Briones: Dying for your choice

On The Go

WAS everything worth it, I wonder?

The lives upended. The lives lost. And for what?

For hundreds of thousands or even millions of pesos that was their ticket out of poverty? Or was it greed or vanity that drove them to enter the illegal drugs business. Because they just couldn’t pass up the chance to own beautiful homes, buy the latest model of cars or go shopping abroad.

Whatever their motive, I just hope they had the foresight to set aside money for a rainy day. As what we have witnessed during the Duterte administration, sometimes it comes in the form of a deluge, a flood to wash away the sins of the world, per se.

The material acquisitions go down the drain along with their liberty. If they’re lucky, that is.

They know the risks. They’ve known all along. But apparently, these are all outweighed by the financial gain.

Mind you, I am not here to judge them. For all I know, they may be the nicest, the most generous, the most helpful, the most dependable and trustworthy person on this earth. This may explain why during some drug raids, neighbors rush to their aid.

But can you blame the former? From what I’ve heard, some of these suspected drug personalities are the community’s go-to persons in times of emergency.

No food on the table? No money for your child’s tuition? No electricity or water because of unpaid bills? Then go to so and so and they’ll help you out. In exchange, you look the other way as they go about their business.

So this may explain why shabu dens exist in the middle of a thick neighborhood. Why illegal drugs exchange hands under lampposts in some corner. Why the illegal drug trade continues to flourish.

Then again, I’m not the one sleeping on an empty stomach. Or worrying about a roof over my head. Or wondering where to find the money to purchase medicine for a very sick child.

I may be forced to create my own moral universe if faced with the same dilemmas.

But I know of a few self-righteous individuals out there. Quick to judge. Quick to mete out punishment. Some consider themselves all high and mighty because they believe in political correctness and they see the world only in black and white and nothing in between. Never mind if some of them are homewreckers. Or cheat on their taxes. Or pretend to be nice to your face and then stab you as soon as you turn your back. They stand on the side of “truth” and so they believe they have the right to pass judgment.

But does that make them better human beings?

Better than, say, self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones who was gunned down in Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City past midnight Thursday, April 18?

The victim was alighting from a vehicle when he was shot in the head by an unidentified gunman. He died on the spot.

It was hard to imagine that the man sprawled on the ground next to his brains was the same man who publicly confessed that he was one of Cebu’s top drug personalities and that he took the reins of Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz’s illegal drug operations when the latter was killed in 2016.

Which makes me ponder. Are Sabalones’ family and friends wishing he stayed a traffic enforcer earning a measly income instead of taking the road that led to his violent death?

I wonder.


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