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The right of the state

Santa Banana, believe it or not, even though I am 90 years old I still look forward to reading the funny pages of newspapers. They provide comic relief after I have read all the news items and the opinion pieces.

After reading so much negative news, I love having a good laugh.

I have been doing it as far back as I can remember. I remember reading the Katzenjammer Kids, Popeye and Olive, Nancy and Sluggo and Flash Gordon. I recall reading Flash Gordon’s space travels using jet-propelled spaceships, something that has actually come about with modern technology.

I was also an avid collector of DC and Marvel Comics. I had a stack of Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel material. I wonder what happened to them. If I had saved them, I would be a millionaire now. Sayang.

When my kids were young, I would give them such magazines with chocolates when they were sick.

***

The Bureau of Immigration’s order to deport the Australian nun, Sister Patricia Fox, whom the government said was an undesirable alien, was really just an exercise of Philippine sovereignty.

The opposition, militants and activists may cry to the heavens that the Duterte administration is getting paranoid. But if these people knew their law, they would know that the BI can actually prevent people from entering the country or deport them.

I don’t see any cause why the sympathizers of the nun should complain. Their hearts are now bleeding for the 71-year-old and they urge her to seek redress from Philippine courts.

The nun may be old, sure, but her missionary visa does not guarantee that she would not be deported. Her visa does not allow her to participate in any political activity.

This exercise of sovereignty reminds me of the sister of my daughter-in-law. One time, she came home to the Philippines with her boyfriend to visit.

One early morning, I got a frantic call because authorities refused to allow the boyfriend to enter the Philippines. He was unkempt and unshaven, wearing just sando, shorts and slippers, his visit coinciding with summer.

I talked to the immigration officer and asked why they would not let the boyfriend enter the country. They said he looked like he would not be able to afford to stay in the Philippines. It was only after my guarantee that the officers relented.

When I talked to the boyfriend, I told him the next time he comes here he should not look like those foreigners who think the Philippines is populated by savages.

I cite this incident to show that the state does have the right to ban or deport any alien in its exercise of sovereignty.

***

In the wake of so much criticism by international human rights groups of the President’s war on drugs, the President should do a rethink. This is not a simple peace and order problem that can be solved by the police terminating anybody involved.

The drug problem is an issue of poverty and health. Santa Banana, President Duterte should realize that the problem will not disappear so long as there is a demand for illegal drugs. Meanwhile, foreign syndicates are always there to supply the need.

The ultimate solution is to cut off the demand. How? By putting up community-based rehabilitation centers nationwide.

It’s also a poverty issue because it’s the poor who use “shabu” either smuggled through Customs or dumped by passing vessels through our porous borders. In some instances, the shabu is manufactured in the Philippines in connivance with narco-politicians.

I am not saying that the rich are not into drugs. Note that cocaine and ecstasy are also very popular here. But they are more difficult to identify because they live in exclusive villages or condominiums.

If the President expects to win the war on illegal drugs, he should rethink his strategy of cutting supply by building more rehab centers. I am sure he knows that other countries also have problems with illegal drugs but they do not go about killing all involved in the narcotics trade.

***

I am worried at the lack of opposition figures who will join the 2019 Senate race.

It seems that only Bam Aquino stands out.

There seems to be a dearth of Liberal Party politicians who can put up a credible opposition slate. The exception is Mar Roxas—but will he run?

If there are not enough oppositionists in the Senate, checks and balance will be stymied. That would be tragic!

Topics: Santa Banana , Rodrigo Duterte , Bam Aquino , Liberal Party , Mar Roxas , Patricia Fox
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