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Helping the president’s anti-crime crusade

There is a wise saying, “Be careful of what you promise. People might believe it.”

On June 30, Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the new president of The Philippines. A politician well-known for his somewhat exaggerated style of speaking and promises to eradicate crime and corruption, this time he promised to do it within three to six months of his inauguration.

He could have a strong impact on the crime rate through smart and lawful executive orders or legislation to stop the death squads and vigilante killings. He could stop officials paying bonuses to rogue police to kill mere suspects.

That’s a licence to violate human rights and kill with impunity. It is not worthy of a great people like the Filipinos, who have suffered from weak and corrupt leadership in the past.

Those who understand how deep the roots of crime and corruption go in The Philippines will know that a well-meaning president like Duterte has made promises that are impossible to fulfill.

But, hold your breath, the impossible may still be possible.

Many people have taken the promises seriously and they will expect results, but if he is to succeed, they will have to help the new president succeed in fighting corruption and criminality within the law.

The killing of suspects is not the way. That will bring international condemnation and shame to The Philippines, making it the pariah of the civilised world.

The secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has already spoken out against Philippine death squads killing journalists. But if the vigilantes have their way, the presidency will be gravely affected and branded as a killer regime and violator of human rights.

Filipinos will lose respect wherever they are in the world and possibly privileges at international borders when they travel. That must not happen.

Civil society has to report abuse and corruption without fear and expose it so the president can remedy it legally. Civil society can help Duterte meet those goals in a right and lawful way.

The Philippines has excellent penal colonies on remote islands where convicted prisoners work to support themselves and the colony. That is where the drug dealers, rapists, child abusers and corrupt officials should be sent to fulfill a just sentence.

Duterte could have spectacular success in fighting crime by using the legal pen rather than the illegal gun.

Reintroducing the death penalty, if congress passes it, will do nothing to deter crime either, especially white-collar and banking crime, the heinous crime of the one per cent who own 70 per cent of the country.

People from that social class are never hanged or convicted of their crimes, so the strict implementation of just laws is the way.

Corrupt officials in government and business have to be investigated, charged and brought to trial. Corruption drives hundreds of thousands of children onto the streets in horrendous poverty and misery without social welfare.

Hanging a few drug dealers or child rapists will not deter them or foreign sex tourists.

When a young girl, a victim of rape by her biological father, saw the news about the reintroduction of the death penalty, she said, “Please ask the president not to do it. My family will blame me for killing our father, I can never go home.”

For sure, the hoped-for anti-crime action of Duterte will be a big success if he orders the cancellation of government licences and permits of sex bars, brothels, karaoke joints and sex hotels, as well as clamping down on casinos.

These are proven fronts for prostitution and sex, as well as being the drug abuse centres for children and young girls in debt bondage. Drugs are always there to make the girls submissive and docile for the rough foreign rapists.

That executive order or new law would be world news and a great anti-crime move with hugely positive results. The sex tourists will pull up their pants and flee, family and eco-tourism arrivals will double.

Duterte would score a highly visible, nationwide, anti-crime success with one stroke of the pen and save thousands of young girls and minors from a hateful life of sex slavery and human trafficking.

But to pull the trigger will bring abomination on the nation and give it a worse name than the criminals that are killed by death squads have ever done.

If the new president really wants his anti-crime crusade to succeed, he could strike an immediate blow at the heart of online cyber-crime child abuse.

He only has to get the police and the National Telecommunications Commission to implement a 2009 anti-child-pornography law and make Internet service providers obey.

The children, who we all must protect and heal, will be safer and live in a better, cleaner world. Then it really might be more fun in The Philippines!


• Father Shay Cullen