Honoring a hero PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 March 2017 13:47

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Commissioned by the Chinese government, the tomb of a Chinese legendary figure who was admired for his navigational abilities and qualities, has been found in the hinterlands of Jolo, Sulu.

Pei-Pei Hien, who was nicknamed Sampaokong (honorable Fountain Head), was considered as one of the greatest Chinese navigators who steered his ship in the south seas a record seven times, including the Indian Ocean. He set to sea on July 11, 1405. This date has been assigned as “Chinese Navigation Day” to commemorate Hien’s feat.

During the Ming Dynasty, Sampaokong sailed out to sea and landed in Jolo. It is said that he made Jolo his adopted home until his death. He was also given the name Sian-Chun (The Celestial) upon his demise.

I was told that the Chinese government is going to build a monument in his honor at his burial site.

More on China. After the cultural revolution in 1949, China embarked on a steady crackdown against crime. A number of criminals were meted life imprisonment and some, who committed severe crimes, including economic sabotage, were sentenced to death.

Like in the Philippines, capital punishment was the subject of sensational reports in newspapers that invited various comments and reactions. The rightists questioned China’s principle of reforming criminals. Here, the targets of the death penalty are drug traffickers, dealers and manufacturers and crimes related to illegal drugs.

In China, the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Government have adhered to the principle of combining punishment with education, putting efforts on trying to reform the majority of criminals and help them turn a new leaf. China holds that capital punishment should not be abolished – but the number of death sentences should be reduced to a minimum.

In 1951, Mao Zedong said: “Once a head is chopped off, history shows it can’t be restored, nor can it grow again as chives do after being cut. If you cut off a head by mistake, there is no way to rectify the mistake even if you want to.”

The Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China enacted in 1979 has cut down the number of provisions on offenses that warrant the death penalty, while still retaining the prerogative of temporary suspension of execution – a practice that is unique.

In 1984, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress – the legislative body of the state – revised and amended some provisions of the Criminal Law, including the death penalty, on criminals who “create great damage to the social order.” Those to be punished are gang leaders guilty of serious acts of hooliganism, those who injure others through murder and those who assault state functionaries or citizens who inform against, expose and pursue criminals.

Also, the death penalty holds for those who abduct women and children, illegally manufacture, traffic, transport, steal or seize firearms, ammunition or explosives, and those who teach others to commit crimes.

China holds that “meting out stern punishment, including the death penalty, to criminals, will not only give these lawbreakers what they deserve, but will also serve as a warning to would-be offenders and, thus, prevent further commission of crimes.

God will judge the 214 congressmen who voted to restore the death penalty in the country.

Yes, there is unrest in some parts of Mindanao due to terrorism. Yes, there is anarchy in the streets of Metro-Manila because of the monstrous traffic. There are calamities in the Visayas and parts of Mindanao due to harsh weather conditions. By all indications, El Presidente will declare Martial Law. If that is the only way to protect the people’s security, so be it.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 March 2017 14:11