No cop­ping out

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

ONE is­sue I have is how re­solve the con­tra­dic­tion that is Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte. I find light in the way we sup­port or crit­i­cize per­son­al­i­ties not pro­grams given the ab­sence of ide­ol­ogy-based po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Be­cause of this, well-mean­ing folks run the risk of trash­ing good pro­grams when they trash the au­thor’s ways. They need to re­al­ize that the pow­er­ful few who trash Pres­i­dent Duterte’s ways do so to stop pro­grams that threaten their po­si­tions of dom­i­nance.

Hence, I de­cided on this: sup­port what I am con­vinced are the rel­e­vant pro­grams, but cri­tique what de­cent so­ci­ety thinks are the equiv­o­cal ways, of the Pres­i­dent. Thus:

--I agree there should be heal­ing. But it is get­ting in­creas­ingly clear that bury­ing the dic­ta­tor, sim­ply be­cause the law al­lows it, is not go­ing to re­sult in heal­ing but in more divi­sion.

I my­self have per­son­ally found the path to­wards the Lord’s way of for­give­ness, i.e. with­out con­di­tions. I am mov­ing on with­out, of course, ex­clud­ing my­self from the fight to pre­vent the Mar­coses from re­vis­ing his­tory and re­as­sum­ing power.

But I am only me. Pres­i­dent Duterte and the Supreme Court should lis­ten to the many other vic­tims of Mar­tial Law and the pro­gres­sive mil­len­ni­als who are not able or will not al­low a move-on un­less cer­tain con­di­tions are met like sorrow, atonement and non-burial of the dic­ta­tor’s corpse in hal­lowed ground.

--So far, how­ever, I have no prob­lems with the way the Pres­i­dent is heal­ing the gap­ing wound be­tween the Philippine gov­ern­ment and the CPP-NPA and the MILF/ MNLF re­bel­lions. Talk­ing jus­tice and peace trumps war­ring for jus­tice and peace any­time.

--The fight against drugs is some­thing else. While crit­i­cal to the na­tion’s progress, the egre­gious dis­re­spect for sa­cred life in the drive against drug lords, the ap­par­ent vi­o­la­tion of ba­sic rights al­beit of sus­pects and the threat of sus­pend­ing the writ of Habeas Cor­pus must hit a sen­si­tive chord in the na­tion’s le­gal and moral fiber.

This cav­a­lier at­ti­tude to­wards law and moral­ity must change. So­cial prob­lems must al­ways be re­solved as much as pos­si­ble within le­gal and moral bounds.

--I wel­come the Pres­i­dent’s move to dis­man­tle the lo­cal oli­garchy. Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Ge­orge Mon­biot blames oli­garchies for the mess (poverty, wars, cli­mate change) the world is in. (Mayor To­mas Os­mena said about the same thing lately.) A free market is their sav­ior-god and un­bri­dled com­pe­ti­tion for a he­do­nist’s heaven their moral­ity. It is easy to see how the pow­er­less are left out of this equa­tion.

I just ran out of space. Any­way, while I back the Pres­i­dent’s main pro­grams I must cri­tique his in­creas­ingly ques­tion­able (both legally and morally) meth­ods. That’s how I cope be­cause there sim­ply is no cop­ping out.

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