Saturday, June 4, 2016

Duterte: Stop saying kill

Stop Calls for Killing

There is a new word now being adopted even by my kids---kill.

This word has been invoked by Mayor Duterte like a delicious mantra at every available instance since he began his campaign up to the most recent presscon which, unfortunately, he began conducting late in the evening or the time when kids are being lulled by their parents to sleep by telling them to listen to radio.

In his recent press conference, Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte proudly announced his new appointments, and the only constant trait that these people whom he named was their capability to kill.

Duterte points to a former cop official who he decided to appoint at LTO. Duterte says this cop official and the others whom he appointed had the capability to kill. They can shoot erring officials in their agencies whenever they want or had the desire to do so.

Duterte even gave blanket authority to cops to arrest “dead or alive” suspected drug lords. Though deep inside me, that’s okey, but, really, another side of me says, no. Why? I don’t want Duterte to fail in his anti-drugs campaign.

Publicly announcing these things would put Duterte in a very precarious situation. I bet my bottom dollar that, at some point, these cops would err in their “dead or alive” mission and would encounter an innocent man or people.

What if this happens---cops kill an innocent person, what then? They would probably concoct their way out of this problem by saying that the dead person was a dreaded vice lord. But what if the person killed was indeed innocent? Duterte would surely find himself under extremely difficult circumstances.

That’s the problem with quick fix solutions—these normally lead to long-term problems.

Now, apply this to graft and corruption. We know how the bureaucracy works, how intrigues are often heaped on several well-meaning people. And Duterte’s appointees are only human---they are not infalliable.

What if a Duterte high official shoots someone who is also innocent—would the incoming president go out of his way and defend his official even at a fault?

That’s the thing with people who want quick fixes—these are prone to more mistakes and misery.

Mind you, lest Duterte and his government misinterpret me---I only want Duterte’s success. I want him to be successful and I understand where he is coming from.

But just to remind him, that his situation is different now, Duterte should be more careful about his pronouncements because at the end of the day, Duterte should realize that when he faces the media, he is facing his stakeholders—the people—who risked their lives voting for him and for what he stands for and for what he promises to deliver to them. Joke or joke, every utterance he so wantonly let fly these past few weeks have so enflamed emotions, destroyed faiths and encouraged anarchy that instead of its intended goal of “ creating chills down the spines of every corrupt official and vice lord”, it has actually led to the opposite—it has galvanized the ranks of well-meaning and decent people who are now re-thinking their support for him and are now trying to make sense of these things and finding nothing rational at all, are on the verge of seriously harming the incoming administration.

We can these kinds of men—putakins (from the base word “putak” meaning senseless babble). Putakins are chicken shits. They surrender easily. They hide their insecurities by releasing a staccato of senseless verbal bile and when the time comes to fight, they proved to be an easy hit. With just one punch, they succumb and sleep and unable to fight back.

As my brods used to say—these are not men but chicken booties.

And again, lest Duterte thinks that killing a person is a hard one—it is the easiest way out of a rut—snuff out a life. Pulling the trigger is easy—yet the consequences of that decision to pull—that’s the hardest part. Every one can pull a trigger but the question everyone asks is—is the person pulling the trigger prepared to accept the consequences of ending someone’s life?

Duterte says he has values. Just to remind the good Mayor of Davao—everyone has values. The question really is—what are these values? You never qualified. Are these values good ones or values that are at street level?

If, at this point, the incoming president seemed unable to value life—how then can he say that he value the lives of many? Is life so damned cheap for Duterte that he can just shrug it off and tell his subordinates that when faced with a difficulty, the best solution is kill, kill, kill!

If that is the value that Duterte holds dear, then, there is simply no one safe anymore. Because, again, let me reiterate, there is not one, not a single one, that is infalliable. When you give someone the license to kill, you are actually subjecting this person to a very precarious situation, something that would eventually lead him to the gallows so to speak.

For killing a life is not the best solution.

Of course, this is entirely different if Diterte is waging a revolution, a true and authentic one. He has license to kill counter-revolutionaries. But until then, Duterte must conduct himself and probably just keep these things to himself. Too much bravado spoils the broth so to speak. Too much promises and too much self-approbation reveal much of the true nature of the person talking.

Or as the Good Lord says--those who live by the gun stands the risk of being killed by it. Amen.