Sunday, September 30, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018
- by Ilda
A New York Times article has confirmed what some of us have been saying all along – that the root of the problem in the Philippines that the current government is facing today can be traced to former President Benigno Simeon Aquino. It is funny though how it had to take foreigners to validate what Get Real Postwriters have been writing about for six years. This is what they had to say about the previous administration:
But the true roots of the problem can be traced to the administration of Mr. Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III. That is because, experts say, the true cause of this kind of extrajudicial violence is the public’s loss of confidence in state institutions and its turning instead to more immediate forms of punishment and control.Mr. Aquino, elected in 2010 on promises to support the rule of law and human rights, failed to fix the Philippines’ corrupt and ineffective justice system. His administration also faced a series of security-related scandals, including a hostage crisis in Manila in 2010.And, perhaps most critical, Mr. Aquino was perceived as lazy and soft, unwilling to take the necessary steps to solve the country’s problems.Frustration with the government’s inability to provide basic security led to rising public demand for new leaders who would take more decisive action to provide security.
It is also ironic that while BS Aquino’s supporters share the New York Times article because it is mostly critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy on illegal drugs, they gloss over the part where the NYT writer blames the former President for his failure to crack down on the drug trade and his failure to fix the slow justice system. BS Aquino’s supporters also turn a blind eye to the fact that the drug problem became an epidemic during his term. His government was given a list of politicians and members of the military and police who were involved in drug trafficking but they just sat on it. They also tolerated the way convicted drug lords continued to operate inside the prison walls.
More importantly, BS Aquino also set a precedent for denying due process to his political enemies, which is why ordinary Filipinos have become frustrated with the Philippines’ justice system. They would now rather take matters into their own hands. This was what I wrote prior to BS Aquino stepping down:
The application of selective justice in the Philippines is the reason why Filipinos are getting increasingly frustrated at the current government. BS Aquino’s Daang Matuwid or so-called “straight path” only works for his friends and allies. No wonder Duterte’s vigilante style of justice has become acceptable to a lot of people. If the justice system is broken anyway, people think it is better to take matters into their own hands. They are tired of politicians like BS Aquino and Mar Roxas who say they are “decent’” but do not have any qualms about destroying people who get in their way.Corona was never found to be guilty of corruption by a real court. His only offence was in the discrepancy in his Statement of Assets and Liability Net Worth (SALN), which by law, government officials are allowed to correct whenever discrepancies are found. Most public servants would be guilty of that but they are spared from the persecution Corona was subject to under BS Aquino and his minions. BS Aquino keeps bragging about being the first President to impeach a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice. He couldn’t have done it without the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and pork barrel funds and a corrupt Congress.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why majority of Filipinos approve of Duterte’s brand of justice. They waited for six years for BS Aquino to do something about the increasing violence in the country but they were disappointed. The media is only highlighting the killings now but incidence of drive-by shootings had become more brazen in recent years even before Duterte came to power. The people have become angry and helpless reading news about victims of rape, assault and robbery even in broad daylight perpetrated by drug gangs. To a lot of Filipinos, it is better that drug dealers and pushers be dead than innocent people, which is why they do not feel sorry hearing of people dying during police operations or in the hands of unidentified suspects. Some Filipinos even cheer when they find out drug dealers and pushers are killing each other.
People would accuse me of giving the situation my seal of approval. They are wrong. I am merely giving my own observation of what is happening in the country. I saw it coming. I am not entirely surprised that people are dying on the streets. Duterte did warn everyone that he would go after drug traffickers while he was still campaigning. Besides, life has always been cheap in the Philippines. The violence was ignored in the past because it involved mostly the lower classes. It is part of Filipino culture to ignore what is happening to others if it doesn’t involve members of their inner circle of family and friends. In the Filipino vernacular, it is called kanya-kanya. It is only now that there is outrage coming from so-called “civil society” because some members of the upper classes are now getting killed or caught in the middle of Duterte’s war on drugs.
