TODAY'S commonplace image of the slain in a photograph: face down, pool of blood. What was arresting about this one I saw on Facebook was that young boys swarmed around the fallen body, not with shocked eyes, but with the facial expression of kids watching dolphins spinning beach balls. One of them pointing, I believe, at the head. What could he be saying? “Look, guys, big hole in the head! Amazing!”
Meanwhile, another social media caption said cops shot two drug suspects point-blank because they tried to fight back. The photograph? One suspect was on a sofa, limbs spread on the arm top, body bent backwards, bloody head thrown back. It wasn't so hard to tell the guy just had his final chill before the fatal shot. Nothing in the body language suggested resistance or panic.
But then, sure. Who cares, you say, thugs deserve to be banished from the face of the earth, so we all can tuck ourselves in bed in total peace. Human rights, my ass.
Redemptorist Fr. Amado Picardal, human rights advocate, worries the bloodshed will go cosmic because “there is no moral outcry” for life. More disturbing, he said, is that the citizens, majority Catholics, are quiet or approving of the killings.
Well, born in Hollywood, the modern human psyche is mesmerized by blood and gore. Action IS satisfaction. The Filipinos, in Digong time, tops in that fanhood. Extrajudicial killings are okay, just as long as they're exterminating addicts, scalawags, all the low-lives imaginable. It's one big fight between good and evil, right? Just black and white?
All these amusement, or macabre, depending on your politics, is breath-taking blockbuster: In the first two weeks of July, 135 persons were killed or, as one paper reported, that makes 10 persons in average killed daily. Some 1,844 were arrested, or 141 persons a day nabbed. In two weeks, some 60,393 confessed drug users and pushers surrendered. The police had knocked on the doors of around 43,026 houses of suspected drug personalities. The user-pusher ratio is 10:1, are you impressed? The 146,345 apprehensions seized a presumable total of P146.3 million. Wait, P146.3 million? Read between the figures, find context.
For one moment, easy to say this is hell revolutionary, this zombie parade, you are impressed by executive charisma. That these bug-eyed junkies are stepping into the sunlight for eventual disinfection is quite impressive, but if that's even half the story or half the battle won, I don't know. Junkies, by the very nature of their mess-up heads, are paranoid, so taken are they by perpetual anxiety that it is only logical that they surrender to secure peace in the face of looming death.
And while we are yet to see big-fish apprehension amidst this dolphin show, our drug-war frontliners are getting death threats.
It gets pretty confusing, you wish some ancient sage gets a Cabinet position under Digong.
So I have two prescriptions: one, amend the Ten Commandments, that part about killing, because unlike Moses's tablet, yours today can undo a sentence with the backspace key; two, let's kill the human rights violators, and then kill those who killed the human rights violators, and so on and so forth. The overarching wisdom of “Thou shall not kill,” anyway, is passe in the age of MMA. Forget that when laws became humanly rational, the times were called the Enlightenment Period.
So fun times are here. You just spoiled no end the gun-wielding people of this country and nurtured a culture of impunity. That sentence happens to be a hackneyed one between 1972 and 1986, and yes onwards because the bully culture lingered no end. Your country is one hell of an action movie. Definitely not for humanists.