chinese buildup in the West Philippine Sea. Her statement is also absurd because it suggest that Aquino III should not have sued Beijing in the UN arbitration tribunal. Huh?
By 2010, Beijing was busy building structures on reefs in the disputed sea lanes even if the reefs are more proximate to Luzon than they are to the Red Chinese coastline. Red Chinese warships were brazenly driving away Filipino fishermen from what used to be their traditional fishing grounds. Beijing’s collective actions were an affront to the Republic of the Philippines. What did Arroyo expect Manila to do under those circumstances? Stand by idly as she suggested? Thank heaven she isn’t president anymore.
Manila won the arbitration case, but Beijing refuses to comply with the ruling. That may be so, but with an arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines, the world now sees Communist China as the villain that it really is. The Philippine legal victory and Beijing’s lawless attitude underscore to the world that the communist government in Beijing cannot and should not be trusted. It is no wonder, therefore, why North Korea loves Communist China.
Finally, the so-called “complaint” filed against President Rodrigo Duterte in the International Criminal Court, for his supposed role in the alleged extrajudicial killings committed in the wake of his administration’s anti-drug campaign, is meaningless. Under International Law, resort to the international forum is warranted only after the local judicial options have been exhausted, and proved to be unavailing. There is no showing that the party who filed the “complaint” complied with this prerequisite. All that the complaint did was to put the country in bad light, and obtain frontpage publicity for its instigator.