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Tribune Editorial

Liberals come together

Friday, 24 March 2017 00:00 Published in Editorial

Fake news of the highest order continues to buffet Rody, coming almost everyday from alternating sources, one day from rights groups, the next from the European Union and the other it was from the New York Times (NYT).
It goes by one theme, which is the alleged murderous spree of Rody since he took over the presidency last June.
The Palace believes paid hacks are the source of negative articles against Rody mainly in the start of an effort to remove Rody from power emanating from rich Filipino-Americans, which is partly true.
For the most part, however, what is fueling a seeming conspiracy to remove Rody from power are the same forces that are moving in their belief that liberal democracy in the world is on the decline.
The NYT article “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman” was obviously in line with the aim of the panicky groups who arrogated unto themselves the role of defenders of the democratic world order which has the yellow mob as adherents in the country.
The story was a short biography of Rody which was, however, through the eyes of his detractors mainly the pawns of Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV who are the supposed Davao Death Squad (DDS) assassins Edgar Matobato and SPO3 Arturo Lascañas.
The story started with claiming that Rody “relishes the image of killer-savior. He boasts of killing criminals with his own hand. On occasion, he calls for mass murder.”
The story’s lead indicated the subject of the narration which was the overused line of the yellow mob that Duterte was behind the strings of summary killings in the war on drugs using as proof, his coarse language and his speeches where he admitted that he had killed a number of people during his lifetime and more during his being Davao City mayor.
“Mr. Duterte and his friends have long cultivated legends of his sadistic exploits, like throwing a drug lord from a helicopter and forcing a tourist who violated a smoking ban to eat his cigarette butt at gunpoint,” the narration went.
NYT also recalled an interview with Matobato who said the DDS was founded in 1988 at a lunch at the old Menseng Hotel with Mr. Duterte, several police officers and six other recruits. Matobato, who claims to be a DDS hitman for 24 years said all the missions of the vigilante group came from directives of Rody then Davao City mayor.
The same newspaper came out with an analysis last November titled “How Stable Are Democracies? Warning Signs Are Flashing Red” citing the view that liberal democracies around the world may be at serious risk of decline.
It referred to study which showed that support for autocratic alternatives is rising, too.
It said researchers found that the share of Americans who say that army rule would be a “good” or “very good” thing had risen to 1 in 6 in 2014, compared with 1 in 16 in 1995.
“That trend is particularly strong among young people. For instance, in a previously published paper, the researchers calculated that 43 percent of older Americans believed it was illegitimate for the military to take over if the government were incompetent or failing to do its job, but only 19 percent of millennials agreed,” it added.
“The same generational divide showed up in Europe, where 53 percent of older people thought a military takeover would be illegitimate, while only 36 percent of millennials agreed,” it said.
The article was obviously referencing the rise of US President Donald Trump to power that surprised the world and heightened the fears of liberal democrats of losing the world to populist and nationalist leaders.
The rise of the populist leaders that has Rody and Trump among its prominent symbols has created a wave of fear among the assumed keepers of the world order that count as supporters the rights groups and the Western world powers that  are responsible for the coordinated daily bombardment of Rody.
The fact that liberal democrats in a global scale have banded to restore their brand of world order will mean that Rody won’t see an end to the attacks from his local and foreign opponents anytime soon.

