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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK
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FROM THE FREEMAN (PHILSTAR CEBU)

EDITORIAL: DEATH PENALTY, A LAST RESORT


FEBRUARY 17 -It does not really matter whether one is for or against the death penalty because there will always be a diversity of opinion over anything. The one question that truly begs for an answer is why some legislators are proposing to restore the supreme punishment when there is really no crying need for this country to even be discussing the issue. This country hasn't had the death penalty for years yet it hasn't actually descended into a situation so precarious and dire that could not be addressed by the regular institutions and the regular penal sanctions they wield and impose. As they always say let sleeping dogs lie. Or, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So why a rush to impose the death penalty? Why even debate about it? READ MORE...

ALSO: By Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - Why a federal government is best for us


FEBRUARY 19 -By Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez
For more than 450 years, this nation had been under a centralized government, where all major decisions were always done by the almighty Manila. Yes, there have been intermittent, incoherent and symbolic concessions to local autonomy. But all the strategic political and economic, financial and other decisions of far-reaching implications had always been, as they are still today, being done in the National Capital Region. Lawmaking is being done by a highly centralized Congress that is manned by national officials supposedly with local constituencies. Execution of laws is dictated by an all-powerful president, who governs the whole nation and lives in a palace as if he or she is an aristocrat. Even judicial procedures are centralized. READ MORE...

ALSO: US IMMIGRATION NOTES - ICE raids under the Trump admin


FEBRUARY 19 =Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in all matters pertaining to the country's immigration laws, conducted simultaneous raids all over the country in which close to 700 illegal aliens were arrested. DHS claims that 75 percent of those arrested are aliens with criminal convictions. However, reports also indicate that some of those arrested are just simple overstays or those who do not even have warrant of arrests. Raids like these are not really surprising as they are pretty common even during the Obama administration. In fact, Mr. Obama earned the nickname "Deporter in Chief" for deporting more than 2.5 million aliens during his entire time in office. Though that record is higher than any president before him, it only garnered little attention because of his constant reassurances to the immigrant community that he is taking immigration reform seriously to the point that he issued presidential initiatives, the most notable of which are the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. READ MORE...

ALSO: Death penalty for practical purposes


FEBRUARY 18 -Why keep them alive? A teacher said there is a practical reason why the Philippines should push for the death penalty; it is cheaper to get rid of criminals who really deserve to die because of their heinous crimes, while it costs the government money to keep criminals in jail. That money can be better spent on law-abiding citizens. "The government feeds them, pays for their clothes, and the power they use. These are people who can no longer be integrated back into society. Why should society continue to pay for their existence?" he said. Show no mercy. Along that line, he said only perpetrators of heinous crimes should be given the death penalty. "Why should we show them mercy when they did not show their victims mercy?" the teacher said. FULL COLUMN.


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EDITORIAL - DEATH PENALTY, A LAST RESORT

MANILA, FEBRUARY 20, 2017 (THE FREEMAN -PHILSTAR CEBU)  (The Freeman) | Updated February 17, 2017 - It does not really matter whether one is for or against the death penalty because there will always be a diversity of opinion over anything. The one question that truly begs for an answer is why some legislators are proposing to restore the supreme punishment when there is really no crying need for this country to even be discussing the issue.

This country hasn't had the death penalty for years yet it hasn't actually descended into a situation so precarious and dire that could not be addressed by the regular institutions and the regular penal sanctions they wield and impose. As they always say let sleeping dogs lie. Or, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So why a rush to impose the death penalty? Why even debate about it?

READ MORE...

To be sure, there are things going on in this country that cannot be ignored. There are crimes being committed that are so heinous they make the blood curdle. But heinous as these crimes are, they are not so unique and extraordinary as to require the employment of unique and extraordinary means to address and even punish. All existing institutions and punitive means are still in place and can be used.

Perhaps the question to ask is why these institutions and punitive means are not being made to work as efficiently as they should, so that there would be no need to even think of employing other means that are so controversial they become divisive and unhealthy for the country. This country cannot be made to suffer and pay the price of its own institutional inefficiencies.

Right now the country is still reeling from the realization that its police force is almost rotten to the core. That is a situation that even makes it worse to even toy with the idea of reimposing the death penalty. The main thing to do is fix the police force first because no country can expect to exist and maintain law and order without one.

The death penalty is way up there as a means of last resort. We are not there yet. We are just struggling with institutional infirmities that, while serious and painful, are not exactly beyond cure or repair. Let us deal first with the things we can do and control before we try things that, once applied, no longer offer the chance for a recall or a restart.


