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Cayetano made matters worse

Despite attempts of the Philippine delegation to window-dress President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on illegal drugs before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Philippines faces global pressure anyway. Forty-five out of 47 countries that participated in the review questioned the spate of killings here.

These countries suggested an investigation into the killings and recommended that we reject the proposal to reinstate capital punishment.

I am inclined to say that Duterte loyalist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano made matters worse when he defended the war on drugs. He said Western media come out with fake news or alternative facts about the drug war. In effect, he said the foreign press does not know what it was talking about.

Cayetano must be living on another planet. How can the foreign community not know what it is talking about when there are foreign embassies here?

I have always said that going after pushers is just half the problem. What do we do with the drug users who must be rehabilitated? Considering how porous our archipelago’s coastlines are, supply will continue to meet the demand for illegal drugs.

I also said that the war on illegal drugs has spawned yet other problems. There is collateral damage. And where shall we put those who have surrendered when our jails are of substandard quality?

This is why I said President Duterte will not be able to end his war on drugs within a year.

Lest I am misunderstood, I completely support President Duterte’s war on drugs. But I also say that more than this, the problems he must focus on are poverty and joblessness.

There are many other challenges, and he cannot simply focus on illegal drugs, crime and corruption. He needs to adopt a holistic approach.

* * *

I stated in an earlier column that the Manila Police and Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa should not set aside the possibility of a terror attack, given the recent bombings in Quiapo, Manila. It appears the police are covering up something; they insist personal feuds are the cause of the explosions.

But the Islamic State (IS) has already claimed responsibility for the bombings. A security expert has said that the Quiapo bombings bear the trademark of a terror attack. These incidents may just be “test runs,” experts say.

With so many IS terrorists from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore now in the Philippines, to say that terrorism is upon Metro Manila would be an understatement. Attacks can take place anytime and anywhere, to create panic among the populace.

Why do you think authorities have put the country’s premier airport on full alert?

Additional security at the Naia may be a minus points in our effort to attract tourists. But it is always better to be vigilant because lives are at stake.

* * *

The most pathetic among all members of the Cabinet is Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. I can almost imagine—every morning, when he wakes up, he must tell himself: “Here I go again, telling lies and interpreting the President’s words so he can avoid criticism.”

I refer to President Duterte’s recent statement on the rejection of former Environment Secretary-designate Regina Lopez. He said lobby money talked, that was why the Commission on Appointments rejected her.

Soon, Abella said the President did not intend to say there was bribery involved in the CA’s decision on Lopez.

So what did Mr. Duterte exactly mean by what he said?

* * *

There were some misprints in my column yesterday on my family legends.

I wrote that there were two Jurado beauties in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur, and they had affluent suitors from outside of Ilocandia.

Maria Jurado, cousin of my father, married a plantation owner and hacendero from Tayabas, now Quezon province.

The other beauty also got married to a hacendero, this time an Urdabe from Pangasinan. One of the offspring was the late Anita Urdabe Lorenzana, who founded patis and bagoong products in the market, products that the country now imports from Thailand.

The offspring of both Maria and Marciana Jurado are mestizos and mestizas, having descended from Spanish forebears.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Senator Alan Peter Cayetano , President Rodrigo Duterte , war on illegal drugs , United Nations Human Rights Council , Geneva
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