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From worse to better





“A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases. It it will never pass into nothingness.” — John Keats

By Hector R. R. Villanueva

Hector R. R. Villanueva

The Philippines will always be the “Pearl of the Orient” in spite of countless vicissitudes in its turbulent history.

Notwithstanding the embarrassing and nauseous Senate public hearings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has enormously improved its performance and public image during the Duterte administration.

The PNP’s internal cleansing — continuous dismissal of police scalawags and police transformation development — are simultaneous efforts to reform the police force.

In fact, there is an ongoing 2030 police transformation development plan which will make the police organization, by 2030, a “highly capable, effective, and credible police service” with a dedicated and honest policeman to boot.

As Samuel Johnson would admonish, change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.

Even the nation remains relatively peaceful, resilient, and stable.

On the other hand, there is a mounting urgency, as aggravated by a burgeoning population surge, to ascend to the next level of growth for the happiness and well being of the greatest number.

The options are stark and few.

First, to start with, the presidential-type political system, controlled and dominated by an elitist oligarchical minority, family dynasties, and self-serving politicians, has enjoyed its glory days and should now be modified or changed.

Like the majority of the UN member countries, the parliamentary form of government is the common mode of governance with its many variations and nuances, including party democracy and the recruitment of elected party mates to executive Cabinet positions and “vote of no confidence” feature and parliamentary practices.

As Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir Mohamad have brilliantly achieved, things can be accomplished by means of a solid party majority in Parliament without resorting to martial law.

Second, the harsh alternative is military regime martial law which remains unthinkable as the Filipino people continue to be traumatized by the Marcos dictatorship and martial law which can happen again.

Incidentally, the widespread appointment of retired senior military officers to civil departments and agencies could tempt an ambitious soldier into thinking that he is capable of running the country.

Third, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has shown that he can hold the country together in shock and awe which is unprecedented in Philippine politics.

He is the country’s number one salesman and peacemaker.

You be the judge.


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