“There are three major social issues that this country is struggling with: education, poverty, and drugs. Two of them we talk about, and one of them we don’t.”
— Steven Soderbergh
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — The night before the Iloilo City Council in the Philippines unanimously passed a resolution in its regular session on January 30 “urging” Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to stay put, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in a haste press conference in Manila that he had rejected Dela Rosa’s resignation.
Had Duterte let Bato go and announced it in the press conference on January 29, the Iloilo City councilors would have nothing to “urge” from the top cop in as far as his stint in the PNP was concerned.
Either proponents would revise the resolution from “urging Bato not to resign” or to “urging President Duterte to reinstate Bato.”
Or they would forget about the Bato resolution and remove it from the regular session’s agenda.
Was the Bato resolution, penned by Councilor Joshua Alim, necessary?
It may be wise and symptomatic but not necessary, to say the least.
As a national figure, Bato has been the subject of intense discussions in the House of Representatives with some solons calling for his resignation in the light of the kidnapping and murder of a Korean businessman perpetrated by policemen inside the Camp Crame.
Newspapers, news websites, TV networks have been tackling issues about Bato. Even during the Miss Universe Pageant, Bato was among the “top grossers” in the news and social media.
Bato’s fate is too broad for a local legislature like the Iloilo City Council.
Too many cooks will spoil the broth.
Instead of joining the fray in complicated national issues, the city council will look good and earn more pogi points if it will instead focus on local issues.
Like an “urgent” resolution commending government agencies, city and provincial officials, private individuals, participating schools, sponsors, choreographers, among other unsung heroes responsible for the successful staging of the just-concluded 2017 Dinagyang Festival.
There’s a myriad of socio-economic, health, business, education, political and environmental issues that affect the life of local populace.
More pressing issues like the success or failure of smoking ban on public places, malnutrition and housing programs in villages, the reported increase in number of AIDS, murder, and rape cases.
The Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to push for chartered flights between Taiwan and the Iloilo International Airport in the town of Cabatuan, Paraw Regatta 2017 preparations, Iloilo City’s aim to become “City of Excellence”, real estate boom, investment and business expansion and opportunities, among other local issues.
Meanwhile, if there was one thing significant about the Gen. Bato Dela Rosa resolution, it was the city council’s avowed display of solidarity behind the Duterte administration’s “strong campaign against illegal drugs and criminalities.”