In other words, some folks were in denial there was a problem to begin with. Again, that is the fault of BS Aquino who made people believe everything was under control. He was good at hiding problems or pretending there was none. This is why the news that there were city mayors who were coddling drug lords came as a rude shock to everyone. Even celebrities were not spared in the naming and shaming. If there is one thing positive about Duterte’s drug war, it appears that it doesn’t discriminate or favour anyone, rich or poor. Everyone involved in the drug trade is getting equal treatment.
The New York Times is saying that a culture of vengeful punishment is taking hold in the Philippines. This is nothing new. It has always been like that in the Philippines. It is still a primitive country pretending to be civilised. Most people don’t even understand the concept of rule of law. If they did, they wouldn’t have tolerated how BS Aquino treated his political enemies even back then.
BBC World Service.
BBC Broadcasting House,
Dear Mr Jones,
I am writing to you with grave concerns over your highly inaccurate and unfair analysis of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and your implied stance of him being some sort of dictator.
I have come to this conclusion after watching your recently aired documentary on the BBC World Service, ‘Democracy in Danger’. Firstly, this documentary has been showed repeatedly recently on the BBC and I believe been given unfair airtime with no counter program to ensure fairness?
Surely the BBC is showing bias and this is a case of unfair journalism? The program In question is very critical of President Duterte and his policies to protect the Filipino public against the evils of drug dealers and crime by those addicts who are high on Shabu.
Since President Duterte took office, crime is down by almost 50% in some areas, corruption has been greatly reduced and of course the Filipino people have given the President a consistently high approval rating in various SWS polls.
In your documentary you focused on several areas where in fact the President is working hard to clean up the country.
The curfew imposed on children and those who would loiter in the streets, is not in fact a strong-arm tactic or meant to be dictatorial in any way, it merely ensures that children are getting the required amount of rest to ensure they can get the most out of the educational opportunities afforded to them and also that they are not somehow caught up in the drug trade or offered drugs. Same applies to so called ‘Tambays’. There is always a risk that people loitering around the streets could become involved in crime.
I am very sure that are many legitimate reasons why people would be on the streets as you say, but I hope you would respect that the PNP and indeed government have every right to ensure peace and order.
Then there is the matter of your almost ambush interview of Imee Marcos, daughter of former President Ferdinand Marcos, to ask her if she would compare President Duterte to her father as a dictator, is somehow asking her to insult her own father as well as President Duterte and similarly the same can be said of your questioning of Bong Bong Marcos.
Then your comments claiming that news blog website Rappler is somehow legitimate in the Philippines, one minute you liken President Duterte to a dictator, and not following the constitution, the next minute you imply that Rappler being banned from covering the President is almost an affront to democracy, yet all the Duterte administration is doing is following the constitution in banning foreign owned journalists from covering the president under the guise of being a Filipino owned news agency.
Yes, I admit, you did interview Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque briefly, yet out of at least 4 individuals who are against the President, you only interviewed one supporting him? Is that fair journalism?
By the way, Sen Leila De Lima who you portray as a political prisoner, is in fact a suspect in a drugs case, not only that, members of her family have now been suspected in being involved in the drugs trade, is she a reliable source for your report?
Also you interviewed Sen Trillanes, who you correctly identify as one of the biggest critics of the Duterte family who by the way, is currently out on bail, having also been suspected of being involved in a crime. Is he a reliable witness therefore?
Do you ever report on the good work President Duterte is doing or even highlight it in your report? How about improvements in infrastructure, reduction of red tape, the President’s support of OFW’s, the billions of pesos he brings to the national economy following his highly fruitful and important overseas visits?
I hope you will have the decency to reply and as a licence payer, hope you will respect my right to challenge you on my perception of your unfair journalistic approach.
Finally, I can categorically assure you that Democracy is safe and well in the Philippines, doesn’t a dictator ban protests and challenges to their leadership? In fact President Duterte is happy to meet his critics and ensures they are afforded maximum tolerance by the authorities.
Also please remember that President Duterte was elected by 16M Filipinos. Please don’t therefore insult them by this biased campaign against him by you and the BBC.