"Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation."
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY -- With the way he is being persecuted by the Duterte administration, Dr. Jed Patrick Mabilog could go down in history as the most abused city mayor not only in the Philippines, but also all over the world.
The abuse is not only verbal, but mental and emotional.
To be tagged as coddler of drug traffickers repeatedly by no less than the President (when in truth and in fact, he is not), is already the worst abuse any incumbent local chief executive could get.
The shame, embarrassment, humiliation, and indignity of being ranked alongside with the dregs of society without any morsel of truth, is already a mental and emotional torture.
To add insult, a police with the rank of chief inspector had joined the fray and reportedly dared Mabilog "to surrender" as if the city mayor was a convicted criminal in hiding.
If he really said that, this is the first time we heard a police officer with a lower rank boldy haranguing an elected civilian chief of a highly urbanized city without any regard to the mayor's authority and seniority in civil service.
If this is not conduct unbecoming and unprofessionalism, we don't know what it is. The National Police Commissiom (Napolcom) should investigate this overexcited cop who has been reassigned in Iloilo City. Is this the way you orient your cops, Gen. Bato?
Whatever the reason why President Duterte has stubbornly continued to link the well-mannered and clean-living Mabilog to illegal drugs when he couldn't even substantiate it (the accuations were reportedly based on hearsays and "tips" from Mabilog's vindictive and jealous political detractors), he alone knows.
It, of course, boggles the minds of the Ilonggos who know Mabilog pretty well.
All the allegations against Mabilog have not been proven and contrary to reports of agencies concerned like the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which has repeatedly cleared Mabilog.
Only the angels in heaven have not descended on earth to tell the president that he is wrong to condemn an innocent man.
Even the pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales will swear to God that Mabilog is not engaged in narco-politics as the President had alleged.
Soft-spoken Mabilog doesn't have a gung-ho personality despite the dirty brickbats thrown his way. He doesn't fire back using foul words at critics. Quality of a true, highly-educated and religious leader.
In fact, some supporters have ribbed him for being too soft and kind even to his most trenchant political enemies.
Detractors called him names and a coddler of drug syndicates, Mabilog offered them prayers.
They're lucky Mabilog is not the late Mayor Roding Ganzon who called his persecutors "bastos" (uncivilized) and who fought tongs and hammer with his tormentors, including the late former President Cory Aquino.
He never gave the Mabilog family any shame and scandal and was never involved in any crime when he was younger. Instead, he elevated the pride of his family, the pride of the Ilonggos when he was chosen as the No. 5 city mayor in the world two years ago. He gave all Ilonggos reason to be proud of Iloilo City with all the success the "City of Love" is reaping in terms of infrastructure, economic and tourism development.
The more they pummeled Mabilog with abusive words, the more he lowered his head in submission like a true biblical Christian; the more he gets sympathies from people from all walks of life in the Philippines and abroad who monitor his predicament from Malacanang.
And the world is watching.