By: Ben Emata

With the situation around the world where many countries are participating in the race for modern weapons of mass destruction, the Philippines must join the regatta and modernize its armed forces. We should buy modern fighter jets, battleships and even at least one submarine. One cabinet secretary revealed that our country has a lot of money if not stolen. I have been saying this time and again but sad to note, only a handful believed me. I manifested many times that our youngsters do not know how to fight because we did not train them. As a result they indulged in so much of illegal drugs and they became criminals. They rob, they kill and they die. I suggested that military trainings in the secondary schools and college stressing clearly the Philippine Military Training (PMT) and the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) be restored but sadly it seemed nobody heard me.

If a battalion of enemies land in our shores, we will be finished in a matter of hours. I even think they do not have to fire a single bullet to hold us by our necks. Some of us maybe able to run to the mountain but a lot others will just raise their hands and everything is over. This is so because we are unprepared even on small scale war.

Believe me our country is not poor but much of our assets are in the hands of corrupt public officials. In consonance with Pres.Duterte’s war on drugs where thousands have already been killed, why don’t we also kill the corrupt leaders in the government? There are thousands of them and some have even retired and spent their loots travelling around the world. If you don’t believe for some reasons, maybe lack of intelligence, compare their assets, salaries and wages, allowances, etc. and you will be shocked at the difference.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked New Zealand was really big. This only remind us that we must be prepared for disasters. Our people should know where to run and what do in case some devastating catastrophe comes to us. We should not panic. We must react with certainties to save lives and properties. Our country is prone to earthquakes and typhoons with more reasons that we must be aware of the consequences.

How can we make reforms in the police when Pres. Duterte ordered them to kill the criminals and vowed to help them? How do we know that the people they killed were really criminals? I agree the law enforcers can kill the criminals in an encounter, I mean when they are armed and engage the police in a fight. But there is no evidence to such scenario. Some of the alleged criminals were killed inside their home and sleeping.

My good friend Atty. Jerry Pacuribot, a law practitioner in Manila has clearly explained that the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus is worst than martial law. My fear is based when Pres. Duterte was quoted as saying that he might suspend the writ presumably after noticing he failed to defeat the use of illegal drugs. My brother, Atty. Melecio Emata, also a law practitioner who holds office in Makati City just observed and keep silent.

I hope the writ of habeas corpus will not be suspended. Likewise, I hope martial law will not be declared in our country. My fear is if it comes, freedom of the press will be curtailed and many members of the media who are critics of Duterte will have to languish in the military stockade. Then some police officers and military men will be tempted to abuse. Duterte allegedly said “so many to kill, so little time to do it.”

I was truly touched by the gesture of some 12,000 Muntinglupa inmates who gave up their food allowances to donate to the flood victims. It is very rare that such thing exist in this modern day civilization. BEN EMATA

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