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Next Monday, July 24, President Duterte will deliver his second State of the Nation Address or SONA, before Congress. Without doubt, this year’s SONA will include the continuing crisis in Marawi City that has claimed the lives of more than 500 people, including almost a hundred members of the country’s security forces.

Kaugnay nito, kasama niyang nagdarasal at umaasa ang sambayanang Pilipino na SANA ay magwakas na ang krisis sa Marawi na patuloy na nagpapahirap sa marami nating kababayan sa bahaging iyon ng ating bansa. Na SANA ay matigil na rin ang pagbubuwis ng buhay hindi lang ng mga nagtutunggaliang puwersa kundi gayundin ng mga sibilyang naiipit sa labanan.

A review of the 2016 SONA shows that apart from the admin’s campaign against crime, corruption and illegal drugs, among the issues that resonated well with the public were those that touched on the three-day time-frame for issuing business licenses and permits, extending validity of driver’s license up to five years, lower personal and corporate income tax, and free WIFI in public places. Other promises cover adequate food and housing, improved public transport service, education and health. SANA nga matupad na rin ang lahat ng ito.

Without a doubt, the war on drugs will occupy a prominent part in the President’s report. But amid the growing statistics on the number of persons killed in supposed police operations and alleged extra-judicial killings, there are very serious kinks in this anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Among the most troubling is the purported link of certain police personnel in the drug trade, such as Supt. Marvin Marcos who is accused of involvement in last year’s killing of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte who was killed inside his jail, together with another inmate who was in a separate cell. Espinosa was then incarcerated in a Baybay City jail and his death was widely believed to be a rubout.
In a hearing jointly conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs and the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, son of the slain mayor, testified that Marcos was on their payroll. The two committees established that the mayor’s killing was a premeditated act and that Marcos was one of those accused of murdering the mayor.

The same conclusion of premeditation and conspiracy was reached by a probe team of the National Bureau of Investigation and by a panel of prosecutors of the Department of Justice that also looked into the case. In a Senate hearing on Nov. 23 last year, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II himself stated that Espinosa’s death was “premeditated, unusual and an overkill.”

Strangely (but not really surprisingly), the Justice Department has now reversed the earlier resolution of its prosecution panel and downgraded the charge against Marcos and 18 of his men from murder to homicide. They are now out on bail, a development denounced by several senators. The usually mild-speaking Ping Lacson, chair of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, could not hide his contempt over the DOJ flip-flop and blurted out Mano Digong’s favorite expletive of pu- – – g ina (SONAFABITCH!)

The President has reportedly directed that since Marcos has served out his four-month suspension, he should be drafted back into active service. This is apparently in line with his repeated vows to protect police personnel who face charges while engaged in the campaign against the SONAFABITCHES in the drug trade, and that he will pardon them, even if found guilty. Huwag naman SANA.

In last year’s SONA, the president warned policemen against committing abuses. “Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself,” he thundered then. Does this mean that the case of Marcos and his co-accused does not constitute abuse of authority, in spite of the Senate finding to this effect?

One can only shudder at the thought that the name Marcos is slowly establishing its foothold in the halls of political power again. SONAmagun!!! [] [] [] [] [] []
the halls of political power again. SONAmagun!!!