He Said, She Said but the Victim Ends Up Dead

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Group of People Waving Filipino Flags in Back Lit

As a writer, I’ve my doing my best to stay out of politics, government issues, and the recent EJK killings. One of my fears is to be tagged as a biased, but with everything that’s been going on I can’t help but express my grief and disappointment. My heart bleeds for the families who have lost loved ones who were tagged as collateral damage of the drug war. My heart bleeds for the bold soldiers who fought for peace in Marawi and the innocent civilians that were killed. My heart bleeds for my countrymen who, instead of working together in unity, fall divided between yellow and red.

I do not wish to place blame on the current administration nor will I blame President Rodrigo Duterte for what’s happening. I can say, however, that the blood is on my hands. I am partly responsible for the killings in my country; I am responsible for the worsening of the terrorist attack in Marwari, and I feel responsible for the havoc in the Philippines.

I am responsible for being silent, for letting things slip, for staying out of the way, and for acting blind. I stood idle, despite the majority’s lack of awareness and hardships. I could have done something, or at least work on something positive for change.

As I write this article, all I can think of is the blood that has been shed. The blood bath in the Philippines has been overflowing ever since the war on drugs emerged. As much I as want to express my dismay on the extra judicial killings (EJKs), I can’t, with the fear of being tagged as yellow. I am not red, yellow, white, nor blue. I am a Filipino, I am not pro-administration, I am pro-Philippines.

Whatever the Reason, They’re Dead

The killings in the country since Duterte assumed the presidency has already reached 7,000 and all of these crimes have come in the span of one year. I should be surprised, dismayed and/or shocked but I am not.  We can’t even rely on news channels when it comes to getting a nonbiased glimpse into what’s really happening.

The thing is, the majority of the investigation being done in regard to the killings are mostly a deviation from the truth. He said, she said; the victim’s already dead. Yes, there are criminals who deserve to be placed six feet under but what about those who were killed without due process? What about the overkill? Criminals who have willingly surrendered have been murdered… no not murdered, assassinated.

Who are we to decide who deserves to live and who should die? Who are we to choose between the murder victim and the criminal?

We Have Turned into Barbarians

We, as a nation, have turned into barbarians no longer capable of showing empathy. The majority rejoice in the EJK’s believing that the suspects deserved death. Fewer mourn for the victims, the collateral damage, and those who were killed by criminals under the influence of drugs.

We, as a nation, blindly argue over who deserves sympathy. Many decry the deaths of innocents in Marawi and the murder of drug runners killed without due process.  Others applaud the drug runner murders and soft peddle the events in Marawi.  All these debates and rants are nothing more than clashing egos grasping for one minute of their own unabated view.  Meanwhile, supporters and activists whitewash death tolls with an eerie lack of sympathy just to prove their personal opinions.

Easier Said Than Done

It’s always easier said than done; ending the drug war, curbing crime, fixing our economy. We shout out opinions that we believe will resolve the issues at hand but while doing so we are never taking into account circumstances that we cannot control. We don’t know the “big picture”.  So, that being said, it is time that we filter the words coming out of our mouths. It can be difficult to accept the fact we can be wrong, especially when we strongly believe in something. I challenge our readers to pause before commenting or expressing their views on anything that has reasonable doubt and consider only what is good for Filipinos.  Ditch the labels and stop focusing on who’s red or yellow and be pro-Filipino.  I urge readers to be pro-Filipino. Let’s take a step in rebuilding this nation, one conscious thought at a time.

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