President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

EMPHASIZING the obvious that he will be in-charge of the Philippines soon, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, together with his losing vice presidential candidate Alan Peter Cayetano and his spiritual adviser and BBF (Best Friend Forever) Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, appeared on television interview in a local Davao City TV station (not the big Manila stations!) for one hour and 33 minutes last Sunday.

The incoming chief executive was wearing his favorite and lucky bright multi-colored checkered polo shirt (I wonder how often it is washed? He is like Ferdinand Marcos in that aspect, who also had a favorite and lucky political polo shirt that he used to wear every Election Day that he was a candidate. Although, President Marcos wore socks. The President-elect doesn’t).

Mr. Duterte, whose point finger still showed the indelible voters’ ink, gave an overview of what he intended to do as president.

(Read our editorial this week.)

The interview did not only make future ex-President Benigno Aquino III a certified lame duck, it also made him virtually irrelevant.

This is the saddest period of any presidency with fixed term of office.

One by one, people around the President are abandoning him to look for new job.


Archbishop Bernardito Auza (right) with the author, Manny Caballero, in a file photo.

I’d like to discuss the basic difference in the approaches in solving the menace of drugs between President-elect Duterte and the Catholic Church.

By the way, the incoming president made it clear during the Davao interview that he was no longer Catholic, but he remained a Christian.

I foresee that this issue will only be one of the more contentious conflicts between the two groups in the Philippines in the coming months.  

Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave an intervention during a United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly recently on the World Drug Problem on behalf of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

Speaking for the Pope, Archbishop Auza firmly rejected the use and legalization of illegal drugs and reiterated Pope Francis’ words emphasizing that to address the underlying causes of drug addiction, rather than liberalizing drug use, it is necessary to stop the spread of drug addiction.

“The fight against drugs will not be won with drugs,” Pope Francis said, but with education, greater job opportunities, life, love and care for others.

The family is particularly important for the prevention of drug addiction and the treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of users, Archbishop Auza affirmed.

He also said that drug traffickers, local pushers and drug users ought to be treated differently according to the principle of just proportionality.

To protect people from the scourge of drug use and its collateral harms, he added, international cooperation toward and integrated and balanced anti-drug strategy are required.

What is just proportionality in combating drugs?

According to a related journal, just proportionality is one of the key principles of the rule of law aiming to protect people from cruel or inhumane treatment.

The principle has been established in international and regional human rights agreements and many countries have adopted reflections of it in their constitution or penal code.  

Its application to drug-related offenses is firstly the responsibility of the legislators, in defining the level of penalization of certain behaviors.

The level of penalization should be determined according to the severity of damage that a certain behavior causes to others or to society.  

In the second instance, the courts and judges have to apply the principle of proportionality in defining the appropriate punishment for a particular case; and, finally, proportionality also plays a role in the execution of this punishment.

Duterte way

We have heard how President-elect Duterte did his anti-drug campaign in Davao.

He has not revealed how he intends to do it under his administration.

But, we have heard him say it a number of times during the campaign, He did it with a “bang” against certain drug traffickers in Davao, according to him.

No one knows yet how he will do it for the rest of the country.

Mr. Duterte is a criminal lawyer.

He should know the limits.


Happy Birthday, Roger Santos


I’d like to greet my brod in CFC, Roger Santos (pictured above), Happy Birthday.

Many happy returns and God bless, Bro. Roger.


Jersey Gold Coast Bike Tour 2016

Loren San Diego (pictured above) has organized the Jersey Gold Coast Bike Tour 2016. It will be held on May 30, 2016 at 7 a.m.

The tour starts at Liberty State Park in Jersey City and proceeds to the George Washington Bridge.

It’s a tour, not a race.

If you are interested to join, get in touch with Loren in Facebook.

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