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THEIR TASKS have never really been easy, but President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs has most probably made their life much more toxic.


BANGKAY SA BANGKETA… kasi nga drug pusher ako.

This is the sad refrain in a sardonic poem that a young Filipina wrote and read in a video she posted last week on her Facebook page. It does not matter, she averred, that the so-called drug pushers falling by the dozens of late had not been read their rights or tried in court. Or even, that they had been killed by those who are supposed to protect them and enforce the law. Perhaps, she wrote, those who kill are drug pushers, too.

THROUGHOUT THE 24 years of elections in the Philippines’s 20 provinces with the most number of registered voters, family names on the ballots seem to keep repeating themselves, the same ones popping up over and over again. It’s a situation that goes against the equal access to opportunities for public service guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution. Then again, the Charter also talks about prohibiting political dynasties “as may be defined by law,” but just look where we are now.

THEY ARE MULTIMILLIONAIRES, affluent and ambitious to the last.

On Monday, May 9, Filipinos will get to pick one among them to be president, and another to be vice president, of the nation.

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