More convictions, not executions
A recent Pulse Asia survey which showed that eight out of 10 Filipinos approved of the Duterte administration’s campaign against criminality may either silence critics, question the survey results or determine why the bloody war against crime has won so many adherents.
The Pulse Asia survey has also allowed the Palace to declare that the government is in the right track in fighting crime. Despite the mounting casualties and the rising voices of families who lost loved ones to drive-by shootings committed by vigilantes, the Filipino public remains largely convinced about the war on crime.
In fact the Filipinos may be even swayed to support a proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 10 years of age, a scenario that has child rights advocates and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) howling in protest.
Among those who advocating for lowering the age of criminal responsibility was former Cebu congressman Pablo Garcia, and it remains to be seen if this view is shared by his daughter, former governor and now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district.
It’s still under deliberation but that proposal along with the intensified campaign to reinstate the death penalty in Congress showed that the public has had enough of criminality, and is willing to support aggressive action in dealing with suspected criminals.
There is little patience for due process owing perhaps to public perception that the criminals have become more violent and in the case of drug dealers, more brazen in their activities to the point that not even locking them up in jail would stop them from committing crime.
But TV and radio interviews of the person on the street also show an apprehension, a fear of being mistaken for a criminal suspect and being taken out anytime by masked, nameless vigilantes who can shoot down their targets even in broad daylight.
As the police ramp-up the campaign against criminality, especially illegal drugs, so did the volume of drugs seized from suspects proving that while the distribution may have slowed somewhat, the supply never dried up.
The campaign against criminality still needs improvement specifically along the lines of prosecuting the criminal suspects and building airtight cases that would result in more convictions rather than executions on the streets.
It’s easier to pull a trigger and execute a criminal suspect without leaving traces of incriminating evidence rather than prosecuting and convicting them on the basis of strong, incontrovertible evidence.
Unfortunately, this administration would rather defend cops suspected of executing their suspects rather than telling cops to do their jobs better.
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