“Since the UN statement mentioned President Marcos to stop the crackdown on press freedom, I believe it is incumbent on BBM to make everything very clear that no crackdown is happening in the Philippines”
The first SONA (State of the Nation Address) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was actually a roadmap on economic recovery and his six-year agenda for economic progress.
It was likewise a continuation of the country’s independent foreign affairs policy, where the President said the Philippines was “friends to all and enemy to none.” Having said that, the state of the nation is sound. I would have liked him to mention four things he did not say, Santa Banana.
First, I would have liked him to mention that he has zero-tolerance on graft and corruption in government. That could have resonated with the people and especially to government officials and workers.
Second, I would have liked him to mention that he will continue the war on illegal drugs that was started by former President Duterte. This war should be continued because the entry of illegal drugs into the country continues and is peddled nationwide. We note this when we read the news that there are daily buy-bust operations by illegal peddlers and syndicates.
A holistic approach to the campaign on illegal drugs is necessary. In this campaign, the first thing to do is prevention, followed by law enforcement against illegal drug syndicates and cartels.
But the PNP and PDEA must remember that drug addicts are only the victims and should not be prosecuted.
The third holistic approach is prosecution.
The fourth, which I believe is the most important, is the rehabilitation of drug users and addicts.
Government must put up community-based rehabilitation centers nationwide. Why community-based rehabilitation centers?
Simply because drug users and addicts need support and help from the family. It is for these reasons that I urge President Marcos to undertake the massive construction of community-based rehabilitation centers nationwide.
Taking into consideration, my gulay, that the basic problem of any campaign against illegal drugs is a matter of supply and demand, the less illegal drug users and addicts there are, the less market there is for drug syndicates and cartels.
For so long as there are users and addicts, there will always be syndicate and cartels that supply a demand.
The third issue that I had wanted President Marcos to have dwelt on in his SONA is how to solve the problem of communist insurgency. Talking to the communists, Santa Banana, is a useless movement of government, since the communists will only use peace talks as a prop for their communist activity.
Fourth, I would have wanted President Marcos to also mention the need for higher wages and salaries for government and private workers, knowing fully well that there is need to raise the wages of workers following the rising prices of almost everything, including food, transportation and the looming energy crisis, which will also raise anything connected with energy.
These are issues that resonate with the people and people had expected President Marcos to address them, Santa Banana.
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The case of United Nations special rapporteur Irene Khan urging President Marcos Jr. to stop what she called a “crackdown on press freedom,” citing the case of Maria Ressa and Rappler’s ex-writer Reynaldo Santos who were convicted, is not only stupid, but idiotic.
It’s a perfect example on how the West regards us Filipinos, obviously with the mistaken notion we are still a colony of the United States.
In the first place, there is no crackdown on press freedom.
It’s amazing how the UN can come out with that statement since “crackdown on press freedom” is total misinformation and an outright lie.
The press in the Philippines is totally free to a certain extent. Khan’s statement shows how the West regards the Philippines and us, Filipino journalists, who to them are just spineless and totally submissive to any crackdown on press freedom.
And worse, how the government is now persecuting Ressa and Rappler to the point that the Court of Appeals now convicted Ressa and Rappler’s ex-researcher/writer Santos to an imprisonment of six years and six months for committing cybercrime libel.
As a journalist of 74 years, I’m mad because the statement of Irene Khan is an outright lie and even idiotic and shows how the UN, of which we are a member, regards us Filipinos, since this statement is a reflection on a lie and the result of misinformation, since there is no crackdown on press freedom. I cannot believe that the UN could make a statement like that.
Since the UN statement mentioned President Marcos to stop the crackdown on press freedom, I believe it is incumbent on BBM to make everything very clear that no crackdown is happening in the Philippines.
President Marcos should correct the UN’s stupid and idiotic statement that the government is persecuting Ressa and Rappler.
I believe that if BBM will simply ignore the UN statement, in effect he will be giving credence to it, that there is a crackdown existing in the Philippines. A clarification and rectification of the UN statement is in order.
Malacanang’s press secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles must rectify a total lie and an obvious insult on us journalists.
She must correct this disinformation, otherwise it would seem that even under President Marcos Jr. press freedom is at peril, all because of that stupid and idiotic UN statement that Marcos should stop the crackdown on press freedom.
Personally, as an independent observer of the SONA, I would give President Marcos a score of 8 out of 10.