DISAPPOINTMENT ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

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(C) Josh Rushing

I can’t believe that I’m saying this; WHAT A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE.

Before President Duterte assumed office last year, I was in favor of bringing it back because no one was afraid of committing a crime during the last three years of the Aquino administration. But when the talks of the death penalty rose from the ashes only to know that it will not put rape, treason, and plunder as grounds for capital punishment it just left me disappointed. Just like how a kid was so excited to ask his parents for a brand new toy, until your father tells you that he just went jobless after his place of work got closed. No thanks from the world market.

The “refined” version of death penalty here in the Philippines is on the verge of resurrection. No thanks to the majority of the Philippine congress. The Philippine senate has yet to make progress.

What’s the matter lawmakers from the House of Representatives? Too guilty to put the following crimes as grounds for capital punishment?

If I only knew, you people are just too scared that you really saved your skins first before putting principles first. That is if you have any.

You can’t simply count with your fingers the number of congressmen who are just too dumb to bring back the death penalty because they want to get rid of the drug addicts, drug pushers, drug lords and the like. It’s either they’re too scared of President Duterte to reject the bill that might revive the death penalty after the third reading, or they’re simply riding on the popularity of President Duterte to bring it back.

To me, why bring back a system that didn’t help to lessen criminality in this country if the old ‘Oplan Tokhang’ got rebranded to ‘Project Double-Barrel Reloaded’ and still get the same results after this? Even if it says on paper that it will be less bloody. Which everybody doubts.

To bring it back to the system is making those other crimes look decriminalized.

Which is why the suspect of the road-rage shooting at the intersection of Quezon Avenue and Tuazon, Fredison Atienza is hiding from the law, but then you would realize that Rolito Go, who did the same manner of crime didn’t get the lethal injection. Instead, he served a life sentence since shooting Eldon Maguan. We are just hoping that whatever sickness Go has would take his life soon.

It’s just simply pointless when this gets back to our government system. It’s simply pointless when this will not be imposed on foreigners who are operating their drug rackets here. I’m not saying that we should get even with China who has given the death penalty to Filipinos that became drug mules not only in China. Syndicates that turned overseas Filipino workers to drug mules didn’t just deploy them on China. They have deployed some to Arab countries, and those Arab countries have a tighter grip when it comes to that.

In our manner of handling drug offenders to foreigners, deportation is only making it worse because it leaves a mark. Not unless the drug racketeer knows how to tie loose ends when they get deported.

If this really gets back soon, I only hope that the government still has enough chemicals for lethal injection because it would be a shame if we are too old school by sentencing them to death by hanging.

Then again, we are a third world country. We could not afford such chemicals yet to bring back the manner Leo Echegaray got his death sentence in 1999. We could only spend less by sentencing them to hanging because ropes that are huge in diameter, looking very thick are the most affordable way of imposing it. Just don’t forget the bag to mask the face of the criminal.

Paalam, Madam Miriam

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Photo by Efigenio Toledo IV, Philstar Global

Mag iisang linggo na pala.

So totoo lang, hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na pumanaw na si Senador Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Kasi una, binoto ko siya. Higit sa lahat, ang boring na manood ng mga hearing sa senado, at hindi magbu bunganga ng ganito si Senador Leila de Lima sa kahit anong dahilan. Yan ay kung hindi nag hangad ang namayapang senador na tumakbo muli bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas sa pangatlong pagkakataon. Pero ayoko na rin balikan yung teknikalidad ng pagtakbo sa eleksyon.

Sa pag alala ko kay Senator Miriam, nakakatuwang isipin na ang kalihim ngayon ng Department of Justice na si Vitaliano Aguirre II, na noon ay abogado para sa prosecution panel noong kasagsagan ng paglilitis kay Renato Corona, taon 2012 ay naramdaman niya ang hagupit ng mga salita ng senador dahil sa pagtakip ng kanyang tenga sa harap ni Senador Miriam. Ang pinaka masama pa rito ay nasabihan pa na G-A-G-O ang buong prosecution panel dahil sa kanya.

Hindi lamang ito ang dahilan kaya talagang sinu subaybayan ang mga paglilitis na ito sa senado, apat na taon na ang naka lilipas.

Isa sa mga inabangan din ay ang pag imbestiga ng mga senador noon sa pork barrel scam kay Janet Lim-Napoles. Hindi ko man napanood mismo ang pagtanong ni Miriam kay Napoles na may soot na bulletproof vest, halata naman na gustong-gusto na rin itanong ng senadora kung talaga bang bulletproof ang soot niyang vest bago niya ito barilin.

At sinong makakalimot sa mga sagutan nila ni senador Juan Ponce Enrile? Isang tao na para bang nakakalimutan sundoin ni Dr. Kaye M. Tayan. Isang tao din na sinabi ng senadora na sa sobrang tanda ay present sa Huling Hapunan kasama ni Jesus.

Kung nakaupo pa rin si Miriam sa senado, malamang-sa-malamang ay sasabonin niya si Edgar Matobato sa paraan na inaasahan ko. Siyempre, bubungangaan si Matobato at panigurado tapos na agad ang senate inquiry bago mag Undas at hindi masasayang ang panahon at oras ng senado sa pagbuo at pagsasabatas ng mga panukalang batas.

Ini-imagine ko na lang talaga. Kung buhay pa rin talaga siya

Nakakalungkot isipin na dumagdag ang senadora sa tala ng mga tinubos ng sakit na cancer ngayon taon, tulad nina Alan Rickman at David Bowie.

Ang inakala kong mabubuhay pa siya at pwede pa namin sabihin na mali ang pagboto nila kay Pangulong Duterte pagdating ng 2022 ay hindi na namin magagawa dahil nga sa nangyari. Ganon pa man ay tinanggap ko ng buong loob ang resulta ng eleksyon ngunit hindi katanggap-tanggap na dinaig siya ni Jejomar Binay at naging ganon lamang ang dami ng kanyang boto dahil lamang sa kanyang kondisyon.

May ilang mga bagay lang din ako na hindi masyadong naunawaan noon sa huling niyang pag takbo, at ito ay kung bakit tila walang masamang tinapay ang senadora kay Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos kaya niya napili na makasama si Bongbong Marcos bilang pangalawang pangulo sa kanyang huling kandidatura.

Ang nasabi na lang ng tatay ko kaya walang masamang tinapay si Miriam sa nakakatandang Mmarcos ay dahil parehong abogado ang senadora at ang Pangulong Marcos. Tinuring na lang din ito ng iba na pag galang sa isang tao na nagtala ng isa sa mga pinaka mataas na marka sa kasaysayan ng Philippine Bar. Magaling na abogado bago sumabak sa larangan ng politika. Higit sa lahat, parehong sila nakapag tapos sa University of the Philippines College of Law, siyempre sa magkaibang panahon.

Walang papantay sa kung ano man ang nagawa niya para sa bayan nag lingkod sa tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan. Naging husgado, kawani ng gobyerno sa ehekutibo, at siyempre, senador na nasa lehislatura.

Nakapag tapos ng abogasya sa UP, pumasa sa Bar Exam, naging nominado para maging husgado sa International Criminal Court, boses ng kababaihan, pati na rin ng mga estudyante, at marami pang iba na hindi nakakamtam ng basta-basta.

Pinanindigan niya talaga ang pagiging “Iron Lady of Asia”, na kahit inaalmusal niya ay mga death threat, hate mails, at kung ano pang mga hate message, at hina high blood sa mga senate inquiry ay walang inatrasan, wala din sinanto.