THE DURIAN BEAT: Do it right

the-durian-beat-columnDavao City’s women’s rights champion Representative Luz Ilagan and her Gabriela Party-list are in the forefront of a campaign to send to jail Davao City Police director Vicente Danao for violation of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) Act of 2004.

      We laud Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela for their energy to make Mr. Danao answer for a crime presumably in violation of RA 9262.

      But the efforts of Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela agaianst Mr. Danao we see as selective and nothing but  a publicity stunt to justify people’s money spent for Gabriela as a party-list in the House of Representatives. 

   Recently, Davao City’s   news and public affairs television aired a video of  an unidentified  American national dragging a Dabawenya Commercial Sex Worker (CSW) to a police station to complain about allegedly being shortchanged in a ‘blow job’ contract in a seedy motel.

      The video showed the filthy American slapping and kicking the poor woman who was helplessly sitting on a bench while undergoing the brutality inside the San Pedro Police Station.

   The mauling of the woman was carried out right in the presence of policemen, including the police duty officer, who did nothing to stop this filthy American from the cruelty inflicted on a resident of Davao City.

   We are supposed to believe that there is equality in law.

   If Mr. Danao violated VAWC in the confines of his home, this filthy American trampled on women rights right before the eyes of government law enforcers, inside a government building (police station), his brutality in blatant violation of RA 9262 shown to the public in a news report with nobody, after the fact, doing nothing about it including Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela and San Pedro Police Station commander Roland Lao, who could have immediately ordered an investigation if he is not ignorant about RA 9262 or Davao City’s own VAWC ordinance.

   This insult should not be allowed to pass.

   The Davao City Police trumpeting about having VAWC desks in every police station is a fluke if we take as a sad experience the case of the filthy American mauling a Dabawenya CSW right inside a police station.

   Let the Danao case proceed and the police officer made to suffer if he is guilty. But this filthy American should not be allowed to go scot-free.

The winner in the Danao case, if the police officer is convicted, is his wife who has complained before police authorities about alleged violation of VAWC, and Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela for the credit they would earn for sending Mr. Danao to jail.

   The loser would be Mr. Danao and his career, and the Dabawenyos served for years and set to be served for many more years by this able police officer, who unselfishly offered himself and his career to make Davao City peaceful.

   If there is a winner  , it is no other than the ugly American who went scot-free despite kicking and slapping a Dabawenya right inside a police station in full view of police officers, in this city which prides itself to the high heavens about having its own VAWC ordinance to protect its women.

   The losers are the poor CSW, police credibility to enforce a law, and also Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela for selectivity in choosing which case merits their attention.

   In behalf of the Dabawenya, we pose this “Do-It-Right’ Challenge to Rep. Ilagan and Gabriela, and to Davao City Councilor Leah Librado, a Gabriela stalwart and chair of the City Council Committee on Women and Children Welfare, to go after this filthy American.

   Failing this, their claim as  champions of women’s rights does not have merit. 

luwaran editorialEditorial

One at a time

One cannot fight several battles at a time. It has to be one battle after the other. This is the credo of the MILF in the face of several challenges before the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) becomes a reality.

With this frame of mind, the MILF, after 17 long and harsh years of negotiation, has managed to sign the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in 2012 and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014. These two agreements are indeed historic.

After the long years of protracted negotiation, the MILF has led the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in crafting the BBL, which underwent real deliberations and multi-layers of decision-making.

It was difficult as it was time-consuming.

Today, the real happening is in Congress which will deliberate on BBL, then to the conduct of the plebiscite in which people will approve (or disapprove) the BBL.

That is not the end of the trials and tribulations. It is almost certain that people or groups will question the constitutionality of the BBL before the Supreme Court. All of these scenarios are risks-laden, but the MILF is not cowed at all.
“Man shall have nothing except what he strives for,” says the Holy Qur’an.

This is the basis of the MILF working formula. It is rare or not at all that success comes in handy or on a silver platter. There are no rewards without risk. Taking risks is part of the undertaking.

Be this as it may, the good news, however, is that after several delays, the MILF and the government have finished an “agreed version” of the BBL which has been submitted to Congress.

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