Locking horns with the beast

By: Jobers R. Bersales July 06,2016 - 09:31 PM

Tis the season to bring down the high and mighty as President Rodrigo Duterte locks horns with the beast so early in his term.

And by the looks of it, unlike all other presidents before him, he will use all the powers within his arsenal to fulfill the number one reason why millions accused during the elections of being ignoramus and stupid voters — among them academics, lawyers, doctors and other professionals — brought him to Malacañang.

Exposing police generals who walk the corridors of power as alleged protectors of drug lords immediately sends the right signal and the correct, serious tone. But it also makes us wonder why previous presidents in recent times never did this during their first days in office. Were they too afraid of the beast? Or did they benefit from the billions of pesos that these beasts earn year on year as it fueled their electoral victories?

Earlier in May, after it was clear that he had won the mandate of the Filipino electorate, President Digong had requested law enforcement agencies to submit to him all the names of drug lords and their protectors, from police and military generals to senators, congressmen, governors, mayors and every local government official pretending to be honorable.

I believe the list or lists is/are now being validated and the president’s announcement last Tuesday is just the beginning.

We are reminded of the Ramon Magsaysay who promised to end the Huk rebellion in Central Luzon, a campaign promise he fulfilled early in his presidency.

Of course, there is an ocean of difference between the agrarian unrest that fueled the Huk rebellion as it festered even before Magsaysay’s term and this drug menace that seeks to wreak havoc in the country today. The gripes of the former were legitimate, to which Magsaysay attempted to address accordingly while the latter is just plain profit-taking at the expense of a generation of Filipinos losing many of their friends and relatives to drug addiction.

Speaking of this menace, there is one train of thought that says these drugs are a strategic operation of the Chinese government to weaken the country and wreak chaos within as the government attempts to control this tremendous problem. I leave it to intelligence agencies to determine whether this is true or not.

But the results can be devastating when a country is ruled by narco-politics, where most of the elected officials as well as those tasked to secure peace and order are under the control, the whims and caprices, of billionaire drug lords.

We finally have a president who is not afraid to confront this beast. But President Duterte must not lose his guard in this noble fight. It is expected that those who have enjoyed the benefits of narco-politics will not take this battle sitting down.

This is where the Filipino people can help, even those who did not vote for Digong. After all, who does not love a noble fight, where we rid this nation of a menace that has eaten into the fabric of society and created a generation that has lost many of its cohorts to addiction?

* * *

I know change will creep slowly to some but let me thank Mayor Luigi Quisumbing of Mandaue City for his call on traffic enforcers to punish traffic violators and ensure that the city will implement all traffic ordinances and regulations. This is one way to ease congestion in the streets.

However, the day after the good mayor ordered his enforcers to do so, I once again passed by the intersection of A.S. Fortuna and Hernan Cortes and once again I saw a traffic enforcer by the shade provided by Metro Gaisano as a white-colored automobile made the usual counterflow on a double-yellow line to go to McDonald’s.

All of us heading towards the direction of Mandaue proper had to stop even as the traffic light was green because of this hungry, greedy traffic violator (hungry to make a traffic infraction and hungry to eat his burger no matter the inconvenience to others).

The traffic enforcer could not attend to this infraction as he had to prevent public utility multicabs from stopping right near the intersection beside Gaisano Metro as they are wont to do. It is clear that Mandaue needs more enforcers especially since at McDonald’s side across, the company has even put a kind of outpost for someone to sit on and observe traffic! Amazing! And yet no one sits there while anyone hungry can counterflow and stop every car heading to the intersection.

Change has arrived at the top. But here at the intersection of A.S. Fortuna and Hernan Cortes, some idiot drivers, both public and private, are too atrophied to change.

I wonder how it must be in other intersections.

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TAGS: Central Luzon, Digong, horns, Malacañang, President Duterte, President Rodrigo Duterte

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