These protestations over EJKs (extrajudicial killings) in connection to government’s anti drug war confounds me. Not that I am for mass killings. But, let us rewind the clock to pre-elections time.
We heard the platforms of each presidential candidate then. What was it for President Dudicate crime such as drugs in three to six months. They said it not just once but repeatedly.
He won the Presidency.
So I’m confounded. What do we suppose one man would do to eradicate crime in that timeframe? Surely we are not so naive or gullible as to fail to imagine at least that such is possible only if one dares to tread the road less travelled. How exactly? We had an inkling- the President’s reputation as city mayor precedes him.
We can guess why the people backed him anyway. They’re fatigued with the lack of decisive, timely, and effective action on matters that continue to weigh heavily on their communities. Crime. Corruption. Poverty. They’ve been wanting a man of action, a straight talker, fearless and feared, and with that relatable brand of humor. Patay kung patay. An resurrected FPJ. When he did come along, majority of the people vouched for him. So unless this same collective had changed it’s mind, he still has the backing of the people.
The spotlight on EJKs reveals the bigger reality of the nation which is that for the longest time we’ve been living in a dark place. We don’t know that we are because we’re continously bombarded with and distracted by the trappings of the good life- malls, resorts, technology, food, fashion, movies, etc. If and when we do focus on something our natural gravitation is toward the good things- the latest gadget we are salivating to buy than on the fact that crime is now a regular visitor on our streets. We look at crime as happening to others until it happens close to home. But how much of our children’s freedom has it already stolen? We’ve been desensitized by daily news of deaths; before we’ve understood it’s implications another report comes along.
The fact remains regardless. Crime is crime. Like a cancer cell, it embeds itself into ready environments where it propagates soon after like wildfire. By then half the body’s eaten up. This half eaten body is what this generation has inherited. Crime in our time has reached the level beyond easy comprehension and solutions. There’s no middle ground to it. A tough stance has to be taken. Lessons from anti drug campaigns abroad point to that. And nobody envies the guy whose responsibility it is to sign off on that stance.
On the other hand, as well, I’m not for public shaming of women, their womanhood and love lives used against them. We all know how it is with love. Men and women will go through fire because of love. Sane people go crazy in love. The loving heart simply cannot be taught otherwise. It just is. In this sense, to the extent that one is biased toward one’s object or subject of love, it could be said that everyone who loves is immoral.
The Filipino people loves the President. He loves them back which I surmise fuels his campaigns. The Filipino people loves the Senator. She loves them back which I surmise fuels her crusade. They check and balance out one another. A good thing really in a democracy.
The real issue then is whether or not in a time of emergency (i.e. pernicious crime and drugs), the solution arrived at goes through the normal process of approval. Or, should we just let the Executive do whatever’s best trusting that he has our backs covered in this? These are the real moral issues democratic governments face as they tackle real-world problems.
The difficult questions in the global war against terrorism easily comes to mind. To invade a sovereign government or not. To bomb a foreign land or not. To hunt a terrorist leader or not. Sometimes the only rational answer available to wicked problems is, just do it whatever ‘it’ is.