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By Nef Luczon
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
MY SINCERE apologies for the readers who are not admirers and fanatics of Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte, more apologies to his political critics and rivals if they find this piece uncomfortable.
But last Monday, it can’t be denied that he was the “bad-ass rock star” on the Senate inquiry on rice smuggling in the country that led to the prompt arrest of suspected rice smuggling czar in the Philippines, Davidson Bangayan who was identified by the mayor as the same suspected David Tan (but he posted bail after the arrest, anyway).
This issue on rice smuggling is not just centered on Davao City or some parts of the country, in fact, Cagayan de Oro port was reportedly one of “David Tan’s lines” according to Duterte, along with Manila and Cebu. So local agencies concerned in the Northern Mindanao region and local and provincial government units must also take this matter seriously.
That is why I feel very upset when newsfeeds on social media from major news platforms are still posting about those Vhong-Deniece-Cedric follow-up stories when it’s least important compared to what’s being heard on the senate, and that is rice smuggling.
Now back to Duterte, although his statements were “disturbing” to the ears of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and other lawyers and advocates who wanted to have an orderly manner of behavior in forums such as senate hearings, but for the majority of the people, they believed it’s high time to end with those hypocritical formalities when day by day we are being robbed and raped, both by law disrespecting goons and some public officials.
Most of the people in the country have called for his presidency for being frank and straight talking, but it’s still up to him, since he already made pronouncements that he is not interested.
But Duterte remains to be human after all, he even admits that he only had at most 10 years to live, that is why he’s willing to go in jail for “killing” Bangayan a.k.a. Davidson Tan because he’s already sickly and old.
Added into that, Duterte is not perfect, he still has to answer the allegations being hurled against him that he is in fact had connection with the rice smugglers in his city and allegedly dropped Bangayan/Tan, in order to save his face.
But at the end of the day, Duterte gave the people of the masses that the government can be their ally and protector, when almost all of the officials and politicians failed to do so. Sometimes we thought that his threats and vulgarity in the public were just mere bluffing just to ruffle the feathers of the public and higher government agencies, but we have to see he will really act what he said.
It’s the political season once again in the country’s oldest media organization, the Cagayan de Oro Press Club Inc. (COPC) members will vote for a new set of board of directors for this year. This may not be of high significance to our little Cagayan de Oro City, but some of its members here are known to have put political kings and queens to their seats, and made businessmen got wealthier because of them.
COPC has its code of ethics, but sometimes, it’s not followed, one factor could be the nature of the members’ media affiliation or dealings with politicians and businessmen – that is when a “journalist” also do a role of a Public Relations, an ethical dilemma as we put it, due to the realities a media practitioner face – economic struggle and career stability or security of employment tenure.
But as a member of COPC, I can only hope that each member will strive to do their best and excellence in the profession despite the hindrances and ethical dilemmas, that also goes to how we do “politics” just to get a seat in the board of directors.
[Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | nefoi.blogspot.com]
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 05, 2014.