ADVOCACY MINDANOW: Duterte as President?

DAVAO EXPERIENCE — Fireworks must now be banned all throughout the country. It can be done. Davao City has proven this can be done. Depriving the whole fireworks industry some kind of a livelihood is a shallow reason. But it takes political will. And good law enforcement. And some Duterte to start it! And see it through.

Come to think of it, Davao’s Rody Duterte, for all his faults and imperfections (no one’s perfect, anyway) can be a viable presidential candidate if he wants to in 2016.  I do not always agree with the way he does things but he can be a fresh — and exciting — addition to the ranks of today’s presidentiables and wannabes.

I know my friend “Digong” will curse me for this. But… WHY NOT, INDEED?
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GAWAD KALINGA —One week after I wrote about my visit to Baganga, Davao Oriental which was hit by Typhoon Pablo, so many responded to the call to help put roofing, even temporary, for about 760 or so destroyed classrooms in the three towns of Cateel, Boston and Baganga. From Compostela Valley province, I also got feedbacks about the same problem.

To be able to put up the system for this, Archbishop (Emeritus) Nanding Capalla together with a group called “Nanding Boys” was scheduled to meet with representatives of GAWAD KALINGA on January 14 to work out the joint mechanics in the assistance to the victims of “Typhoon Pablo” in repairing classrooms so children will be able to re-start classes under the “ADOPT A CLASSROOM” campaign. No less than the National GK Executive Director Luis Oquinena will fly in just to meet us on this and then fly out to Canada in the afternoon.

We need to fine-tune the mechanics and our group felt that partnering with GAWAD KALINGA which has been in humanitarian and development assistance for the less fortunate for years will be a big help. We will make the necessary announcements soonest.

In the meantime, initial work is on-going with the start-up assistance of Businessman Sammy Afdal in providing roofing materials for about 95 destroyed classrooms in Davao Oriental. We need donors for about 650 more rooms to put temporary shelter over the heads of pupils and students.
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GUN BAN? — When guns are totally banned (as what is now being proposed) only those who are upright and law-abiding citizens will comply. The “bad guys” whether banned or not, will still carry their firearms to terrorize others. In fact, they will be more brazen knowing that their law-compliant victims will not be able to protect themselves.

Let’s face it. For as long as the authorities cannot see to it that it can disarm everyone, banning legitimate firearm holders from bearing arms will allow the bad guys to dominate and rule our lives. Yes, the ideal situation indeed, is to remove totally all those guns of all private citizens and only those in authority, like police or military organic personnel can bear arms. But that’s wishful thinking. In fact, it’s a crazy idea.

DISARMING REBELS?   It’s like demanding from the Muslim rebels in the peace negotiations to surrender their firearms. Let’s not kid ourselves, folks! No way will they agree to that for as long as there are many others who are still armed. No way will the rebels agree to disarm unless and until some measurable basis of the delivery of “peace dividends” has taken place. And definitely, no way will they give up their arms for as long as politicians and non-rebel elements who are possible “obstacles to peace” are still bristling with armaments. And don’t forget the renegade rebels or those who have opted out of the mainstream rebel group. That is not to mention yet the brigands and the ordinary criminals and hoods. (By the way, what’s this I heard about some rebel elements now becoming the “muscle” of some well-funded political leaders?)

NIRVANA —But there is of course, a NIRVANA or a “perfect state” for this. It is when we are all able to attain the enabling environment where people will feel secure and safe and hence will see no need to have firearms to protect themselves. This is principally the work of government in seeing to it that laws are observed and criminals are punished with justice for all. And citizens who will be there to see to it that this happens.

Dreaming? Wishful thinking? But why not?

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IBP — Lawyers from all over the country will be converging in Davao City for the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Annual National Convention. Ateneo de Davao Law School’s homegrown TAU MU FRATERNITY & SORORITY will have a re-union on the January 15. Welcome all!

NEW NDCC CHIEF — With the resignation of National Disaster Coordinating Council head Benito Ramos recently, we are informed Major General Eduardo del Rosario Jr. who made his mark in his previous assignments here in Mindanao is slated to take cover as new NDCC chief. Good choice, Mr. President!