No Re­grets

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

fed­er­al­ism, for de­cen­tral­iza­tion of power, and what I con­sid­ered a bet­ter form of gov­ern­ment. My vote was for a leader who could back words with ac­tion, who had tan­gi­ble re­sults to show from all his years in lead­er­ship. So pre­sented with the choices for pres­i­dent, though there wasn't re­ally much to like about the choices, I made a choice any­way and cast my vote.

So no, I do not re­gret vot­ing for Duterte, and no apolo­gies are forth­com­ing for ex­er­cis­ing my right and mak­ing a judg­ment call based on what I thought was the best (as is any­body else's right). Were I to travel back in time, I don't think I would have voted any other way.

I will, how­ever, ex­press dis­ap­point­ment on sev­eral things go­ing on in this ad­min­is­tra­tion. I am sad­dened by the need­less loss of lives in this drug war. While I am all for con­duct­ing le­git­i­mate po­lice op­er­a­tions, back­ing them up with proper train­ing and equip­ment, I am against plant­ing ev­i­dence and in­cit­ing suspects to "fight back" just to bury a bul­let in their heads.

Un­for­tu­nately, the pres­i­dent did not live up to his promise to be "more pres­i­den­tiable" once he as­sumed the man­tle, and in­stead ut­tered care­less words that many take as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for po­lice to act with im­punity. It does not mat­ter if the words were said in jest, in hy­per­bole, or what­ever spin they con­coct. What mat­ters is they were in­deed ut­tered and lives have been lost in their ut­ter­ance, and for that he is ac­count­able and an­swer­able to the peo­ple.

This is no longer elec­tion time when you have to re­gale vot­ers with hu­mor, dou­ble­s­peak, street slang and ex­ag­ger­ated prom­ises. Now is the time for clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion, to say what you mean and mean what you say. Af­ter all, you leave a very con­fused pub­lic when on the one hand you tell us that you will not tol­er­ate po­lice abuse while on the other, you en­cour­age the po­lice to give the al­leged push­ers guns so they can fight back and pro­vide a rea­son for be­ing shot down.

I am dis­ap­pointed that Gen­eral de la Rosa did not take se­ri­ously the sug­ges­tion

that po­lice should wear body cam­eras. If we are to be se­ri­ous about trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity in op­er­a­tions, then he should not dis­miss this for mere lack of funds but find ways in or­der to im­ple­ment it. If there is in­deed noth­ing to hide and op­er­a­tions are above-board, then why not? This will even aid in go­ing af­ter those cops who are in­deed scalawags.

I am dis­ap­pointed at how the CHR has been de­mo­nized and painted as a use­less en­tity. As has been pointed out time and again, the CHR ex­ists to pro­tect us from gov­ern­ment abuses. De­spite the gen­eral term "hu­man rights," it is not their job to go af­ter kid­nap­pers or those killed by drug ad­dicts (that's what the po­lice are for). The of­fice was cre­ated with a spe­cific man­date and that is what they are do­ing. For ex­am­ple, if the po­lice are the ones abus­ing you, you un­der­stand­ably do not want to run to the po­lice for help. You go to the CHR. That is not so dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand.

I am dis­ap­pointed as well in how "main­stream me­dia" has been painted as evil and blog­gers as a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive (es­pe­cially if they are re­mu­ner­ated for their ser­vices by the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent). While there are in­deed dis­hon­est me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers, the same can be said of blog­gers. This does not war­rant any sort of blan­ket gen­er­al­iza­tion for ei­ther group.

So there, no apolo­gies, but sad­ness and anger for the lack of due process, and a deep de­sire for this ad­min­is­tra­tion to step up and do bet­ter.---Andy

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