Editorial: What has gone wrong?

Editorial art by Enrico Santisas
Editorial art by Enrico Santisas

ANOTHER lawyer was gunned down in Cebu. Rex Fernandez was killed by a lone gunman as the vehicle he was riding stopped along Salvador Street, Sitio Banawa, in Barangay Guadalupe. His driver, Darvie Pondar, sustained a gunshot wound through the spine.

I’ve known Rex from way back in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship and when he was a new lawyer. He became known as a human rights lawyer, one who was never afraid to fight for his beliefs and principles. Rest in peace, friend. May your death serve as a trigger for law enforcers to flush out hired killers and identify those who contract the latter to murder. What has gone wrong in our society?

Overseas, there is the takeover of the Taliban in governing Afghanistan. It may be recalled that the Taliban held power beginning 1995 as most Afghans sought for an end in famine and war. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the United States, put pressure on the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden who was believed to be hiding in Afghanistan. Failing to comply, Afghanistan was attacked by US and British forces. The ‘invaders’ supported the foes of the Taliban. By December 2001, the Taliban rule ended with the US and its allies giving support to the newly installed government.

But despite 20 years of aid and support, the U.S.-backed government of Afghanistan failed to strengthen its army, wallowed in corruption and infighting. In the days leading to the withdrawal of the US forces as commanded by President Joe Biden, the Taliban rebounded, occupying Kabul earlier than expected by the US. Biden says that the US could no longer sacrifice its men to defend a foreign country and that the primary mission was to get bin Laden and that it had done so some time ago. The people of Afghanistan must have asked, “What has gone wrong in our society?”

In Haiti, an earthquake on August 14 with a magnitude of 7.2 killed 2,207 people, 12,268 injured with 344 still missing. Nearly 53,000 houses were damaged. On August 17, Tropical Storm Grace hit the country while people were still searching through the rubbles. Add to that looting and the political instability of the country, as President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7 2021 in an attempted coup d’état. Haitians are desperate for an answer to the question, “What has gone wrong in our society?”

The rest of the world continues to be threatened by the Covid-19. Even with the rollout of the vaccine still the pandemic continues. There are those who do not want to be vaccinated, convinced by the lies disseminated through fake news. We ask, “What has gone wrong in our society?”

Finding the answers is difficult. But we can’t just let the world pass by without us reflecting on the problems that burden society today. Maybe there are little things you can think of that give hope to your family, to your community and to society as a whole.


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