Considering the Marcos administration will not honor the resumed investigation of the International Criminal Court of the brutal and bloody war on illegal drugs when former President Duterte was in power for six years, when now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was police chief, one big question remains to be answered, Santa Banana!
Will this stop the ICC from its mandate to investigate Duterte and Bato from getting indicted for “crimes against humanity”?
The ICC has already accepted the complaints from lawyers of alleged victims of extrajudicial killings, my gulay, a fact everybody knows happened when Duterte was President and when Bato was police chief, when some 8,000 people were killed with Duterte’s “kill,kill, kill” mandate for the police to eradicate the illegal drugs problem under the PNP’s “double-barreled” and “Tokhang” campaign.
But, unofficial sources had claimed otherwise that some 28,000 were killed.
The argument of the Marcos administration in disallowing the ICC investigators to come to the Philippines is sovereignty, claiming the Philippine justice system is working in holding all those members of the PNP accountable for EJKs.
But, will this stop the ICC from making Duterte and Bato accountable? Santa Banana! I am sure the ICC will not.
This, to me, is now a problem, having the tag internationally as a country with no less than a former President and a former police chief committing crimes against humanity.
While I agree the Marcos administration has the right to disallow the ICC investigators to come to the Philippines under the claim of sovereignty, will that stop the ICC from pursuing its mandate?
And here’s where the problem is. Can Duterte and Bato escape from their accountability?
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Another problem the Marcos administration has to resolve is President Marcos Jr.’s effort to clean the PNP from an image that some police higher-ups, from full colonels to generals, have links to illegal drugs.
And people know the reason why illegal drugs proliferate is that many full colonels and generals have links with cartels and syndicates in illegal drugs.
It’s for this reason why Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos had sought out full colonels and generals to submit their courtesy resignations led by no less than Police Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. .
So far, some 943 high ranking members of the PNP have submitted their courtesy resignations, except 12 who are either retiring or have retired, my gulay!
Only one is not submitting his courtesy resignation claiming “it is my prerogative.”
Abalos has formed the panel to review the accountability of the police generals and full colonels, led by Azurin, Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong and former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro and two others, whose findings will be submitted to the Police Commission that will subsequently submit its findings to the President.
The President will then make the final decision.
The thing to consider is with this process, the accountability of ranking members of the PNP will finally be resolved.
Right now, it’s difficult for Abalos to hold police higher ups accountable because of mere suspicions and rumors.
Another problem is: will this finally cleanse the police of having an image of links to crime syndicates?
Let’s hope so, if only to restore the people’s faith and confidence in the police as the protector of the people, which has deteriorated so much all these years.
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If there’s one thing President Marcos Jr. must do before he leaves the Department of Agriculture as acting secretary, now in his seventh month, it’s to stop the smuggling of pricey agricultural products like onions, sugar, fish, meat and even rice.
I am sure that BBM must have been told that smuggling is now controlled by a Mafia-like cartel who has control of the smuggled goods from the moment they are reloaded for shipment to the time they are unloaded in selected ports of entry to the Philippines, with full control of some Customs officials who facilitate their unloading and storage at selected warehouses.
I am sure the President must also have been advised that every now and then, a small portion of the smuggled goods is sacrificed by this Mafia-like cartel for PR purposes, to let the people believe Customs is not part of the operation, making it look like Customs is doing its job.
Santa Banana, the bigger problem with the non-stop smuggling of agricultural products is that if smuggling goes on unabated, so will the smuggling of illegal drugs, my gulay!
Proof of this is everyday, we get reports from the media about buy-bust operations by the police or by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency of so many kilos of shabu being seized.
For sure, these billions of pesos worth of illegal drugs are smuggled from China.
If there is big money in the smuggling of agricultural products, much more with smuggling of illegal drugs.
Every now and then, farmers come out with the names of alleged smugglers and the DA must now have them monitored.
Mister President, the next move is yours, if only to show the people that you have no tolerance for anything involving corruption, like smuggling, since for sure the Mafia-like caretel has protection from the police or some politicians.
Mister President, you must do something against smuggling.
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According to some health experts, with President Marcos Jr., most likely not extending the state of calamity for the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines with the continuous decline of COVID-19 cases nationwide, we are now undergoing that state which is called “social ending” of the COVID-19 crisis.
These comments from health experts coincide with the World Health Organization findings in some countries where the pandemic crisis is also declining.
They are undergoing what is called “social endemic” or what is called the “new normal” as distinguished from the medical ending of the pandemic.
Under the new normal, people can now return to pre-pandemic days and live normally.
This means while COVID-19 is still with us medically, people can return to what they have been doing during the pre-pandemic days, except that we must continue health protocols of wearing masks, washing hands, and observing social distancing.
And for the elderly and people with illnesses and diseases, they must continue staying indoors and avoid crowded places.
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We, journalists, continue to become the frontliners like health workers with a big difference.
Health workers are in touch with patients of the COVID-19 crisis, while we, journalists, must go out to report the news of what’s happening around us.
We, journalists, seek the truth and be factual and balanced in reporting facts, always truthfully.