Change never came

"President Duterte made promises in 2016. We are still waiting."



Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, in an effort to defend his boss’ attacks on the Catholic Church, says Mr. Duterte’s words are his personal opinion and not official statements.

Panelo forgets that whenever the President opens his mouth, whatever he says is official. Panelo insults our intelligence!

Now the President wants to kill all the drug addicts, some 3 million or 4 million of them. Would that not amount to genocide?

I am sure Panelo will say that the President was only expressing his frustration at illegal drugs, which does not seem to end. But the Police may take him seriously and pursue all drug addicts as criminals and enemies of the state!

So why does the drug problem persist, despite the administration’s efforts to end it? Why are illegal shipments still coming in from other countries? Didn’t the President promise to end the menace?

That promise resonated with the people. He won by a good plurality and his popularity hit the ceiling.

But I’d like to ask: Has change come?

Sadly, no. The problem is that President Duterte considers the drug problem as a peace and order issue, such that whoever is involved in it must be terminated with extreme prejudice.

But it’s the wrong approach. The drug problem is a health issue. And it can be explained simply by the law of supply and demand.

I used to be vice president of the DARE Foundation, the rehabilitation center of former priest Bob Garon. I know for a fact that you can only help drug addicts and users by rehabilitating them, and you can only address the problem by cutting the supply of drugs.

President Duterte is only now finding out that corruption seems embedded in government, especially at Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. These are agencies where a lot of human discretion and intervention take place.

* * *

All congressional inquiries should be in aid of legislation. Our lawmakers were not elected by the people to act as investigators.

Has anybody counted how many laws have been crafted or amended as a result of congressional probes?

This is why I am glad that House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has clamped down on congressional investigations. First, whoever files a resolution to investigate something must first seek what laws can be drafted as a result of such inquiry.

The Speaker knows too well how investigations can be used for harassment and browbeating.

For example, what laws were made when the Senate investigated the killing of 44 members of the Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao? How about the Dengvaxia controversy? Drug smuggling at Customs?

My gulay, it’s about time that grandstanding members of Congress are stopped from harassing resource persons through probes that lead nowhere.

Let’s hope that Senate President Tito Sotto agrees with Rep. Arroyo.

* * *

A recent survey on the Binay-versus-Binay phenomenon in Makati City simply validates what I have been saying—that Mayor Abby will win because she is doing as excellent job.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Abby; just 20 percent will vote for her brother, Junjun.

For vice mayor, Monique Lagdameo got 83 percent while Monsour del Rosario, Jun-jun’s running mate, only got 9 percent of the votes.

There are two things that I think Mayor Abby is doing very well. First is her plan to give citizens 90 years old and over a lump sum or P10,000. There will be a P5,000 bonus for Makati residents holding the Blue Card.

The other is the 10-kilometer subway around Makati. This is groundbreaking! Project is set to be completed at 2022.

* * *

Do your Christmas shopping now. My wife, who is always the wise one in the family, has completed her shopping as early as September.

Topics: Salvador Panelo , Gloria Macapagal Arroyo , Rodrigo Duterte , Catholic Church , DARE Foundation , Abby Binay
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.
AdvertisementGMA-Congress Trivia 1