Crime and death PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 15:43

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

The countdown has begun. Law enforcers are eagerly waiting for their marching orders from President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to crackdown on all sorts of crimes, particularly illegal drugs. Lately, media have been reporting about the rise in cases and death of drug traffickers and drug pushers since May 9, when it became clear that Iron Duterte was going to be the next president of a country hobbled by smuggling, profiteering, embezzlement, bribery and corruption, many of them involving government functionaries. The task of the president is clear: deal firmly with economic and social crimes and crackdown on illegal drugs, smuggling rings, illegal gambling in big cities and all the regions of the country.

On June 30, President Duterte’s warning to criminals will resound like the bell of Notre Dame — the elite and bourgeoise won’t be spared. A relentless drive against corruption will be carried out, just as Mao Zedong did it in China in 1949 when he became chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. Definitely, the impact will be felt by big-time embezzlers. If found guilty, some will be executed, if the death penalty is re-imposed. How long capital punishment will last, assuming that it is re-instituted, remains to be seen. The catholic church will be the principal oppositor to it.

The criminal activities in the field of illegal drugs in recent years have escalated in a horrifying rate and are far too much larger in scale and more serious than economic crimes like smuggling and hoarding. Crimes of all kinds have soared in the last two decades. Worse, there are cases involving top officials in congress and collection agencies who have taken advantage of their positions for personal gain, while backing up the criminal gangs.

Plugging the holes in our obviously defective economic and administrative policies won’t be easy because of the government’s slackened efforts to correct them. The cases involving the country’s “big shots” have been pending too long and unresolved for many years now. The time has come to deal with them decisively and with finality. Mr. Duterte can do it. He has the heart of a lion. He has struck fear in every evil-doer’s heart. In China, any state functionary who commits an offense of smuggling or speculation and profiteering by abusing the prerogatives of his office is severely punished. There is no leniency to it.

The proposed re-imposition of the death penalty by the “instant majority” has been the subject of sensational news and pulpit sermons that has evoked various debates and speculations. Capital punishment does not seek to reform criminals but to silence them forever. It is the thinking of the incoming administration that the death penalty should be restored, but the number of dearh sentences should be minimized.

By way of maintaining social order, severe punishment should be meted on drug traffickers, kidnappers, those who illegally manufacture and sell guns, ammunition or explosives. But there is no guarantee that hooligans will not commit rape, murder and robbery. The question is clear: will capital punishment deter the commission of crimes and serve as a warning to criminals and would-be offenders and prevent further crimes? Can the death penalty protect the people’s personal security and democratic rights?

Anybody without bias or prejudice to the incoming administration, most especially the 21 million who did not vote for Mr. Duterte, who is concerned about the well-being of the entire Filipino nation should feel pleased that after June 30 the Philippines will be cracking down on ordinary offenses and heinous crimes as never before.