IT is typical of critics of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs to be selective about the news to react to lest they compromise their “moral” stand on the government crackdown not only on shabu but also on crime and corruption.
It has been more than a week since five members of the Carlos family, including three children, were massacred in their house in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, on June 27 and yet not a squeak has been heard from the bishops and so-called civil society about the sanctity of human life.
The silence could be explained perhaps by these critics differentiating between collateral damage resulting from shabu use by the self-confessed mass murderer Carmelino Ibañes and that stemming from “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs) by alleged death squads of Rodrigo Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City in Mindanao and now that he is President under the campaign against illegal drugs.
If they did not make the distinction, then they would have been forced to demand punishment for the five “persons of interest” if Ibañes and four other suspects are eventually found guilty by the courts.
But then, that would have jeopardized their “Christian” stance that even if the mass killer were a shabu addict, he deserved to live even at the expense of the wife, mother and children of Dexter Carlos, a security guard.
The price that Ibañes and company would possibly have to pay is their life under the death penalty law that was reimposed recently by the House of Representatives (it’s still awaiting Senate approval) as punishment for drug-related heinous crimes and other high offenses.
Apart from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Karapatan and other leftist organizations and “cause-oriented” groups, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has also been unusually quiet about the slaughter in San Jose del Monte.
It figures, with the increasingly political CHR being busy proving that drug suspects in the country are summarily executed without presenting incontrovertible evidence that EJKs have indeed been committed, giving rise to a “human rights calamity” under the Duterte administration.
The calamity visited on the Carlos family, in the eyes of the CHR and its partners in supposed crime-busting, does not count as a violation of human rights, the reason why the commission has not gone to town demanding that Ibañes and company be tried and sentenced immediately.
It apparently is a non-event to the CHR because it does not serve its purposes of making the President admit that killers on the loose and allegedly sanctioned by the State are looking for their next victim.
If it plans to lift a finger at all in the Carlos case, the CHR had better hurry.
For one, the “persons of interest” that originally numbered five were reduced to four on Wednesday when one was found dead near where the carnage took place.
In which case, there would be one suspect fewer to interrogate, “happy” news for the police and other authorities whose solution of crimes seem to gain traction only after a bounty is offered.
Dangling rewards for information leading to the arrest of criminal offenders is a surefire way of making the wheels of justice go faster but it is also an indictment of how mass murder and other revolting crimes are closed by law enforcers.
Justice was not really served when P200,000—the bounty offered for the capture of the killers of the Carloses—was the only incentive for catching the murderers.
You just make a few “good” men who are nothing but snitches richer and the victims poorer in the thought that they would not even get to see suspects in the death of their loved ones without crisp bills changing hands.
Dexter Carlos reportedly told the President, who visited the wake of his wife, mother and children on Tuesday, that he only wants justice for his family and himself.
That is not too much to ask, coming as it does from an ordinary Filipino trying to make both ends meet for a family that is gone forever.