Stronger Institutions

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Not to worry. The pummelling, that our democratic institutions have been subjected to lately, is not life-threatening compared to the breakdown of law and order and dramatic regime change mode rippling through the entire Middle East.

In fact, the exposes on the culture of corruption; the financial shenanigans in the higher echelons of the military; controversies over constitutional appointments, reproductive health, and drugs and human trafficking; and harsh criticisms of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court, are the very grist to the mill and motivation to embark on an in-depth and extensive transformational reforms and cleansing which President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has been waiting for, and is destined to achieve.

First and foremost, the government has to get its act together.

For starters, drug trafficking is a heinous crime and curse in most countries that calls for the death sentence.

While the Philippines is wishy-washy on the death penalty, it begs for the life of three "drug mules" on death row in China while 40 others are awaiting sentencing, when these "mules" are the messengers of death of many Chinese citizens.

The Philippines cannot be a "softy" when it comes to the drug menace, particularly since this country is a growing transit hub for narcotics.

Second, population policy is a given even in the most ardent of Catholic countries in Europe and Latin America.

Population control, contraceptives, and family planning per UN standards and methodology are universally accepted, except in the Philippines which has one of the world's highest population growth rates subsisting on degraded, ravaged, and vanishing rain forests. …