Steps back

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

RESTORA­TION of the death penalty and of the ROTC (Re­serve Of­fi­cers Train­ing Corps) takes us two steps back from be­com­ing a more civ­i­lized na­tion. The death penalty di­rectly and the ROTC re­motely contribute to the very an­tithe­ses of the goals and means of civ­i­lized so­ci­ety which are peace­ful co­op­er­a­tion in the pur­suit of a se­cure and pro­gres­sive life for all its mem­bers.

Un­til our jus­tice sys­tem is cleansed of cor­rup­tion, only the poor will be meted the death penalty as the wealthy pay their way out of it. That is why, al­though I am against it for es­sen­tially moral rea­sons, I could live with it for two heinous crimes that cur­rently are pre­vent­ing our courts from met­ing jus­tice fairly and equally to all.

One is the crime of judges, lawyers, the po­lice, the National Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, etc., plant­ing ev­i­dence, killing wit­nesses and fram­ing up the ig­no­rant and in­no­cent poor for the money of rich crim­i­nals try­ing to es­cape con­vic­tion and pun­ish­ment.

The other is plun­der. It is heinous be­cause it steals from the peo­ple and kills the poor by de­priv­ing them of es­sen­tial gov­ern­ment ser­vices. Plun­der also pro­vides cor­rupt of­fi­cials with money to match the greed of cor­rupt judges, pros­e­cu­tors, po­lice, etc.

doubt the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind the delist­ing of plun­der from the cat­e­gory of heinous crimes, more so now that an elected con­gress­man has pub­licly aired his ig­no­rance (more like stu­pid­ity to me) of the dif­fer­ence be­tween a thief who steals from a fel­low cit­i­zen and a plun­derer who steals from the peo­ple.

About the ROTC… its phase-out years back to­gether with the re­moval of the manda­tory con­scrip­tion was part of our de­mil­i­ta­riza­tion process. These were ex­cel­lent moves for a small and poor coun­try like us. Even if we be­came rich and could af­ford a well-trained and a well-equipped army we would never win a war against any ex­ter­nal ag­gres­sor who for sure would in­vade us only if they are as­sured of vic­tory.

Or no­body might even in­vade us at all. This is the more likely sce­nario un­der cur­rent con­di­tions in the global vil­lage. In ei­ther case the ROTC is a pretty use­less ex­er­cise. Our mil­i­tary could in­stead fo­cus on in­ter­nal threats to se­cu­rity and peace. The cost-sav­ings could then be put to bet­ter use in ed­u­ca­tion, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, etc. That is if these are not plun­dered away first by cor­rupt of­fi­cials.

If in­still­ing dis­ci­pline is the good we aim to get from the ROTC, I think com­mu­nity ser­vice will serve the pur­pose just as well. We al­ready have free mil­i­tary train­ing in the Philip­pine Mil­i­tary Acad­emy for those in­clined to­wards a mil­i­tary ca­reer. Why force the un­in­ter­ested to pay tu­ition for ROTC?

One step back and two for­ward is the smart way to go, not two steps back with no guar­an­tee of even a step for­ward.

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