Fierce advocates of the death penalty went to town the other day to protest, decry, lambast, and do practically everything dramatic to register their disgust over the eminent lifting of capital punishment in this country. Now, this is a free country and people should be allowed to protest anything – including of course, the right to protest against a protest, and the right to protest against a protest of a protest. And so on and so forth.
But protesting is one thing, making threats is another thing.
Sadly, this has become rather commonplace today. Last week, businessmen led by Donald Dee went on public television to threaten the President. The message was not even coached in more polite terms, but in plain and simple language: we will withdraw support if the legislated wage increase is signed into law. Businessmen making threats, now that's something you do not see everyday!
It was the turn of the pro-death penalty advocates this week (I always shudder at the label “pro-death,” but then again, it is just me and I always had a weak stomach anyway). The Philippine Council for Evangelical Churches, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and the Citizen’s Crime Watch issued a clear threat, again coached in simple, clear, straightforward language: we will withdraw support if the death penalty is abolished. (Actually the Jesus Is Lord movement was part of the protest, but did not threaten withdrawal of support for very obvious reasons: they never offered any support to begin with since their leader Brother Eddie Villanueva was a presidential candidate).
In other words, they are demanding payoff for their support.
And these people have the gall to demand good governance? How can any leader govern effectively if he or she is forced to pander to everyone’s wishes?