WHEN Joseph Estrada was forced to step down as president, it didn’t take long for his successor, Gloria Arroyo, to have him arrested and subsequently convicted for his crime.
Almost immediately after Arroyo stepped down, her successor Noynoy Aquino had her arrested and placed under hospital detention for about six years for crimes she allegedly committed while in office.
After more than three years in power with war against corruption as one of its three major platforms, the other two being the war against illegal drugs and getting rid of foreign troops and bases on our soil, the Duterte administration has not been able to render Aquino accountable for any of the wrongdoing he has allegedly committed.
They are, among others, the Mamasapano Massacre; the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a portion of which was used to bribe the then members of the Senate to impeach the late Chief Justice Renato Corona; the absence of an accounting of the billions of pesos in donated funds and goods for the victims of the devastating Yolanda typhoon; the Dengvaxia anomaly; the MRT3 scandal; the e-passport scam (Duterte’s foreign secretary, Teodoro “Tweeterboy” Locscin, Jr. bragged he would “autopsy” the Yellows for it), etc., ad nauseam.
With less than three years in office, the Duterte administration has not shown any concrete progress, much less result, in the prosecution of those responsible for the crimes! People are asking why!
President Duterte has again insisted on the re-imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes.
“I’ve been insisting on that. Or would you just rather na patayin kita? Kung hindi kita makuha sa mga — kung hindi kayo — if you are not put — you know, in a place where you can no longer harm anybody. Eh kaysa i-salvage kita, punta ka na lang sa korte. At least electric chair doon or maybe death by hanging. Mas mura eh,” he said.
With the majority in both houses of Congress supporting him, it appears likely he would get his wish.
And maybe even the support of his foreign secretary, Tweeterboy Locsin, who two weeks ago said, referring to convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez, former mayor of Caluan, Laguna: “Shoot the shit in the back of the head. Anything less is a sellout. Anything less clear is the same.
“People today talk a lot about killing but nobody kills when killing needs to be done. F****** fairies. All talk,” he further tweeted.
Yet, this is the same official who earlier tweeted: “I’m against the death penalty. Doesn’t work; just creates an illusion of severity criminals see through easily. Scares nobody. It just degrades society by making everyone complicit in a capital error of miscarried justice. EJK is a crime of the cop; judicial killing is our crime.”
Let’s watch what this fellow says, or does, once the death penalty is passed by Congress.
Will he defend the government from criticisms that are sure to come from human rights organizations and the United Nations?
Still on Locsin, the fellow seems to have the propensity to say things that do not really concern his work as foreign secretary. As netizen GKler asked: “WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS at someone else’s backyard?”
Aside from his comments on Sanchez, he tweeted:
“Who is the criminal idiot who stopped (Dengvaxia) vaccination?… The wife of my personal driver James and the mother of 3, all under 12 years old, died of dengue and pneumonia…
What a f*%$#d up country. Dengue. Nobody dies from that. Who is the criminal idiot who stopped vaccination?” he tweeted.
(Can you believe that? Calling ours a fucked up country?! He has no business being a government official, much less a foreign secretary who represents our country abroad! He should be fired!)
He did not know it was the Department of Health that did?! He should ask his Cabinet colleague, Health Secretary Francisco Duque, who must have cleared it with President Duterte.
On another “none of his business” matter, Locsin reacted to what Senate President Tito Sotto III asked:
“Meron kayang kumita?… ng malaki,” referring to the convicts released through the 2013 law on Good Conduct Time Allowance.
Locsin’s response: “Of course mayroon kumita…”
LOCSIN AND PANELO
Locsin and Spokesman Salvador Panelo appear to be at loggerheads.
First, Locsin belied Panelo’s statement that President Duterte was apologetic to Chinese President Xi Jinping when the former raised the arbitral ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on China’s claim of ownership over virtually the entire South China Sea.
“He did not apologize to China; quite the contrary; in fact insistently the contrary. And the Chinese did not reject him,” Locsin tweeted.
He also told the House Committee on Appropriations during its deliberations on the DFA Budget:
“The report that the President was apologetic in raising the arbitral award, that’s a total fabrication, in every aspect a complete lie.” (He was calling Panelo a liar?)
While I was a bit taken aback by Panelo’s statement, I do not think it was proper for a fellow Cabinet member to embarrass him publicly.
Earlier, Locsin also contradicted Panelo on the acceptance by the Palace of the apology of the owner of the Chinese vessel that figured in a collision with a Filipino fishing boat near the Recto Bank recently.
Locsin said he merely noted the apology. So what? Panelo said the Palace, meaning the President, accepted it.
INTERIM MEASURE TO EASE EDSA TRAFFIC
I am reproducing hereunder an excerpt in my last column regarding my suggestion on how to ease the traffic congestion in EDSA, in the hope that someone in authority would get wind of it and consider its pros and cons. I did send a copy of my column to the MMDA chairman but, unfortunately, I did not even get the courtesy of a reply:
“I have a suggestion that as far as I know has not yet been made or tried. I call it the Odd-Even Scheme – alternate use of EDSA by private vehicles with odd and even ending numbers on their LTO plates.
“It really is quite simple. All kinds of private vehicles with ending odd numbers will only be allowed on EDSA on Mondays, even numbers on Tuesdays, odd numbers on Wednesdays, even numbers on Thursdays, odd numbers on Friday and even numbers on Saturdays. No such restriction on “Sundays.
“Granted, it may favor those who own several vehicles. Unfair to those with only one vehicle? When has life ever been fair?
“But how many multi-vehicle owners are there? Let’s assume 20%, which is on the high side, of EDSA users have more than one vehicle. That would leave only 50% of the other 80% that would use the thoroughfare daily. Quite a substantive reduction of the number of vehicles that would use the roadway daily, wouldn’t it?
“What happens to those with only one vehicle on the days they could not use it? Well, they can commute. They may find it even more convenient and cheaper with the reduced traffic.
Or they can organize carpools.
“With refinement introduced by traffic experts, the scheme just might work. It can be done away with when the construction of more roadways, skyways, elevated railways and subways are finished.”
Today is the 134th day of the 13th year of the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of the late press icon and founder of this newspaper, Joe Burgos.
After the acquittal of Major Harry Baliaga, Jr., the only person formally charged with Jonas’ kidnapping, I guess what happens next is now up to Divine Providence.
From an internet friend:
A man decides he wants to fish. Unfortunately, his favorite spot became illegal to fish in. Undeterred, he fishes for 2 hours, and at this point, he already has a bucket full of live fish and he’s still fishing. Out of nowhere a cop comes and tells him:
“You know you can’t fish here, right? It’s illegal, I’m gonna have to arrest you.”
The man hides the pole and replies:
“Oh no, no, those are my pet fish. I just come here every week or so to drop them in the pond, and once they are done swimming they jump back in and I go home.”
At this point the officer smirks, he knows he’s lying, so he says:
“Well then show me, if you can truly show me that they will do that, then I’ll let you go.”
The man agrees and dumps the fish into the pond, 2 minutes pass.
The officer says:
“So when are the fish jumping back in the bucket?”
“What fish?” says the man.