‘We should show no mercy to criminals and terrorists’

Either the said senator is displaying gross naïveté, or she is completely ignoring the fact that those she opted to defend had a history of atrocities, murders, ambushes and terroristic attacks.

September 6, 2022

When I read the above quote in the newspaper and heard it from the broadcast news, I thought it came from the daredevil of a leader who got an unprecedented and stratospheric trust and approval rating of 87 percent at the end of his six-year presidential term, former president Rodrigo Roa Duterte. I was wrong, joyously and unsurprisingly.

The naked and undisguised forewarning came from a soft feminine voice with a beautiful face, but with iron-clad principles and a two-fisted reputation, the former Davao City mayor, the enigmatic non-presidential candidate, the concurrent Secretary of Education and Vice-President and designated Officer-in-Charge of the day’s operations of the country, the redoubtable Inday Sara Z. Duterte, while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is undertaking an official trip in Indonesia and Singapore.

That hardened, immovable and merciless statement against criminals and terrorists delivered before the heads of the security sector — the Armed Forces of the Philippines and its major services, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology — as the country’s caretaker and acting president should send shivers and quivers to the spine of the enemies of the state, apart from shaking in their boots.

The 32 million-plus voters, who, while disheartened and disappointed by her incredible decision to slide to the second highest political spot, nevertheless catapulted her to an astonishing victory, are elated that she is taking to heart her brief designation, showing her fearless genes and foreshadowing what her presidency would be like when she finally fulfills her date with destiny, or what could or might have been, if she doesn’t.

Hers is such a timely declaration of the administration’s direction and policy in the matter of criminality and terrorism in the face of perceived, rightly or wrongly, upswing in crimes and terroristic activities.

The hardline stance against the forces of darkness, as well as their adherents who adroitly hide under the nomenclature of progressive organizations and human rights advocates, who even manage to get themselves elected to public office, must be pursued relentlessly and truculently. Treading gingerly against them is disastrous to our economy that is just starting to perk up, and ruinous to the nation’s equanimity.

An erstwhile popular senator is now being bashed by netizens and anti-terrorist advocates following her statement in a privilege speech delivered in the Senate espousing a review of the anti-terrorism law and declaring that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army are not terrorist groups as required by law. She proudly stated that she is not ashamed to have worked with the National Democratic Front, the political wing of the CPP-NPA. She also claims that those advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations had been “unnecessarily red-tagged” or regarded as “enemies of the state” because of their alleged links with the communists. She defends them by saying that all they want is social justice.

Either the said senator is displaying gross naïveté, or she is completely ignoring the fact that those she opted to defend had a history of atrocities, murders, ambushes and terroristic attacks committed against the police, military and civilians in the last 52 years. The lady senator appears to be ignorant likewise of Proclamation 374, dated 5 December 2017, where former president Duterte declared the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization pursuant to Section 3(e)(1) of Republic Act 10168.

She seems to be unaware, too, that on 9 August 2003, the United States of America has designated the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization and up to the present continues to include the CPP-NPA in its list foreign terrorist organization.

Where was she all these times? The terrorist groups must be deliriously happy that they found another ally in the lawmaking body.

But then again in her exuberance or naïveté, she must have delivered a wrong speech.

Have mercy, the lawmaker is not a criminal or a terrorist. Just naive or ignorant.

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