Aside from speculation about the fate of Senator Leila de Lima after the testimonies linking her to drug money, there are now questions about President Rodrigo Duterte’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Many people see this as being just a step away from Martial Law.
This question is fueled by the magnitude of the illegal drug menace. We were recently told that as many as 10,000 government officials are involved in the drug trade.
All these, coupled with the continuing threat of terrorism, prompt us now to ask: Will President Duterte declare martial law?
Palace spokesmen say he won’t but his legal counsel says we should not interpret the Constitution literally. The fundamental law says the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus can only be suspended if there is rebellion or invasion.
Personally, I am not comfortable with so many people around the President trying to calm the public after he says the things he says. Anything can happen at the rate President Duterte is floating ideas to justify what he would do next.
I have said it, and I repeat: The magnitude of the drug problem is such that it would take more than six years to make a dent. So long as there is demand for illegal drugs, the Philippines will be a profitable market for drug cartels which have made the country a transshipment point for worldwide operations.
My gulay, there’s still criminality and corruption to contend with on the part of the president, not to mention illegal gambling. This year is about to end and his first year in office will define the direction of the rest of Mr. Duterte’s term. What is, really, for instance, an “independent foreign policy?” With Donald trump being elected president, will Duterte’s policy jell with Washington’s?
The President’s health is always the concern of the people. Thus, when there is speculation about Mr. Duterte being ill, it is no small matter. The President is no longer a young man, and he is suffering from a slipped disc and constriction of the blood vessels, among others.
Palace spokesmen must squarely address speculation about the President’s passing out. He is, after all, 72 years old. The public concern is legitimate.
When President Duterte assumed office, one of his first directives was to cut red tape in government. What has happened since then? Red tape continues and it is still difficult to do business with local governments. This is frustrating.
Last June in the World Bank Group’s ease of doing business survey, the Philippines ranked 99th out of 190 economies. Singapore, expectedly, ranked high, second only to New Zealand. The Philippines ranked lower than Indonesia (91st), Vietnam (82nd), Brunei (72nd), Thailand (46th) and Malaysia (23rd).
The trouble with red tape is that every signature required is an opportunity for corruption. Imagine how much opportunity there is if you need 16 signatures!
Why can’t we do it for the entire country? Davao City did it.
Business has been clamoring for increased foreign investments. It wants to ease the economic restrictions in the Constitution. President Duterte appears to be the leader who can get this done.
He should remind local government units that the only way to attract investments and make it easy for them to do business here is to cut red tape.
Not all congressmen and senators are supportive of the idea of a constituent assembly as a means to amend the Constitution. It’s only House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his cohorts who are for this mode. They claim that Constitutional Convention would be too expensive.
Santa Banana, with our kind of politicians at the House, allowing them to tinker with the Constitution to shift to a parliamentary-federal system of government just to save on costs would be a mistake. To me, there is no substitute for a Con-Con. Delegates from the various regions/ provinces should be elected.
It’s a fact that President Duterte himself was in favor of Con-Con but the people around him, in pursuit of their own political agenda, convinced him otherwise.
Does making noises against Martial Law make one a hero? Is one who is against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani automatically a hero?
Have we sunk so low in our attempt to look for heroes that we are prepared to call some people such just for being noisy?
To be fair, the only authentic heroes were former Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, PC-INP Chief Fidel Ramos and RAM’s Gregorio Honasan. They risked their lives during Edsa One to give us back our freedom.