Top killers in the Philippines-A A +A
By Ben Emata
From Across the Seas
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I MAY be joking but this thing has some truth to it. The top killer in the country used to be Pneumonia followed by other diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, malaria and others. But lately, it seems election deaths is inching fast to be one of the top killers. If we notice every time there is elections in the country, hundreds of people are killed by candidates and their supporters. These involve ambushes, campaign battles, elections day violence and a lot others. These political deaths begin way ahead of the election campaign. And long after election season hatred among candidates and their groups remained and from time to time crosses path and leave people killed.
The latest involved deaths of candidates and their supporters, which took place in many places in Mindanao. Even an election center was burned and some teachers refused to render services because of fears of assault by violent people affiliated with political parties or candidates. I even think the peace officers are afraid to be visible around in trouble spots for fear of their lives too. Mindanao has been the cradle of death before, during and after elections time. This is just horrible and this matter needs a program of the government to avoid this problem.
This is alarming. Comparing these killings with Pneumonia, at least the latter can be overcome by doctors and modern medicines but election killings go on too far even long after election seasons. This is just terrible and our government should think about it unless some of its leaders are allowed to join the regular skirmishes that happen regularly. And the worst is that these people who engage in political gun battles are not the rebels but ordinary citizens affiliated with political parties. They live in downtowns, in the heart of the cities or towns and wait for the smokes of gunfire to disappear to let loose their guns once more.
Mindanao has always been the site of many unnecessary killings. Why can’t we send battalions of soldiers, tanks, armored trucks and even howitzers to stop this violence? Are we so savage that we cannot understand anymore the bloodsheds that paint the island red? Pres. Aquino, as commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should do something to avert these dreadful incidents of mass murders, election violence, hatred among groups of people and the like. I am from Mindanao and these things have been happening ever since. I grew up and saw the sky red every time there are elections taking place.
I am afraid there are more Filipinos killed during elections than during the time when we fought for our independence to have these elections. Some Filipino Americans dubbed Mindanao as the killing machine in the country because of these incidents that according to them are ordinary matters ever since.
If the national leadership cannot do anything on this regard, better give Mindanao to the fighters and let them fire their guns from morning till sunset. Whoever remains standing is the leader. I am really angry with this dishonor in my land of birth.
[Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org, ben-emata.com]
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 02, 2013.