A climate of safety, instead of a climate of fear | Inquirer Opinion
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A climate of safety, instead of a climate of fear

12:47 AM September 28, 2016

Pocholo Concepcion’s article, “Commuting’s safer now, but paranoia takes over” (Front Page, 9/18/16), is half-true and alarmist.

I’m glad Concepcion now feels safer taking jeepney rides between Manila and Alabang. Like his fellow passengers, he can use a smartphone without worrying about it getting snatched by thieves.

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I commute to work every day between Makati and Quezon City, and I also feel safer aboard jeepneys and buses. Gone are the days when holdup men, posing as passengers, would poke a knife on someone, grab a lady’s  necklace, get off and casually walk away as if nothing happened. As Concepcion described in his article, people are no longer afraid to use their gadgets in public.

But Concepcion went on to contradict his story of an improved atmosphere of security by saying that President Duterte’s all-out war on drug users, drug pushers and drug lords have made him paranoid about suddenly getting caught in a shootout between police and criminal elements. Is he subtly sowing fear like what Duterte’s detractors are doing?

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Concepcion is probably confused by his feeling of security and paranoia. Police checkpoints, police on foot patrol and police arresting drug addicts, drug pushers and other criminals make me feel secure instead of paranoid.

The fact is peace and order has never been felt more strongly than today, and this is because of the Duterte administration’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs and criminality. Police are more visible these days. And its only his third month in office or halfway his initial six-month timetable for wiping out the drug menace nationwide. The police campaign against drug users and drug traders has reduced the chance of our loved ones getting robbed, hurt or killed by drug users who are criminals-in-the-making, if not outright criminals. That’s why people are behind Duterte in this campaign to save future generations of Filipinos and the country.

Like any conventional war, there will be collateral damage of Duterte’s war on drugs. But the police are not shooting drug suspects indiscriminately. They are risking lives to protect the citizenry. For those crying human rights violation, have they even thought that drug users and pushers are number one human rights violators when they steal, rob, rape and kill innocent civilians?

—DENNISSE CRISTOBAL, [email protected]

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TAGS: commuting, drug war, Killings, Public transportation, Safety
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