“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Alex P. Vidal
Justice not plaques and material compensations.
Action not words.
Toughness not cold-heart.
Political will not empty statements.
A leader must always be ready to swim and sink for his men.
This was what former Iloilo City deputy mayor Pascualing R. “Junie” Espinosa Jr. emphasized when he recently urged President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III “not to be soft” on the massacre of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Mindanao last January 25.
“President Aquino, as head of the state and commander-in-chief of the police and military, should show the murderers of the 44 SAF troopers that he has the balls,” thundered Espinosa, son of the late Iloilo City Rep. Pascual “Pascualing” Espinosa Sr.
“What the families of the fallen SAF men need is justice. He should identify the murderers of the 44 SAF men and file charges against them.”
Espinosa, a lawyer who served as deputy mayor of the late Iloilo City mayor Rodolfo T. Ganzon in 1989, said once the warrant of arrest has been issued by the court against the Bangsa Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) men who participated in the carnage, “the president should use the armed forces of the state to run after the perpetrators. That’s how our justice system should work.”
BIFF is a splintered armed group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which has a peace pact with the government.
“What happened was carnage. And it was done against the policemen who defended our government. In effect, it was an assault against the government,” he hollered.
“When our government is under attack, you will only give medals and money to the wives of the fallen policemen? You will only give scholarships to their children?”
He added: “I’m not against the giving of plaques and medals; I’m not against the scholarships. What the president should do is to show the enemy that he is firm, tough and ready to give justice. No display of tears. No display of sorrows!”
When an ordinary thief or jaywalker is caught, he is brought to court, penalized and jailed under our justice system, Espinosa emphasized.
“When our cops are murdered, you will only cry?” he intoned.
President Aquino must show some firmness and toughness when dealing with rebels who want to divide the country, Espinosa stressed.
“Show the enemy that we are the state,” he suggested. “The state should not and cannot be a hostage of the rebels. The state must show its might and power and it is true the justice system and our armed forces.”
Espinosa wants the next leader of the country to be “a decisive and tough guy.”
“What we need is a leader who will enforce peace and order and implement genuine justice to the people through the rule of law and not lex taliones or law of the jungle,” Espinosa asserted.