Ang leksyon ng kauna-unahang People Power sa EDSA ay ang katotohanang may kapangyarihan ang mamamayan na direktang iwaksi at patalsikin ang naghaharing pamahalaan kapag ito’y hindi na kumakalinga sa kagalingan ng bansa.
Sa pagtatapos ng rehimeng Marcos noong 1986, mayroong higit 100,000 direktang biktima ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao, nasa 60% ang incidente ng kahirapan, bumagsak ang pambansang ekonomiya sa pinakamababang antas mula noong pangalawang gyerang pandaigdig, at nawasak ang kalikasan sa pagpasok ng mga malawakan at walang habas na pagtotroso at minahan. Pamana ng diktador Marcos ang malawakang katiwalian sa gobyerno, talamak na nepotismo, kapulisan na astang ‘criminal mafia’ at berdugong militar at mga vigilante.
Congress’ priority legislation is reinstating Capital Punishment in the country. The bill was railroaded through the House Committee on Justice last December and will be debated at the plenary sessions this week. International legal experts, human rights advocates and church leaders vowed to oppose the bill, saying it was abandoned in 1987 and 2006 for a reason: death penalty never solved the country’s problem with criminality.
The death penalty bill shares some flaws with the government’s on-going campaign against drugs:
Like the war on drugs, the death penalty bill has no reliable baseline and statistics on the crime rate.
President Duterte’s willingness to proclaim martial law “if the drug problem becomes virulent” contradicts his police chief’s pronouncement last September that the war on drugs is winning, with PNP Chief de la Rosa himself claiming that Operations “Oplan Tokhang” and “Oplan Double Barrel Alpha” have reduced the supply of drugs by some 80-90 percent. Government’s lack of concrete data on the drug menace as well as its ineptitude in identifying drug related and non-drug related crimes at the beginning of the campaign allowed the President not only to confuse us with numbers and figures, and justify the killing of innocents as collateral damage, it lets the President threaten us with Martial Law despite the fact that 74% of the populace are against it. (Pulse Asia)
It is hardly surprising that 78% of Filipinos worried about being victimized in the government's war on drugs, regardless whether they are actual drug users. Given President Duterte's confession of personally killing suspects, commitment to kill drug suspects until the end of his term, promising pardon for police who kill during operations, enforcing death penalty on 6 convicts daily and considering children as collateral damage, Filipinos see no legal shelter in this environment of relentless violence.