IN THE NEWS
The House committee on dangerous drugs has passed and endorsed for plenary approval a bill imposing stiffer penalties, including death, on foreigners found guilty of engaging in drug-related activities in the country.
The bill is entitled “An Act Adopting the Higher Prescribed Penalty, Including Death, of the National Law of An Alien Found Guilty of Trafficking Dangerous Drugs and Other Similar Substances, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act 9165, Otherwise Known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“This means that the imposition of the penalty for drug offenses as prescribed under the national law of the foreigner or the penalty under Republic Act 9165, whichever is higher, is the rule to follow,” the authors said.
So I guess we are going to have beheadings, hangings, and firing squads if we are going to follow the national laws of other countries?
Drugs are a medical problem, they shouldn’t be in the hands of cops and courts. The US declared war on drugs during the Nixon adminsitration some 40 years ago. And 40 years later there are more drug users, more drug gangs, and more drug-related corruption than Nixon could have imagined when he first declared war on drugs. So something must be wrong.
More civilized European and Latin American countries are now looking for other solutions. They realized that treating drug use as a criminal rather than a medical problem is the wrong premise. Look at what that mistaken premise has wrought: drug cartels, corruption, money laundering, illicit labs, and almost anything you can shake a stick at.
Addiction is a disease like every other disease. If you were sick would you rather be brought to a police precinct or a hospital?
It’s time to rethink drug policy and not press forward at full speed down the wrong road.
Those who argue the sovereign will on behalf of Grace Poe despite the fact that she may not have met constitutional requirements on citizenship and/or residency should, for consistency, also argue in favor of the condonation doctrine which Junjun Binay invoked.
The condonation doctrine holds that
“When the people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with the knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his fault or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such fault or misconduct, to practically overrule the will of the people.”
The Supreme Court recently discarded the condonation doctrine. Reelection or the sovereign will of the people expressed through the ballot will not be a free pass anymore. Should the Supreme Court consider the sovereign will argument with regards to Grace Poe or not?
French President Francois Hollande today promised that “France will remain a country of freedom,” defending his decision to honor a commitment to accept migrants and refugees despite Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
“30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” he said.
But across the Atlantic, thousands of miles away from Paris, around 30 US governors have said they will not accept Syrian refugees into their respective states and Republicans in the US Congress are introducing bills to block Syrians from seeking refuge in America.
Presidential aspirants Donald Trump and Sen Marco Rubio oppose any Syrian refugees coming to America while Sen Ted Cruz will only accept Syrian refugees who are Christian.
This led US Pres. Obama, who is in Manila for the APEC meeting, to mock the hysterical Republicans.
“These are the folks who suggested they’re so tough that just ‘talk to Putin’ or staring down Isis [will work]… but they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion,” he said.
“At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
“We are not well served when in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic.”
“[Isis] seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the West, and when you see individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the Isis narrative. It’s counter-productive and it needs to stop.”
Let’s use the recent Senate resolution supporting Miriam Santiago’s position that the EDCA has to get the Senate’s consent as the frame for evaluating Obama’s promise.
There are two ways of looking at Sen Santiago’s position:
(1) It upholds checks and balances which is vital to our system of government.
(2) On the other hand, if EDCA goes through the Senate and gets its consent and the SC upholds it as constitutional then that means the entire government is committed to it.
Now recall that US Pres. Franklin Roosevelt personally guaranteed backpay and benefits for all Filipino soldiers who fought against the Japanese. After the war, the US Congress passed the Rescission Act and took back Roosevelt’s promise. In our language, “Si Roosevelt ang kausap ninyo hindi kami.”
In the same way, Obama or his successor could make a whole host of promises but, without the commitment of the entire US government, it is nothing but a pep talk. How will a US President pay for a war to defend the Philippines if the US Congress will not appropriate money for it?
So, at the end of the day, kung presidential word of honor lang ang ibibigay nila sa atin e di yun din lamang ang dapat na ibigay natin sa kanila.
Don’t get too excited about Obama’s promise. It’s not yet time to spread your legs.