2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: IS DUTERTE THE BEST CHOICE TO BRING POSITIVE CHANGES TO THE PHILIPPINES IN THE NEXT SIX YEARS?

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Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte have captured the attention, interest and support of many overseas Filipinos in Hong Kong and elsewhere with his stern promises to crack down hard on hard-core criminals and corruption.
He has declared personally killing some criminals in his city, and he has vowed that thousands of hard-core criminals won’t just drop dead if he gets elected president. They’ll even die of public executions – a method, he claims, will strike fear in the heart and mind of criminals.
His macho and iron-fist approach to fighting crimes immediately impressed and endeared him to many Pinoys, overseas and those back home. Why? Because he’s a whiff of welcome fresh air. He’s someone different, novel and appealing with his bold promises of positive change against rising criminality. No presidential candidate has ever promised to fight crimes as forcefully as him. That’s why people love him.
His iron-fist vow against crimes comes at a perfect time. Shocking crimes are on the rise. Particularly serious are drug-related heinous crimes, like a drug-crazed son killing his parents or a drug addict father sexually and physically abusing his female children. Because of these brutal crimes, scores of Filipinos are led into believing that harsh measures, such as public executions, need to be brought in, just like what Duterte is proposing to do.
Duterte’s bid to get more support from overseas Pinoys in Hong Kong gains more momentum as action star Robin Padilla and Duterte’s son, Sebastian, address a gathering of OFWs in Central today, Feb. 21. OFWs in Hong Kong will certainly applaud the benefits of a Duterte fight against criminals and corrupt officials.
But how many OFWs in Hong Kong and elsewhere cared to examine deeply and critically the weaknesses and the potential negative effects of Duterte’s manner of fighting crimes and corruption? And how many OFWs have cared to examine deeply and critically if he’s really serious in fighting corruption in government?
Duterte’s pledge to use public executions is not readily understood by many. Imagine a criminal being hanged using a rope in a town plaza or public park in an urban center. Or a criminal being shot by firing squad.
Imagine this type of public execution being done again and again to eliminate dozens or hundreds in death row. Won’t images and video clips of criminals being put to death horrify and revolt even those now avidly supporting Duterte?
Around the world today, only a handful of countries, mostly dictatorships like North Korea, resort to public executions. Should the Philippines go backward in time and risk being condemned by countries around the world by using public executions?
Around the world today, no country has ever shown – using concrete data — that executions are the most effective way of curbing crimes substantially. Some states in the US use lethal injection to put to death the most notorious criminals. And yet, serious crimes continue to be committed.
At first glance, killing as many criminals as possible appears an appealing solution to fight crimes. But is killing the only effective solution? How would OFWs feel if their teen-aged sons or daughters get killed even on mere suspicion of using or trafficking in dangerous drugs? Who will stop the cycle of violence after death squads – just like those operating now in Davao city – are set up across the country in line with Duterte’s pledge to kill as many criminals as possible?
Why is Duterte advocating killing as many criminals as possible when there are alternative ways of dealing with hard-core criminals and serious crimes? Take Hong Kong for instance. Hong Kong doesn’t impose death penalty, but petty and very serious crimes very seldom happen here. Why? The answer is very simple and it doesn’t even take rocket science at all!
Very strict control on gun ownership. Having an efficient, fair and swift dispensation of justice on law breakers. Having a professional and disciplined police force. Addressing poverty which avoids people from resorting to crimes for money.
Why can’t the Philippines take lessons from Hong Kong and countries with very low crime rates? Killing criminals is certainly not the answer to criminality – and OFWs in Hong Kong can see this as clear as daylight.
Duterte’s pledge to fight corruption vigorously is hollow and virtually meaningless. And he has himself to blame for this. Not cynics like this writer.
One of the very first things that he vowed to do if he gets elected as president is to free from hospital arrest former president Gloria Arroyo and detained senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada.
The Ombudsman’s office – one of the principal anti-graft agencies of the government — has found sufficient evidence to charge all three for plunder, a non-bailable offense. Plunder involves stealing taxpayer’s money in excess of P50 million. Stealing monies that belong to the Filipino people, including OFWs in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
So, why will Duterte wish to free them just because he wish to? Why does Duterte want to free them and ignore the pieces of evidence that support accusations that they stole monies from the Filipino people?
Duterte’s plan to free all three – without clearly specifying the reasons why he wants to set them free – can only mean one thing: he is far from serious from fighting corruption.
Claims that Davao city is the world’s fourth safest city are also far from the truth. The obscure group that made the claim is far from credible – the group that made that claim is no more than any ordinary Facebook group or association of OFWs. It’s a small group and its members simply made a claim that Davao is the world’s fourth safest city. But is the claim by a small, obscure group being taken seriously internationally? Hardly. Just check in Google the credentials of this group – or lack of it.
Duterte personally hates Mar Roxas among all his presidential rivals. Why? Because Roxas cited statistics compiled by the Philippine National Police that the incidence of crimes in Davao is one of the highest in the Philippines – and it comes despite the Dutertes have been in control of the city for nearly 30 years.
Duterte never disputed the crime data cited by Roxas because statistics are simply hard to dispute and disprove. Those data belie Duterte’s claim that Davao is one of the safest cities in the Philippines and in the world.
After losing face with the disclosure of the PNP data, it is very easy to understand now Duterte subjects Roxas to all sort of personal attacks and insults.
Is Duterte the best choice as the country’s president in the next six years? Or is there a better alternative?
This critical analysis can provide some enlightenment. In case of doubts on the veracity and accuracy of this analysis, Google is there for a quick and easy check of all relevant information about this subject matter.

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