Narco state interrupted

Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00 Published in Editorial

A mid the unrelenting attack of Western media on the “brutal” war on drugs of Rody, reports in the United States indicated social deterioration as a result of the effects of narcotics on the American people.
This is happening in the world power that has severely criticized Rody for his supposed unconventional methods to reverse the killer tide of the drugs menace.
A report coming out of Washington stated that of the 2,900 babies born last year in Cabell County, West Virginia, 500 had to be weaned from opium dependence.
It added that in Ohio, counties are renting refrigerated trailers to store the mounting number of bodies of drug overdose victims.
In New Hampshire, hospitals have so many overdose patients that they have to treat them in operating rooms and neonatal nurseries.
And in Palm Beach County, Florida, where President Donald Trump spends his weekends, 10 people died of overdose on one recent day alone, likely from a batch of heroin tainted by fentanyl, a powerful, synthetic opioid pain medication.
The report stated that after a decade and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the US opioid addiction crisis is entering a new phase.
“With the government finally cracking down on the free flow of prescription pain killers fueling the crisis, addicts are turning to heroin pouring in from Mexico,” it added.
Trump had initiated a clamp down on the drugs trade starting with the sealing of the porous border separating Mexico and the United States.
The report said that at the moment, towns, cities and states are being overwhelmed by the narcotics menace.
Compared to the overblown 7,000 death figures that Rody’s opponents have linked to the drugs campaign, the US report stated that more than 33,000 people across the country died in 2015 from opioid overdoses, up 15.5 percent from 2014.
“That equated to a record 10 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people — 10 times the level in 1971, when the US government declared its ‘War on Drugs’ after a surge in overdoses,” it added.
The report called the drugs situation in the US as having reached crisis proportion.
The addiction also involved prescription drugs. How prescription opioid producers and distributors fed the crisis is made clear by previously unreleased US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) data reported in December by the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette-Mail.
It showed that from 2007 to 2012, those companies sold 780 million opioid painkillers in West Virginia, 421 extremely addictive pills for every man, woman and child in the poor eastern state.
Last March 1, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared the addiction crisis a “state of emergency,” allowing him to draw on funds normally appropriated for natural disasters to deal with the problem.
Two weeks ago, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping new campaign to cut addiction, after the city’s overdose death toll hit 1,075 last year.
The drugs mayhem in the United States should have hit local shore had Rody complacently adopted the yellow tack of pleasing rights groups and foreign governments first and chasing after drug traffickers second.
Singaporean Ambassador Kok Li Peng compared Rody’s political will in pursuing the anti-narcotics campaign to the determination of the late former Singaporean Prime Minister and elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew, saying both men had stood out in terms of political will.
“I think both men have been characterized as doers. I think that’s a good description of how they’re driving their respective agendas. Singapore benefited well under his leadership, in which the Philippines will, under the President’s leadership as well,” Kok said in a forum.
Similarly, Lee Kuan Yew was almost always severely criticized by the Western world on the strong arm measures that he implemented to guide Singapore to where it is now, which is among, if not the most, progressive country in the world.
Duterte has pledged to end the drugs problem in the country before he finishes his six-year term with or without the yellow obstructionists.
Consider in that six years, if Rody succeeds, the country would have reversed the tide of the drugs menace while Western nations such as the US remain on the path of narcotics perdition.

Economic golden age nears

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 00:00 Published in Editorial

Rody has reasons to be unperturbed about the escalated campaign for his ouster as he challenged his opponents to do their worst which he said would be matched by doing his best in public service.
He struck the right chord among many Filipinos in that message, since it seems a more responsible leader had emerged, which is a departure from the tough talking mayor to which  the nation has become used.
His opponents has scaled up the operations to boot him out of power, using their every resource and network.
An all-smile Leni brought to the United Nations the yellow allegations of Rody being implicated in the extrajudicial killings (EJK) accompanying his war on drugs.
She also accused the police of hauling innocent civilians into jail in the guise of the war on drugs on what she claimed was a “palit-ulo” (substitution) scheme in which relatives take the place of drug suspects in hiding.
Of course, the allegations of Leni were blown-up charges that have similar ingredients as the made-up stories of supposed Davao Death Squad (DDS) hitmen Edgar Matobato and retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas whose strings are being pulled by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
The President said he is ignoring the impeachment complaint brought against him and his opponents’ plan to file an International Criminal Court (ICC) case against him and it will not distract him from fulfilling his promises with the people.
Rody’s best is being mirrored by his economic officials’ determination to push policy reforms.
Some P1 trillion in spendings for infrastructure that economic officials estimate will propel the economy to grow more than seven percent a year is almost assured with the nearing approval of the comprehensive tax reform package (CTRP).
The House committee on ways and means has approved in principle the first phase of the  CTRP as a package subject to the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) that would draw up a substitute bill consolidating the proposed reforms by the Department of Finance (DoF) with other tax-related proposals by the lawmakers.
The legislative action, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, is significant since the reform measure will be implemented in its entirety instead of piecemeal approvals in which the politically-palatable measures such as the personal income tax reduction are approved ahead of the more contentious proposals.
The lowering of the income tax is matched by revenue enhancing measures from a higher excise tax system on fuel and automobiles and reduced exemptions on the value-added tax (VAT).
The tax reform plan envisions sustaining the country’s momentum as Asia’s fastest-growing economies while reducing the poverty rate from 21. 6 percent to 14 percent that will transform the country into an upper-middle economy.
The tax reform package is estimated to raise an additional P718 billion for education, P139 billion for health, P267 billion for social protection, welfare and employment, and P1.73 trillion for urban and rural infrastructure.
The Finance chief said businesses should expect themselves to be busy starting this year, as the Duterte administration rolls out its big-ticket infrastructure projects, which would, in turn, stimulate the economy, create jobs  and generate more financing opportunities for the country’s banking and insurance sectors.
He said not only the large businesses that will benefit from the multi-fold opportunities that will open up in the near future, saying that rapid growth is also expected on tourism and trade with the improved relations with the country’s neighbors.
This will mean stronger demand for processed food, in-person service enterprises, household items and consumer electronics,” Dominguez said.
The country’s relations with its Asian neighbors have  strengthened under Rody’s independent foreign policy.
The yellow distractions including threats of trade sanctions from the yellow allies notwithstanding, businessmen say that the country is en route to an economic golden age.

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