I cannot begin this column without thanking my friends who have remembered me in this season of joy and thanksgiving. May your tribe increase.
Santa Banana, President Duterte has done it again!
The American Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, a Korean-born American career diplomat, was invited to the 2016 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas at Malacañang. People heard the President cursing the Americans, calling them hypocrites for the deferment of the second grant of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which was supposedly because of Duterte’s raging war on illegal drugs.
It was said the ambassador could just smile awkwardly.
You can’t invite somebody and make him or her the subject of your tirades!
That poll survey of Social Weather Stations, saying that eight of 10 Filipinos live in fear of the President’s war on drugs is a wake-up call not only to the President but to the entire populace.
More than 6,000 have been killed in the name of this campaign since President Duterte took office six months ago. The number is growing.
While those in gated subdivisions sleep well at night in their air-conditioned homes, the majority of the people do not feel safe at all.
The President should realize that killing is never a solution. In fact, it has now become a problem.
I say these killings have already spawned other problems like vigilante killings and lawlessness.
Lest I am misunderstood, I do not doubt the need to do something about the drug menace. If nothing is done, the Philippines will indeed become a narco-state and the next generation will be in great peril.
But with this survey, Mr. Duterte must now realize that the killings have now become the bigger problem. With the people living in fear, they just might take the law into their own hands for self-preservation.
I used to wonder why people were not protesting the killings. Have we become desensitized? Now I know that it is a matter of time. A carabao, when beaten enough, will run amuck and go after the people who abuse it.
Filipinos are now realizing that the police have become so useless in containing lawlessness.
The President’s health is a national concern. The Constitution is clear that the public must always be informed about physical condition of its leader.
Sure, we see President Duterte moving about, delivering speeches and going on trips looking healthy. But he himself says he suffers from constant migraine and back pains. He also has Buerger’s Disease causing the inflammation of veins in his leg. This is a cause for public concern!
The President’s doctors must issue a medical bulletin to assuage the public’s fears.
There are reports that police generals have been given hefty bonuses ranging from P100 thousand to P400 thousand. This causes resentment among the rank and file in the Philippine National Police. Why give a bonus to the bosses only when it is the lower staff who risk their lives daily?
This also moves us to ask: Where did the money come from?
The refusal of Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Patricia Licuanan to resign shows she has become a heavy baggage to her agency. If she has any self-respect left, she must resign, pronto.
Like a leech she stays on despite being told by Malacañang not to attend Cabinet meetings anymore, insisting that her term expires in 2018.
Clearly she does not understand what a presidential appointee is. Has she forgotten that she is an alter ego of the President? For her to function effectively, she must enjoy his trust and confidence. And now it is clear she does not.