One of my Facebook friends wrote that 91 percent of Filipinos approve of the rampant extrajudicial killings to eliminate the drug problem in the country. But remember only 1,200 respondents were asked by these survey organizations.
Let me share some posts I read on Facebook on this matter that represent the common sentiments. I have intentionally skipped their names, lest the Tokhang Gang knock on their doors one of these evenings and they become part of police statistics.
One: It seems to me the level of anguish about the murders is rather tightly limited to the educated, those who have been around the world and understand civil rights movements, and people who have studied the bible. Of the 9% who don’t trust President Duterte, maybe about 1% or less are what I would call ‘anguished’ over the killings. The problem is, they don’t know how to fight. The legislators are not fighting. Executive is pro-murder.
The judiciary is sidelined or playing politics (the Arroyo ruling cut right down political lines). The mainstream media seem overwhelmed. Social media are mainly people talking to themselves. There is no arena in which people can fight.
Two: Somebody asked me of my take on the number of drug addicts and the number of fatalities after the reported shoot-outs with the police.
If the number of “surrenderees” is true and they can be found nationwide then they could easily put up a party list and win three seats.
If the number of fatalities relate to legitimate encounters, then, the illegal firearms industry has made a “killing” and BIR should look after the financial reports of those in the trade.
If the drug pushers opted to fight their way out against police operatives, then the drugs they took made them violent. However, what have autopsies revealed, were the dead into coccaine, shabu or something else?
Were there drug pushers who lived after shootouts? Were there reports of policemen bringing the wounded pushers to the nearest hospital? Were there casualties who died on arrival at the nearest medical facility?
Were there police operatives who got wounded or killed in the shootouts? If there were none, then our operatives are shooters.
Three: It’s sad. I was in a conference today, in a room full of would-be foreign investors and technical experts. The speaker joked about the number of bullets in his power point presentation is not as many as the number of bullets spent killing alleged drug pushers. A nervous laughter permeated the room. I could feel that they were really uncomfortable with what’s happening. I had a chat with one of the delegates and she said they have issues with the extra-judicial killings.
Four: Drug war is not good solution anymore.
Five: I think if none of the operatives got killed or at least wounded, there was definitely no encounter that happened. For the police very convenient excuse in executing allegedly drug pushers/users has now become their slogan: “Nanlaban, Nang-agaw ng baril, Nagpaputok.”
Six: Highly likely that they were killed to be silenced.
Seven: Just that it seems the general populace are cowed now . . . like us, they just express
themselves in social media. Just saying this ‘cause nobody is making a move despite all the abuses going on . . . and us, we can only lead from afar, how I wish I were young and able.
There are many images posted and reposted and two say:
Do you stand a chance at extrajudicial killings? A bullet knows no one. It won’t ask if you use or sell drugs or how many kids you have. It won’t give you another chance at life. It only knows one thing—to kill anyone on its way.
Isang pakete ng droga—patay! Isang maleta ng droga—buhay! Ang Duterte justice, bow!
It was even reported that even the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has sent a letter to Pduts expressing concern over wave of killing of alleged drug dealers in the country. In part, “We would request that your government take immediate and effective measures to counter the recent wave of unlawful killings as well as to address unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the country.”
One exasperated and feeling hopeless friend asks, “What can we do?”
We should continue talking about this issue. Do not let the Supreme Court acquittal of Arroyo or the coming SONA divert our attention. We need to put forward our thoughts and sentiments about this deplorable issue. Pduts is known to change his mind from minute to minute. General Bato is bato! Let us protect our family and neighbors from intrusive killing squad. We should write to our senators, congressmen, Cabinet secretaries (who are whispering distance from Pduts). We should write to Pduts and, maybe, his adult children. A last resort is to write letters to the United Nations and the ICJ. Let us continue to flood Facebook, Twitter and other social media about our disgust at these extrajudicial killings.
And most, importantly, let us bombard heaven with our prayers. God bless our country and our citizenry.
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