This phenomenon called Duterte

FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2018 - 12:00am

I respond to the unfortunate list. I am the widow of the late Ambassador Alberto Pedrosa. Ramon is my brother in law. Ramon has written this article to show why we need to support President Duterte. I have given my column space for it.

“Two Opium Wars waged by the British Empire against China during the 1800s deliberately introduced the opium narcotic at fabulous profits, destroyed the largest economy in the world, demoralized the Chinese army and people depriving them of the will to resist, and caused the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. The narcotic in its modern derivatives, and the many inorganics spawned in laboratories since then, has now become the bane in every country in the world.

For the first time in our republic, and even – if I may essay a proposition – in the world, a reality we did not, or refused to see confronting our people has been identified: the massive drug addiction being suffered by our population. That reality was echoed by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao, and the electorate responded catapulting him into the presidency.

We forget that this man, alone – no politician, no senate, no congress, no barangay supported him. It was the common people who listened. The haves, the educated, the church, the political parties, the do-gooders, did not want to have anything to do with him, his provincial manners, or his grammar, or his religion. They were irrelevant in his astounding victory at the polls. And now they want to undo him.

They are the present causes for this country’s instability.

“The upper crust of society, the 3%, are firmly ensconced in their economic and political power, while the taong bayan reels hopelessly from one administration after another. The principalia – the haves, the educated and the religious in our society, are the causes for instability in this nation composed to a great extent of the have-nots, the uneducated and the irreligious. The dichotomy has gone full turn: the rich think of the poor as a nuisance, and the poor of the rich as irrelevant. That society is erected on the bones of those who stood in the way of the rich and the powerful.”

He is waging an undeclared war for which there is no model. For it is a war that cannot be waged and won following “normal” rules of warfare. Many among us would impose a mindset to wage war according to some rule of civilization. This war is different, it is not about territory or commerce, and joins the many now termed assymetrical. He has looked beyond the present dispensation, has seen that is a war for the very soul of the Filipino. It is total war no holds barred – a civilizational discontinuity.

On a personal note. If I had the opportunity I would myself have killed the gang in Ateneo that destroyed the life of my son. I understand Duterte. The pain in his family is the same pain in mine. And it is the pain he sees in so many families in this country of ours.

All the principles presently embedded in civil government for the protection of the individual take their origin from the struggles of the centuries to protect the individual from imperial, monarchical, dictatorial, totalitarian rule. With the advent of Christianity and its teaching on the sacredness of every human person, institutions developed in governments to protect the individual from the violent. Witness the American Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – they are there to protect the victim from the violent and the institutions of violence. Thus the protection of individual liberty against abridgement by the State, where the State is traditionally seen as the violent entity.

But these very principles are now being availed of and protested by the violent lawless individual to shield themselves from the law, to enable them to continue their lawlessness with impunity. They are emboldened by the support of a society and church imprisoned in the struggles of the past.

For when a critical mass, a significant segment of society utilizes these very principles against a State dedicated to the protection of the public safety the process has to elevate from a mere individual right to a societal right, the right of the many. The paradigm shift must work in favor of the greater good, the greater majority.

It is significant that the legendary declaration of the Magna Carta in Runnymede has itself metamorphosed through the ages.

President Duterte is blazing a new trail in civil government. Due process can no longer be a shield by the malefactor. The law was never intended to protect wrong doing, nor to ensure the wrong-doer to continue his wrong doing.

The presumption of innocence is a presumption. The protection of the Bill of Rights presumes good faith – nay, it flounders upon the realization that the protestation of a right is conditioned by the proclamation of a pre-existing, if not a pre-eminent duty. It fails before bad faith. In actual practice the feigned claim of innocence is dismissed upon a showing of probable cause. There is no place for due process when your house is on fire.

The accepted norm that it is preferable to free a guilty person than to jail an innocent man cannot prevail, and is actually a deterrent if not counter-productive to the primordial duty of the State to protect the People and preserve the Republic. This man is rewriting that paradigm.

No other leader in our benighted republic ever had the political will that this guy has to do what he believes has to be done. In his mysterious providence, God chose this man from nowhere to lead his people. The sorrow of his family is the sorrow of his people. And it is the pain of millions of Filipino families. They cannot protect themselves. For the first time some one is listening to them, and finally doing something about it.

Where are you church people, where are you, you do-gooders. What have you done before this great evil, what are you doing, you socalled people of God. Give to Caesar the things that are of Caesar.

O you Leaders of Nations, heed this warning: this insidious infestation of drug abuse is a war against God and humanity itself.

Enemies can be friends, but there is no hope for reconciliation with those at war with God and humanity.

If it is not destroyed, it will destroy your people. If you do not act now you throw the very souls of your children to hell.

What curse does history and the next life lay down for destroying the life of a soul?

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