Shifting the blame

"Is the President saying that the military is no longer effective at countering the communists?"

My friends and acquaintances are asking me when I will launch my memoirs.

I have the initial version of my book entitled “Periodista: The Road Never Ends.” But I was not happy for many reasons. First, I missed many aspects of my life as a journalist. Second, I wanted to be as honest as I could be, portraying even my failures and frustrations.

For a time I was asking myself why I should be writing my memoirs in the first place. I am, after all, not a celebrity—just a simple journalist who is now 91 years old.

Writing a book is expensive. You need an editor or somebody who can write. You have to produce the copies. Fortunately, Manila Standard will publish my book.

In any case, I have decided to rewrite everything with the help of my son Eric.

Journalism is not just a job or profession. It is a calling. There are pitfalls to avoid and lessons to be learned.

* * *

Perhaps President Duterte has at last realized that his war on drugs is not going anywhere even after two years. Now he wants lawmakers to assess it. Santa Banana, that’s shifting the responsibility and even blame!

From the start, when he assumed office in 2016, he vowed to eradicate the drug menace within months. But the drug issue is a health problem, not a peace and order issue.

True enough, despite his bloody war against drugs, the menace remains. There are some three million to four-million users and addicts.

The president of Colombia warned him that killing all the suspects will not solve the problem. The solution is building community-based rehabilitation centers. I know all this because I used to be president of DARE Foundation. I know that addicts are themselves victims.

In other words, President Duterte started on the wrong foot!

He should meet with experts so he would know the best way the problem can be addressed. Santa Banana, the drug problem can even become an issue of national security!

* * *

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez says the military needs special intelligence units to address communist rebellion. This, and not Duterte hit squads.

In the first place, the proposal for hit squads is illegal. The President is a lawyer and he should be aware of this. The creation of these units will mean that he no longer trusts the military in doing its job.

Galvez said that what must be done as soon as possible is a check on the activities of the insurgents in the countryside. There is just no substitute for intelligence work.

Some of the party-list representatives in Congress are fronts for the communist movement. Many of the rebels are not ideologues but extortionists. They force businesses to pay what they call revolutionary taxes. With the upcoming polls, the communists will again extort money from local candidates. They must be stopped by the military!

* * *

Santa Banana, in all commissioned and non-commissioned surveys of senatorial candidates, only one opposition candidate stands out as having a chance of winning—former presidential candidate Mar Roxas.

It may be said the polls are far off and many things can still happen. But I cannot understand why the opposition cannot find a better lineup. This does not bode well for the next Senate, which is ideally independent. I dread the prospect of having a Senate that is composed of minions of the Executive.

* * *

President Duterte may love telling jokes to people, but his marijuana joke was just a tad too much. In fact, it was not funny at all.

We elected a President to lead us, not entertain us!

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , Congress , Military , Mar Roxas , Carlito Galvez
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