Thursday, December 10, 2015

On Presidents as Executioners (or, The Reason Why We Have Courts)

WHAT'S the difference between self-proclaimed champion of socialism and presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte and other political leaders, most of whom are members of Philippine oligarchies that created a Philippine plutocracy and corporatocracy?

photo of Rodrigo Duterte borrowed from
     Duterte, Davao City's mayor for seven terms, admits to having taken into his own hands, out of frustration with our national criminal laws, the execution of allegedly-criminal elements and syndicates that had purportedly hounded the peace and order of his city or, in later years, would try to ruin Davao's peace and order that he had supposedly taken pains to establish. After all, a local government that made it its policy to invite representations from the Lumad and Moro and communist camps---rampant in Mindanao---ought already to have peace as a given. Sure, it remains to be proven whether these executions really happened or are a mere part of his myth or scare tactics for peace and order's sake. It remains to be seen if someone will come out crying Duterte as mayor had executed an innocent man, in the way an article titled "You Can Die Any Time" did, or even harassed a political opponent. But here's what ought to be said: no other leader has admitted, seriously or in jest, to doing (in the past or in the planned future) such deeds as take into his own hands the salvaging of a gonner case. And the reason for it? Well, it might not be because other leaders never did (or would never do) anything like what Duterte claims to have done; it could be because what they have eliminated (or will soon choose to eliminate) in their own time as leaders were not (would not be) criminals or even perceived criminals but lawful members of society who just happened (would happen) to be in the way of their projects.
     You're all right. Duterte as future President of the Republic of the Philippines must submit to legislative bodies the job of debating on what ought to be the wisdom around certain laws he deems needful of amendments. For although it may be true that Duterte had executed criminals that the people of Davao are allegedly happy to be rid of, what if, as President of our republic, he has to delegate the implementation of this wisdom-cum-policy? The debate on capital punishment aside, would his army and police goons or executioner-governors and executioner-mayors always be right about their own final judgments as judges and jury over an archipelago of criminality---as Duterte probably was lucky to always be right as mayor-executioner, or so his supporters tend to believe?
     The subject of corrupt judges aside, the reason why we have courts---and precisely the reason why courts are public---is so that all judgments can be made transparent. For it certainly cannot be left to either a socialist president or a plutocracy president-puppet (and his apologists on TV) to judge whether, say, Lumad leaders, for instance, ought to be executed with impunity (as they seem to have been under the Aquino government) just because they seem to interfere with the national policy on making work for miners and keeping investment ratings high. . . . [S/-I]

photo of Lumad protesters borrowed from

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