Under the eagle’s claw

READER’S VIEWS - Renester P. Suralta - The Freeman

We are nearing the event horizon of the presidential election in 2022. It's time to retrospect the quality of leadership the Filipinos opted for way back. It can also be a standard of preference for the people to elect the next leader to run the country. Could it be possible that the 2016 presidential and 2019 mid-term elections were a prelude to the 2022 election?

For decades we follow the rule of law and observe due process. For centuries we listened to the voice of the church and abolished the death penalty. We even institutionalized human rights as mandated in our Constitution to safeguard and protect the people. But what happened many years later?

Shocking figures on statistics on drug-related violence and crimes soaring high unsolved. The laws created to protect the people have become more favorable to criminals. The penalty of reclusion perpetua to those behind the prison, makes drugs a flourishing business inside and outside the jail. Human rights advocates become culprit advocates. The Filipinos are so tired of the country's partial, slow-paced criminal justice system that many like swift judgment are given outside of legal procedure regardless of the collateral damage.

Under the Duterte administration, drastic changes happened. For the first time, hundred to thousands of drug users and pushers across the country surrendered to authorities for fear of their lives and the so-called extrajudicial killings. More than hundreds of those who resisted arrest lost their lives to legitimate police operations and few isolated rubout cases intended to sabotage the whole mission. The president started to fulfill one of his promises, to get rid of the drug problem in the country. However, the fight is far from over and, his term is running out.

Millions are happy about the better result. People finally see the light of hope; feel the wind of change and gradual victory against drugs. But to his critics who undermine his administration, its atrocity, anarchy, and violation of human rights.

The term of the oldest president comes to an end a few months from now. Who will succeed him and continue what he has started? Is it his closest friend or his daughter?

The president cannot run again for the same position as mandated by the Philippine Constitution. However, recently, he has shown interest in the vice presidency to establish the continuity of all his started programs.

He is willing to sacrifice and serve the Filipino people amidst the legal and health issues confronting him. Whether the people will give the father and daughter tandem a rare chance, let the 2022 election decide!

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