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July 9, 2018

REMEMBERING MAYOR HALILI AND HIS WALK OF SHAME AGAINST ILLEGAL DRUG PEDDLERS

Mayor Antonio Halili was known for fighting against drugs. In fact he became known for what they call in Tanauan, Batangas, as the Walk of Shame, where suspected criminals would be paraded around town.

Halili was shockingly killed on July 2, Monday, in broad daylight during the Flag Raising Ceremony at the Tanauan City Hall. He was shot by a still unknown assassin straight by a 5.6 millimeter bullet that went straight to his heart. The assassin was reportedly only 76.8 meters away.

Walk of Shame

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We personally witnessed the Walk of Shame in Tanauan, Batangas. Before being charged by the proper authorities, suspected criminals, whose crimes ranged from rape to petty theft were paraded in public.

I wrote about this and interviewed Mayor Halili in 2016. And recalled this interview on my television program with JR Langit KASANGGA MO ANG LANGIT, which airs every Friday night on PTV4.

It was in July of 2014 that Mayor Halili started the Shame Campaign. The first batch included those caught stealing tuyo (dried fish) in the market. “Nagpapasalamat na ‘yung mga nagtitinda sa palengke dahil wala nang nakawan (the vendors were thanking me because it put an end fo the robberies in the market),” Halili recalled.

Effective Against Criminals

Many questioned this Walk of Shame. But Halili believed that it was necessary to teach the criminals a lesson. He believed that an iron fist was the solution to prevent criminality.

“The other ways don’t work!” Halili said. “After being charged, (criminals) post bail; after being convicted, they go back to their old ways after serving their sentence.”

But Mayor Halili would not only make criminals do the Walk of Shame, he would also invite them to a dialogue where he would ask them if they would prefer the style of Mayor Osmena who would give prize money to those who would kill the criminals or if they would prefer his style where criminals are given the opportunity to change.

He would reiterate in his dialogues with suspected criminals his intention to give them this opportunity to change for the better.

WAR AGAINST DRUGS

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Halili was passionate in his fight against those involved in illegal drugs.

“When I won as mayor I said that I would immediately start this campaign against illegal drugs,” Halili recalled. “Shabu here is being sold like salt. It is not even concealed anymore because the criminals were not avoiding anyone, not even the police because they were part of the operation, they were given a cut.”

For this campaign against illegal drugs, Halili received many death threats.

“I did not allow myself to get scared. Ang sabi ko, Bahala kayo. Galingan niyo, gagalingan ko rin.

It had already come to the point where police, PDEA agents, even members of the SWAT were being killed. Halili himself received many death threats.

But Halili did not back down. “These criminals had become fearless,” he said. But he stood his ground against them. “Kung ako pa ang matatakot, eh wala na ang bayan na ito,” he said.

HUMAN RIGHT’S ISSUE

Some have criticized the Walk of Shame by Mayor Halili as being violative of human rights.

To this, Halili replied, “‘Yung mga human rights, human rights na ‘yan! ‘Di niyo na inisip kung ako ay inyong idedemanda, idemanda niyo lahat ng mga TV Stations na nagpaparada ng mga kriminal. Nagbabalandra ng mga mukha ng mga sinasabing nagnakaw ng PDAF at may kasong Plunder. Convicted na ba si Revilla nung nilagay sa TV screens ng mga TV Stations? Si Jinggoy, ‘yung mga nacha-charge. Kung ako ay idedemanda ng CHR, dapat siguro unahin niyo muna ‘yung malalaki. Kayong mga taga-CHR kayo, Nakakahiya kayo! Magpa-examine muna kayo, baka may mga sira ulo ninyo!”

We felt that Mayor Halili was upset with the Commission on Human RIghts. He argued that the CHR did not even help victims of human rights abuses.

In spite of the investigations against him by the Commission on Human Rights, halili continued with the Walk of Shame and even said he was ready to gamble with the Shoot to Kill order if his Walk of Shame would be prove to not be effective.

CRIMINALITY AND COURAGE

In these trying times, we need to give value to what would be best for the majority.

Ending criminality is part of the duty of some officials . And the local government of Tanauan, Batangas, has played a great role in resolving crimes in their hometown.

Now that their great crusader has passed on, who will continue the crusade? Do the people of Tanauan whom the Mayor has left behind have his courage? Or will they just now leave everything to nature to resolve?

 

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