THE DURIAN BEAT
By: Roger Balanza, Philippines News Agency
To kill or not to kill
Vice President Leni Robredo was swamped with a tsunami of criticisms over her comment regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the military not to spare New People’s Army (NPA) rebels during armed encounters.
President Duterte said communist rebels should be killed, as they would anyway kill soldiers in a shooting war.
In her simplistic argument unrealistic in an armed confrontation, Robredo frowned on President Duterte’s shoot-to-kill order, and said the human rights of the NPA should be respected and the communist rebels should be arrested and charged in court and not killed.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its political arm the National Democratic Front (NDF) together with their armed wing, the NPA, have been fighting the government for nearly five decades.
The violence and mayhem by the NPA have cost thousands of lives and the continuing misery of the civilian population.
Armed and dangerous, NPA rebels speak no other language than the bark of the M16.
How is President Duterte dealing with the communist insurgency that had not been resolved by five past presidents and with the NPA continuing to this day to fight the government and terrorize the countryside?
A strong advocate of negotiations as an instrument to achieve a peaceful end to the conflict, President Duterte has resumed the oft-and-on talks with the rebels.
Of late, however, he has terminated the CPP/NPA/NDF peace talks, as the communists, in the midst of the negotiations in a show of blatant insincerity and treachery, continued to launch attacks on government troops, its extortion and imposition of revolutionary tax and harassment and killing of civilians.
The President expects the rebels to react with offensives against government in wake of the termination of the peace talks.
What would soldiers do if they are attacked by the rebels?
Government troops should shoot and kill armed members of the NPA because they would kill the soldiers anyway, the President said.
Positing an alternative that she argues is better than the President’s handling of the situation, Robredo said the human rights of the communist rebels must be respected and they must be arrested, and not killed, and brought to justice to answer for their crimes.
Shoot-to-kill is not what our Constitution states. The laws say that if one commits crime, there are corresponding penalties to those crimes committed, she says.
If we would put the law into our hands, it’s like we’re undermining democracy, invalidating the rule of law, she adds.
The language during armed confrontations in the counter-insurgency campaign is not loose talk but gunfire. If Robredo has her way, government troops should be, in the name of human rights, sitting ducks when the NPA attacks.
If we follow Robredo’s logic farther, the terrorist Maute Group would be the happiest criminals in the world.
What would Robredo have done if she was the President when the terrorist Maute Group killed hundreds of soldiers, policemen and civilians during the Marawi City siege? She would want that the human rights of the mass murderers be respected and they should be arrested alive to face their day in court.
She is no different from the Commission on Human Rights which said that it would investigate if the human rights of the terror group were violated during the nearly five months of military operation to free Marawi City from the grip of the one-thousand strong terrorists.
Like the NPA, the Maute Group, linked to the Islamic State, considered as the most violent and dangerous terror group in the world today, worships violence and murder to achieve their ends.
Pushing farther Robredo’s logic on how to treat armed and dangerous criminals, the Vice President would want policemen in the government’s anti-drug operations to be ready to read the Miranda Doctrine and to only arrest and treat with kid gloves armed drug lords and drug-pushers who are ready to kill.
But those pieces of paper called warrants of arrest and the Miranda Doctrine are not body armors to protect policemen from the hail of bullets from drug lords and pushers and criminals resisting arrest and fighting it out with law enforcers.
North Korea last week test-fired a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The newest baby of nuclear-freak Kim Jong-un that can strike anywhere, including the US mainland, has sparked fears throughout the world of the coming of World War 3.
The concern is that the next NoKor ICBM would no longer be on test-fire but for real, and Americans could now be praying that the ICBM, that could wipe out entire cities, fired from Pyongyang at the direction of the US, before reaching President Donald Trumps’ White House, would make a somersault and zoom back to North Korea to blow up naughty Kim to smithereens.
The Philippines has its own Kim in Vice President Robredo, who has been firing verbal scud missiles aimed at discrediting President Duterte.
If Kim is today the peaceful world’s most despised persona, Robredo is a discordant noise that the Philippines can do without.
The difference between Kim and Robredo is that while the Nokor leader is feared, Robredo is dismissed as a joke who provides comic relief at this time when President Duterte is breaking his head in solving the country’s myriad of woes.
The opposition’s dream of ousting and replacing President Duterte with Robredo is a shot at the moon. In so far as the Filipinos are concerned, they don’t fear Robredo nor do they need to pray that the Vice President’s continuing attempt to shoot down President Duterte with her verbal tirades would go pffftttt.
Robredo’s ICBMs have all been duds, ending up in a boomerang that showed how pitiful the Pinoys would be if she were the President facing terrorists, drug lords and communist insurgents.
Robredo would be worth the vote she won if she would help in finding solutions to the country’s problems rather than criticize the President’s every move.(PNA)