One reason: to eliminate crime committed with impunity
Inquirer’s April 29 editorial, titled “Headless,” ended thus: “As things stand, the Aquino administration is ending its last months in office in the same way it started: hapless, and at the seeming mercy of criminals and terrorists.”
How does Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte intend to accomplish his campaign promise to end all criminality within six months?
In a luncheon with the leaders of Duterte’s campaign, led by Sonny Dominguez, a businessman operating in Davao City, who was the agriculture secretary during the Cory Aquino presidency, we asked precisely how President Duterte intends to do this.
Dominguez started with the most famous quotation from Machiavelli’s “The Prince”: “Better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”
Note that he says IF you cannot be both. His rationale is that love is internally based, it is a feeling one chooses to feel, and it can be easily turned on and off; it is fickle, it comes and goes. On the other hand, fear is externally generated and much more predictable; it does not wear off if the threat exists. Love can fall out easily on a fast, downward spiral whim; but fear does not wear off if hell and misery are promised upon infidelity and betrayal.
Of course, if one can have both love and fear, it is better to be loved 95 percent of the time, and feared 5 percent of the time, to exercise good leadership. The trouble is that NONE of the presidential candidates was really loved; most of them are so flawed they inspire only contempt or disrespect. Among them, Duterte is the only one who is feared.
“That is why, when Duterte becomes president, his carefully nurtured reputation for mayhem will put the fear of God in the hearts of criminals, and the crime rate will automatically lessen. He will assign a full army division, 15,000 soldiers, double their salaries and assign them to eradicate drug pushers, rapists, murderers, kidnappers, and bad policemen ‘with extreme prejudice,’ CIA style.”
Me, I do not expect extrajudicial killings (the risk of being impeached by an unfriendly Congress always exists), but I expect criminals who resist or attempt to escape, to be shot in their testicles, or to have their knees battered with a baseball bat, Mafia style. When a few of these bastards spend the rest of their lives in a wheelchair, immobilized and sex-starved, crime will automatically cease within six months. Criminals do not really fear death, especially if it is swift. What will wear them down is a miserable lifetime without sex or use of legs. What a delicious thought!
What about the Ampatuans? The New People’s Army? The Abu Sayyaf?
“Let me tell you how Duterte dealt with the NPA. There was a time when the communists were recruiting dissidents in Davao City; as part of their ‘graduation,’ they were given a gun and told to shoot policemen. There was a time, every week four policemen directing traffic were killed in the city. Mayor Duterte organized the paramilitary Alsa Masa made up of ‘Ilaga’ gangsters who hunted down the NPA tit for tat. From a position of strength, Duterte was able to make a deal with the communists: ‘You can come into Davao City if you behave like good citizens.’ He will deal more ruthlessly with the Abu Sayyaf and dissident Muslims, till they all leave for Syria. He will pressure the judiciary to settle the Ampatuan cases with conviction.”
The electorate chose Rodrigo Duterte for one reason alone, to eliminate crime committed with impunity. Apparently, they don’t mind the bad jokes and the dirty language, even the insults to women, as long as he keeps us safe from criminals.
—HILARION M. HENARES JR., Makati City
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