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Gadhafi may have been executed

/ 09:17 PM October 23, 2011

Moammar Gadhafi  did not die of his battle wounds. He may have been executed by the rebels. The evidence and circumstances point to it.

If he had been shot in the head during the battle, he would have died right away. He would not have been able to approach them and plead to them, “Do not kill me, my sons.” He would not even be able to talk, much less walk.

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Besides, a video showed Gadhafi wiping blood off the left side of his face and there was no bullet wound. Later videos, however, showed a bullet wound on the same spot.

That was a ghastly end for anybody, but that is usually what happens to dictators. And Gadhafi was the dictator of Libya for 42 years.

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Few dictators die of old age. They live short lives. Most of the people of the Middle East were ruled by dictators, and by royal families. But that may be coming to an end.

Before Gadhafi, there were Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and before them, Hitler and Mussolini, both of whom also met violent ends. And before them there were King Louis IV and Marie Antoinette of France, Czar Nicholas of Russia, Napoleon, Prince John (who stole the English crown while King Richard the Lionhearted was away in the Crusades), and many other kings, queens and dictators who didn’t know when to quit.

Bashar al-Assad of Syria may be next. The royal family of Saudi Arabia and the king of Jordan also stand on shaky grounds.

The lesson here is: Don’t be a dictator. You can’t win against the people. Our very own Ferdinand Marcos learned that too late. If he had not been whisked to Hawaii, he could have ended up like Gadhafi.

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President Aquino has unveiled a P72.11 billion stimulus package of public works and poverty-reduction projects to boost the economy. This may be expanded by P20 billion more, for a total of P92 billion, depending on the rate of absorption of the initial P72 billion.

The logic here is that by pumping money into the economy, the people will have money to buy goods, which would make the factories produce more, and in doing so hire more workers who would earn money with which to buy more goods, and which in turn prod the factories further to produce more and hire more workers, and so on and so forth in a cycle. That is why the economy perks up a little during election campaigns when candidates throw away money as if there is no tomorrow.

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Administration critics say, however, that the stimulus fund is too small and too late.

This is plain belly-aching. It is premature to say that the stimulus package won’t work based purely on the amount of spending and the time constraints.

The President himself stressed that the effects of the stimulus package will be felt not just at the end of this year but also in the first half of next year.

Also, it is difficult to predict how the economy will perform. Unlike mathematics, economics is not an exact science. Who can really say how good a stimulus package is or what its impact would be on the economy in the short-, medium-, or long-term?

Government policymakers and economists can only try to do their best and hope for the best that the policies they enact will yield positive results.

It makes sense for the government to inject more money into the economy, especially now that exports have been contracting and our major trading partners in the Europe and the United States are wrestling with their own problems.

For now, it is best for businesses and policymakers to build resilience against the inevitable shocks that would come from a still-troubled global economy.

For example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stressed that it is important for Asian economies to develop domestic demand to translate the intensifying economic problems in advanced economies into growth in the region.

It said the Philippines should prioritize spending on infrastructure and social safety nets, not only to help increase domestic demand but also to help reduce income inequality.

According to Malacañang, its stimulus package targets key sectors of the economy, namely: infrastructure, energy, agriculture, health, education, local government, and information technology.

The administration allots P5.5 billion from the stimulus package to the construction and rehabilitation of roads, bridges, flood control and other projects, many of which were damaged by the recent typhoons. This should strengthen the economy and create more jobs.

The Department of Agriculture will construct and rehabilitate P1.62 billion worth of irrigation, farm-to-market roads and other infrastructure, while additional funds will be released for the Mindanao Rural Development Project (P919 million) and the Agno River integrated irrigation project (P414 million). An additional P1.29 billion will be released for the agrarian reform communities.

Local government units will get P6.5 billion for the construction of arterial roads, rural electrification and other priority projects that have direct impact on poverty alleviation.

The additional fund for LGUs will compensate for the anticipated reduction in their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in 2012.

Mass housing development, which has consistently slowed down, will also get a boost. Property developers estimate the industry has lost 30 percent of output. The government needs to address a housing backlog of 3.7 million homes.  The Home Guarantee Corp. will get an equity infusion of P400 million.

For health: P1.5 billion for indigents, P248 million for the hiring of nurses and midwives, P357 million for the Philippine Heart Center, P280 million for the Children’s Medical Center, and P35 million for the Lung Center of the Philippines.

There are also allocations for education and mass transportation.

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TAGS: Aquino, featured columns, Moammar Gadhafi, opinion, stimulus package
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