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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 14, 2016
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Negros Oriental
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Choices We Make
with Benjamin Calderon


Benjamin CalderonThe ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration favoring the Philippines comes at a very appropriate time to remind us that the settlement of disputes can be based on law which is the position taken by our government. However, China has will not abide by the decision and will continue with its “bullying” stance.

I find the timing of the above legal decision an appropriate reminder to everybody as the number of suspected drug pushers and users who have voluntarily turned themselves in Negros Oriental has reached 5,374 as of yesterday, while statistics from our PNP reveal that there is an average of four drug related deaths everyday from May 10 to July 3.

The spike in deaths attributed to the war against illegal drugs has caught the attention of a few Senators who are saying that there are some cases that needs to be investigated for legislative purposes. Naturally some officials of the current administration have taken an adversarial perspective that such legislative investigations would dampen the morale of the police officers in their work to achieve the objectives set forth by their organization. Again, I find this interesting as to the timing from those who would like to investigate and those who find investigating now is not proper. What do you think? We can expect the difference in opinion to escalate and in my opinion there will come a time when an investigation is needed to reign in the violence. Not now as we wait for the President to indentify the mayors who are suspected to be involved in the illegal drugs.

With the on-going war against illegal drugs shifting to high gear, we all expect those who have not “surrendered” for profiling may become more desperate. Consequently, the office has taken the time to review our security procedures and be reminded that security is part of everybody's duty. Now is always a good time to heighten security consciousness.

Let us end with an anecdote that helps us consider why timing is also important. My husband was driving home from work when he was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. Two days later—same ticket, same cop. “So,” the officer said, “have you learned anything?” “Yes, I have,” said my husband. “I've learned I need to take a different way home from work.”*

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