Loose firearms are a big problem

Have you noticed that there does not seem to be the same level of excitement over the upcoming bout between local boxing icon, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Argentine boxer Lucas Marthysse? The fight will be on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur.

In Pacquiao’s previous fights, newspapers and broadcast stations were abuzz early on.

Now, if it were not for the advertisements, people would not notice at all. This means that Pacquiao’s popularity among Filipinos is waning. He is, after all, already 39 years old. He should retire.


Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was assassinated Monday morning. He was famous for his anti-crime and anti-drug “Walk of Shame.” He made suspects parade through city streets with placards identifying who they were.

The shot which killed him could only have been made by a sniper trained in jungle warfare. Only military personnel would have access to an M-16 rifle.

The shooter hid in a grassy area 150 meters from the mayor. The assassin then left the weapon there.

Does the killing have anything to do with the war against drugs?

The death of Halili also raises the issue of loose firearms, which have been used in the killing of those involved in the drug trade, judges, prosecutors, journalists and even clergymen.

With firearms in the possession of killers, and with the President wanting to arm barangay officials, the Philippines will indeed become the Wild, Wild West!

I join Senator Panfilo Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police, in urging the administration to go after loose firearms and the private armies that use them. They make a mockery of the government’s peace and order program.

I can only predict more killings.


Santa Banana, I read this report about an inmate of the New Bilibid Prison being the mastermind of a kidnap-for-ransom gang, who kidnapped the owner of a steel shop.

This raises two questions. How did this convict get to be involved when he is supposed to be in jail? And, what is former PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, who is now in charge of the Bureau of Corrections, doing about it?

This is really nothing new at the NBP. Convicts can slip out of prison when they want to, because of corruption among NBP officials and guards.

I thought Dela Rosa would be able to stop these shenanigans at the NBP but it seems nothing has changed.

If convicted criminals could slip out when they want, how can we feel safe in our homes and on the streets?


Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director-general Aaron Aquino are at odds over the random drug testing of students. The disagreement stems from the age at which the students can be tested— Grade 4? High school?

Because of my stint as vice president of the DARE Foundation, I know that pushers had victims as young as 10 years old. They are most vulnerable and can easily be persuaded to experiment with drugs. Grade school pupils are especially easy to sway. The favorite places of drug pushers are the periphery of exclusive schools like Ateneo or La Salle. School children here have money to spare.

Public and private schools should regularly meet with parents to find out how they are doing at school. There are numerous signs, such as failing grades, frequent absences, increasing isolation. Parents should get to know their children’s friends.


The Duterte administration, particularly Spokesman Harry Roque, should stop talking about alleged attempts of certain sectors to connive with communists to oust the President.

At this point, when surveys continue to show the President’s popularity among the people, moves to remove him from office would be an exercise in futility.

While President Duterte has not delivered on the change he has promised, at least not yet, I don’t see a reason for his ouster.

For one, there is no credible leader from the opposition. I do not count Vice President Leni Robredo as a unifying force that can provide an alternative to the status quo. The opposition senators? Not them, too.

Even the so-called media critics of the President are so few. In print media, for instance, Duterte apologists abound.

Still, Roque insists that the Catholic Church is so critical of Duterte because its candidate lost in 2016. I wonder— was that Mar Roxas or Grace Poe? I thought the miscommunications office was bad enough, but having a spokesman like Roque makes things worse!

Topics: Manny Pacquiao , Lucas Marthysse , Antonio Halili , Philippine National Police , Panfilo Lacson , Leonor Briones , Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency , Harry Roque
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