SOME members of the Duterte administration may have been caught off-guard when the President appointed a political nemesis to lead his signature drug campaign. And they were stunned when Vice President Leni Robredo accepted her designation as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee On Anti-Illegal Drugs.
The presidential directive was obviously half-hearted and largely borne out of Mr. Duterte’s exasperation with police drug enforcement. The last straw was resigned PNP chief Oscar Albayalde’s involvement with ninja cops that probably drove Mr. Duterte to believe his own misgivings on cleaning up the PNP.
Malacanang’s bias against Robredo’s capacity to govern was palpable, her gender initially being the sole ingredient in her bashing by the President and his allies. Spokesman Salvador Panelo’s repeated tirades could only be far from the truth. Robredo had offered alternative proposals to solve the drug problem but all these were ignored by the PNP and the DILG.
Sen. Bong Go even advised Robredo to go on with the killings that should now target drug lords to save the innocent which he, now a lawmaker, continues to qualify as doomed suspected pushers and users undeserving of lawful due process.
Despite the still confusing status of Leni’s authority as the nation’s drug czar, a sense of humanity has suddenly surfaced in the sea of gloom among thousands of families who lost their loved ones in EJKs. Robredo’s route will be through the treacherous terrain of human rights, social justice and restoration, venturing into hostile territory of police brutality and corruption and thick political resistance, as well as in entrenched drug syndicates in the police and local government.
The nurturer in her will bring life to the despairing and powerless, collaterals in a decaying criminal justice system where the poor still take the brunt of raw power from guns, goons and gold. “Justice without power is empty, but power without justice is harsh.”
Some people say it’s good she did not listen to her lawyers who strongly objected to Mr. Duterte’s offer. Lawyers have always a penchant for allowing themselves to be overcome by legal hindrances while political advisers are stumped by risks and political uncertainties.
Her mantra of governance to save innocent lives and neutralize the abuse of police and government power which is a contradiction of Mr. Duterte’s brutal drug campaign will test the renewed resolve of the President who must bestow on her his trust and confidence, whether he likes it or not.
There were more cries for the Lord’s intervention than Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s own prayer for the first of three earthquakes in Mindanao to stop. Hundreds of affected residents with the earth shaking violently under their feet rediscovered prayer as their sudden solace.
Their collective fear and anguish found their way to heaven faster than Quiboloy’s command for the tremor to cease. Why must he think that he should get the credit and demean the faith of Christian believers who have long believed in God’s mercies and power?
The Bible, not the words of Quiboloy, is replete with promises of deliverance and protection from dangers and calamities. One is Psalm 34: 19. “A righteous may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.”
The haughty “apostle” of God has lashed out at his bashers who he said should be blamed for the calamities in Mindanao for they continue to sin and dishonor God. His good friend, President Duterte, must have cringed at the blistering accusation. He continues to live in with his partner which the Bible calls fornication. He directs and condones EKJs which the Bible and the law of man call murder. Mr. Duterte has also spoken ill of God, the Creator and Lord of the universe, calling Him stupid. Many people have asked of Quiboloy’s own sin and if he had repented – trying to smuggle tens of thousands of dollars to the US on his private jet.