Why a federal government is best for us WHAT MATTERS MOST By Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


By Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez

For more than 450 years, this nation had been under a centralized government, where all major decisions were always done by the almighty Manila. Yes, there have been intermittent, incoherent and symbolic concessions to local autonomy. But all the strategic political and economic, financial and other decisions of far-reaching implications had always been, as they are still today, being done in the National Capital Region. Lawmaking is being done by a highly centralized Congress that is manned by national officials supposedly with local constituencies. Execution of laws is dictated by an all-powerful president, who governs the whole nation and lives in a palace as if he or she is an aristocrat. Even judicial procedures are centralized.

READ MORE...

Under a federal government, there shall be genuine autonomy and all the executive, legislative and judicial powers are brought down to the states where government decisions and actions are nearest to the people. Federalization is a great empowerer of people. Decisions shall be faster. There shall be lesser red tape and above all, the resources emanating from one region shall be plowed back to public services, public works and public welfare of the people who contributed those resources. There shall be less expenses in governance and public administration. And there shall be a closer link between the governors and the governed, the public officials and the people.

The only functions of government that shall be in the hands of the federal government are foreign affairs and national defense. We shall only have one foreign affairs ministry because all the states shall be represented by all the ambassadors in all countries with whom our country has diplomatic relations. We shall have only one national defense because there shall be only one federal armed forces, one national army, one national constabulary, one air force and one national navy and marine force. All the rest shall be the lookout of every state, like finance, economic planning and management, agriculture, environment, natural resources, trade, industry, transport, communications, (although these shall be interconnected), education, health, social services, labor, agrarian reform and all else.

The time has come for all Central Visayans to think federal, to synergize and cooperate and make our state better than any else in the whole country. There shall be lesser taxes and our revenues can be better allocated according to our own priorities. The different states can engage in ''coopetition'' or cooperation with friendly competition. Our leaders should also reinvent themselves and learn the magic force of synergy. Our people should go out of their comfort zones. Four centuries and a half of centralization is too long for us who suffer from the ineptitude, inefficiency and irresponsiveness of a centralized government. The time to embrace a federal form of government is now.


ICE raids under the Trump administration US IMMIGRATION NOTES By Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in all matters pertaining to the country's immigration laws, conducted simultaneous raids all over the country in which close to 700 illegal aliens were arrested. DHS claims that 75 percent of those arrested are aliens with criminal convictions. However, reports also indicate that some of those arrested are just simple overstays or those who do not even have warrant of arrests.

Raids like these are not really surprising as they are pretty common even during the Obama administration. In fact, Mr. Obama earned the nickname "Deporter in Chief" for deporting more than 2.5 million aliens during his entire time in office. Though that record is higher than any president before him, it only garnered little attention because of his constant reassurances to the immigrant community that he is taking immigration reform seriously to the point that he issued presidential initiatives, the most notable of which are the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.

READ MORE...

However under the present Trump administration, ICE raids from hereon may be more different and widespread in number, scope and procedure. What we mean by this is that since immigration enforcement is one of the core priorities of his administration, there would be an increase in the agency's budget resulting to more personnel conducting raids and court actions. Likewise, whenever a raid is conducted in a house or workplace, even if you do not have a criminal history or you do not have a prior deportation order but you are an overstay yourself, ICE agents could still arrest you. This kind of arrest procedure plus the tough rhetoric from the president only reinforces the fear and anxiety prevalent within the immigrant community as it seeks to find its place in the Trump administration.

***

Also last week, the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe met with President Trump seeking to boost the alliance between these two countries in areas of trade, commerce, anti-terrorism, among others. I watched the joint press conference and saw a growing closeness between these two leaders. I wonder what China was thinking during that time amidst its expansion ambitions in this side of the world. I am hoping to see our own president gets his own time at the White House and talk about the interests of the Philippines in terms of shared and mutual goals especially the issues involving China's intrusion in the South China Sea, the withdrawal of the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership and its effects on the Philippine economy, the plight of Filipino immigrants in the US and the joint anti-terrorism efforts in southern Philippines.

mtomakin@gmail.com .


Death penalty for practical purposes THE EAR (The Freeman) | Updated February 19, 2017 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

Why keep them alive? A teacher said there is a practical reason why the Philippines should push for the death penalty; it is cheaper to get rid of criminals who really deserve to die because of their heinous crimes, while it costs the government money to keep criminals in jail. That money can be better spent on law-abiding citizens.

"The government feeds them, pays for their clothes, and the power they use. These are people who can no longer be integrated back into society. Why should society continue to pay for their existence?" he said.

Show no mercy. Along that line, he said only perpetrators of heinous crimes should be given the death penalty. "Why should we show them mercy when they did not show their victims mercy?" the teacher said.


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