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The enemy is not government

/ 12:10 AM March 10, 2017

I could not believe that the Inquirer, widely recognized for its social advocacy through journalism, could present such a very skewed commentary on the recent killing of Lanao del Norte doctor, Dreyfuss Perlas, by implying that the present administration  may have had something to do with it. It scored President Duterte once again for the “permissive environment for taking human life” and “climate of impunity,” and for his administration’s “(disinterest) in solving” and only “breeding more” killings. By referring to the “war on drugs” and the Human Rights Watch Report, it implied that the police is the enemy and the bane of our existence and human rights (“To kill a doctor,” Opinion, 3/4/17).

What’s worse, the Inquirer had to inject its trademark anti-Marcos thematics (ad nauseam), even drawing a parallel with the case of another doctor in the 1980s. It will do well if the Inquirer snaps out of its Marcos fixation once in a while, so it could focus on the attempt to present clear and objective diagnoses of the real problems at hand and the precise societal flaws that conduce to them.

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The prejudiced analysis is a disservice to the family and loved ones of Doctor Perlas, who at this point want clear answers to what befell them. At the very least, they would like to hear public discussion that sheds light on their loss—and not prejudiced reporting that only muddles the real issues.

Our enemy is not the government, but the “permissive environment” or “climate of impunity” itself.

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Sen. Ralph Recto, who is known as a member of the opposition and an “independent thinker,” puts it quite better. Citing the recent US State Department’s human rights report, he said that “there will be disagreements on certain conclusions (about the country’s state of human rights),” but “there should be no discord. . .  on our nation being plagued by a ‘weak and overburdened criminal justice system notable for slow court procedures, weak prosecutions, and poor cooperation between police and investigators.’”

It is embarrassing that a foreign country could lecture us on the key facts and the transcendental message why we are in such a mess, while we the locals have chosen to remain myopically focused on mere personalities and prejudices. Only by seeing to it that the above concerns are significantly addressed can the Filipino nation genuinely give justice to Doctor Perlas, and the countless others who have been denied it. And then, of course, there is also the death penalty. . .

MENDRADO YZON, [email protected]

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TAGS: Dreyfuss Perlas, Inquirer letters, Inquirer Opinion, Mendrado Yzon, people's doctor, Rodrigo Duterte, Toto Perlas
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