LAST July 24, Jennilyn Olayres rushed out to the street in Pasay City after she heard her live-in partner, Michael Siaron, was shot by unidentified men, cradled his body, hoping he was still alive.
An "Inquirer" photo caught the scene, a Pieta image which President Duterte scoffed at in his Sona. A wife grieving over her lover, a suspected pusher, was no Mary with her son Jesus after crucifixion.
Last Aug. 7, former Cebu City mayor Mike Rama, with 158 other present and past government officials, was linked by Duterte to illegal drugs. On the same day, he faced the press, a saddened and confused politician who, a news report said, didn't know what struck him.
The photos in the papers didn't show it. Maybe the TV video clip would. Just as well: his critic, archrival Mayor Tomas Osmeña, would have no published image to dismiss or jeer.
A common element here is that Jennilyn and Mike are casualties in the drug war that has raged across the country. Killings and incidents of public shaming: lives snuffed out, reputations assassinated, which also were crimes committed ostensibly to end other crimes.
Jennily said her husband was a drug user, not a pusher, surely not a lord (he was in street rags and slippers). Mike said he was neither drug protector nor user but he waded into lengthy and wordy monologue that soon removed the trace of grief.
Mike figuratively was cradling more than a body. He had been suspended twice, lost an election he thought he already won, and witnessed another kind of massacre: his supporters being "harassed," their jobs taken away, titles stripped, benefits slashed, vehicles and guns recalled -- in sum, his political infrastructure run to the ground. And now this, his political capital lost and whatever good name he keeps, tattered.
It would've been Pieta-like too, though he held no corpse in his arms.