THEY have reasons for gunning down crime suspects, mostly drug dealers, across the country, estimated at more than 600 and still counting.

“Konti pa,” said defeated vice presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano, senator and lawyer, who used to moderate president Rody Duterte’s pitch about a bloody war. No illegality, Alan assured in the campaign, just political will. Now, with the bodies piling up, he seems still blood-thirsty.

Must the blood on streets spill over to Manila Bay and other seawaters or rivers and lakes to be considered enough? Threshold to the violence may be the point when the killers listen to voices of dissent.

As long as more people would allow, or even cheer, the murders, the killings wouldn’t end. “Konti pa.” A pity Cayetano didn’t win. He would’ve helped wield the baton to the symphony of mass death.

Ah, but they have reasons. Among them:

l The leaders made an election vow and they must keep it even if it would mean killing, how many, a fifth or quarter of the population;

l The people voted for the president on a specific promise to rid the country of crime; there was a mandate, never mind Constitution and laws; 91% trust rating is an order to run roughshod over justice system, anyone, anything;

l Police are told to kill only if they have to defend themselves, disregard assurances of bounty, promotion and litigation cost;

l If victims are neither relative nor friend, what do the rest care? It’s us or the drug dealers;

l Police are presumed to do their job regularly, so it’s the duty of kin and friends of the victim to prove the killing was unlawful; prove it, ha ha, if you can;

l So what if there’s international outcry over violations of norms on narcotics control and agreements the Philippines signed with other nations; this is our country, not theirs.

Can any of those reasons stand in your mind and heart?