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All extra-judicial killings must stop

DURING a command conference at the PNP National Headquarters, National Police Chief Director General Rolando dela Rosa, without batting an eyelash, said that drug syndicates, not vigilantes, are behind the recent spate of killings. He added that the PNP had already identified these syndicates.

Clearly, Dela Rosa’s statement was meant to exonerate the police from the culture of violence, lawlessness and impunity.

Doesn’t Dela Rosa realize that whoever is behind them, they still are extra-judicial killings that must be stopped?

Since Dela Rosa has admitted that he has “scientific evidence” about the killings, he must be act quickly and with the same determination and commitment as his boss, President Duterte, to go against those responsible.

The President and his police chief must realize that continued extra-judicial killings have spawned other problems like lawlessness and violence. These could lead to the breakdown of peace and order. Will this eventually translate to martial law or the declaration of a revolutionary government?

The United Nations, Amnesty International and even the United States have already reacted to what’s happening in the Philippines.

I am sure that the Mr. Duterte can become a great President with his political will and determination to end criminality, illegal drugs and corruption in the shortest time possible. But he must also have the will to call for an end to the killings because they are outside of the law.

* * *

In an obvious attempt to make herself relevant, Vice President Leni Robredo says that she will seek an audience with the president to convince him not to have the remains of the late strongman and President Ferdinand E. Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

If you ask me, there should be an attemptt to change the name of the LNMB into just a cemetery, like Arlington Cemetery. After all, not only heroes can be buried there. Even the dog of the late President Corazon Aquino was buried there.

By definition and regulation approved by no less than former President Cory and then-Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos, it is clear that Marcos as former President, Commander-in-Chief, former National Defense Secretary, and a war veteran is qualified to be buried at the LNMB.

So what will Robredo now tell Duterte? Can she deny that Marcos was a President and a war veteran who is qualified to be interred at the Libingan?

I am sure that as a gentleman, the President will see her. But he will not be convinced.

Santa Banana, are the more than 16 million Filipinos who voted for Duterte rallying and protesting? Is there a nationwide clamor against the President’s unwavering will to put closure to the Marcos remains issue once and for all?

If the answer is a no, then September 18 will be the date when the Marcos remains will be interred.

* * *

When Lopez clan heiress Gina Lopez, a self-proclaimed environment advocate, and anti-mining crusader, was appointed Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, businessman Manny V. Pangilinan said it was like putting an elephant in the room.

But she has become more of a bull in the China shop. She is dedicated to making mining a sunset industry.

She has suspended the operations of 10 mining firms including the biggest, multi-billion gold-copper project Tampakan Mining. Now she is threatening to close Semirara of the Consunjis for alleged violation of its Environmental Clearance Certificate.

Without Semirara, several power plants would stop operating!

The country can no longer rely on coal shipped from Indonesia. Doesn’t President Duterte realize what Lopez is doing, bullying the mining industry?

The appointment of Gina Lopez was deemed a masterstroke of Duterte. Now he can have the support of the powerful ABS-CBN broadcast network. The minus side is that Duterte is also making mining a sunset industry. Tell me: What investor would now come?

Of course, irresponsible miners must go. But, Tampakan and Semirara are not per se irresponsible mining firms. If they have violated the ECC, they must be told to shape up or ship out.

The fault lies on the DENR’s division that issues the ECCs. It is perceived as a corrupt division where personnel extort money from those who want to be given their certificates. Santa Banana, doesn’t Lopez realize that even small business and factories must get ECC permits to operate?

Her appointment must be reviewed if this administration must attract foreign investors. By the way, doesn’t Mr. Duterte realize Lopez is part of the oligarchy he so despises?

* * *

Ramon Ang, president and COO of the San Miguel conglomerate, has vowed to give P1 billion to the Duterte government for building rehabilitation centers and facilities for the thousands of illegal drug users and addicts that have surrendered to the police.

I must congratulate Ang for this endeavor. The illegal drug menace will always be with us unless drug dependents get rehabilitated. I know for a fact that so long as there’s a demand for illegal drugs, the matter will not go away.

The P1 billion from San Miguel to put up drug rehabilitation centers could start the establishment of other rehabilitation facilities nationwide. Still, it is not enough. It will take more than that—such centers will also since need doctors, psychiatrists and personnel. All in all I estimate about P50 billion for rehab centers nationwide.

Topics: Emil Jurado , All extra-judicial killings must stop , National Police Chief Director General Rolando dela Rosa , Vice President Leni Robredo , President Ferdinand E. Marcos , Libingan ng mga Bayani , Gina Lopez , Ramon Ang
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