His word against ours PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:43

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Mr. Duterte has his moral principles and while I may not subscribe to them he is, of course, entitled to adhere to these principles. Just as I am entitled to mine. This is because we live in a democratic country where each one paddles his own boat so long as the boat does not impede on another boat’s course and the boat follows the “sea lane” that has been identified for the country.

The difference between Mr. Duterte and me is that he is the president and can determine the course  to be followed by  all the other boats in the country. The dilemma comes up when I have to question whether he is on the right course, whether I should in fact set my own boat following the course he has articulated.

A good initial example is the course Mr. Duterte has chosen to take in waging the war on illegal drugs. I believe every Filipino supports the war on drugs but not the way it is being fought. Every day we read in the papers or see on TV news that several ( 6?  8?) suspects were killed in anti illegal drug ops of the police. The simple explanation for the numerous deaths is that the suspects are “nanlaban” or fought back. We are asked to believe this simply because the police said so. Should we be so gullible?

Recently the former Secretary of Tourism  had to resign because of questions regarding the P60-million contract for ads for the department in a TV program that was produced by her brother. When the COA questioned the propriety of this transaction the Secretary resigned her position and the lawyer for her brother said the P60M would be returned. Later on the brother was adamant in saying that no, the money would not be returned. When the matter was referred to Mr Duterte he said that “it would be resolved through the legal process.” Good for him.

But what was the difference between this situation and the numerous ones of the “nanlaban” cases? Is it not that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty? What should be done when the accused, the suspect, can no longer be tried because he/she is already dead?

Mr. Duterte can reprove me because I have never been a lawyer whereas he was  a prosecutor before he came to elected office as Davao Mayor. Because I am not a lawyer, perhaps all the thousands of  lawyers in the country, members of the bar, can tell him how the law is, and should be, used.

Mr Duterte has come out in support of capital punishment in our country, which was outlawed  in the past. I suppose he is now ready to call the Pope the same thing he called God – “Stupid.”