Crime surge due to Aquino’s incompetence, not to death penalty’s lifting
ILast of 2 Parts
T will be so tragic if President Duterte gets Congress to reinstate the death penalty. The surge of heinous crimes in the country is not because of the lifting of capital punishment in 2006, but because of the incompetence of immediate past President Benigno Aquino 3rd, whose forces continue to plot against his government.
Senate Bill 42, introduced by Lacson, reveals its gross ignorance: “The alarming surge of heinous crimes in recent years has shown that reclusion perpetua (which replaced execution in a 2006 law) is not a deterrent to grave offenders.”
But what “recent years”’ is Lacson talking about? This logically are the past six years, from 2010 to 2015, when the Philippine National Police was under Aquino’s bosom buddy, Alan Purisima. And it was during these years that there was a near total breakdown of peace and order, with Duterte himself repeatedly saying that we practically had a narco state during these years.
Crime statistics prove this point, and debunk the very wrong claim that the lifting of the death penalty
PULITZER- winning author Thomas Friedman wrote in the NewYorkTimes that the emerging Chinese Dream should be different from the American Dream of “big car, big house, and big Macs for all.”
In this country, dreams are as existential as shanties not being demolished, keeping odd jobs, sending children to college, or working overseas to escape the sting of dehumanizing poverty. Other hopes get pushed under the thick rug of the oldschool patron system or we conceal them behind the pandemonium of our many festivals. After all, the Philippines is listed as one of the happiest places in the world and to say that Filipinos love to party is an understatement. Our aspirations are either pursued or altered by our own making even when CNN ranked us 5th in the Gallup’s Positive Experience Index last year. We are either an archipelago of shiny, happy don’t have the right priorities.
Festivals are pious affairs of thanksgiving that stem from communal traditions. These dances are often agricultural in theme and origin. Farming is such a key resource that festivals are correlated with the abundance of harvest. While there is no way to downplay the positive politics, sociology, spirituality, and economics behind the euphoria, the opinion is when there’s no abundance there should be no festival—and being predominantly Catholic is largely an excuse.
The Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) only advocates solutions, not issues. For instance, instead of venturing for the rewarding Seal of Good Local Governance from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the institutionalization of the Performance Governance System ( PGS), local government units in Negros Oriental spend millions in dedicated to a patron saint. The problem is when LGUs become too concerned about exhibiting these “reconstructed agricultural experiences” as festivals without any grassroots research for validation. This gets even darker when one LGU’s award-winning transparency, disaster preparedness, and peace and order, among others. The sentiment is that consumerism has obscured our people’s real cultural expressions. The verdict is that festivals too often fail to mirror devout religious bearings resulting - ment only for boosting our already brandconfused tourism.
ISA advances a Philippine Dream that germinates from dynamic roundtable presentations, discussions, and applications of nation-building initiatives by LGUs. This is the kind of festival this country actually investment where our youth can truly partake in nation-building—not just as an elusive classroom concept—but as a dogma in practical living. Through PGS, institutions can implement reforms that fundamentally transform policy-making broad-based community groups to craft and performance metrics to track and measure progress. If we heed Aristotle’s saying that “the proper end of government is the promotion of its citizens’ happiness,” then PGS is the next frontier in public service.
Bayawan City was initiated in the PGS back in 2007. In the transformation game plan, the potential niche for growth and development was identified. Bayawan continues to prioritize organic farming initiatives, infrastructure, low-cost housing for the poor, employment for all, and change is possible via public-private dialogue and partnership. It is not the uproarious Tawo-Tawo
Festival that validates the city’s material abundance but the Seal of Good Local Governance award that Mayor Pryde Henry Teves proudly received in Manila recently. There is no need to hide behind put on happy faces, because our leaders on. While other LGUs spend millions in festivities, Bayawan benchmarks and invests in its growing agriculture, increasing agrarian opportunities, health institutions, and other unfolding economic landscapes leading to food security, future potential, dignity of labor, environmental preservation, justice, literacy, wealth, peace, and freedom. Bayawan, as a work-in-progress, perceives PGS as the golden gate to more economic opportunities for its people.
Today, the PGS culture of governance transforms the Philippines, one city at a time. Bayawan is among the few. Many are to follow. In this archipelago of shiny, happy people, if festivals are here to stay, so are some 12 million of our brethren living in poverty.