I had known the Philippines all my life and I take pride of myself being part of this country no matter how much racism is splattered all over our identities because we were formerly indios but I don’t care.
What is important is an individual’s heart more than the color of his skin, however, this country that have nurtured me for so long is also the place I feel alienated in.
Extra judicial killings. Demise. Justified execution. Death. Regardless of what modifier you attach to these words, killing can never be tamed nor lessened to something acceptable. Because it just isn’t.
As a citizen, I do not see this as a fault of the current President but since Pres. Duterte took the seat, the archipelago seemingly became a rebirth of a gladiator spectacle: people are being shot dead here and there and the news lambasts the claim we so much take pride of: that we are the only Christian country in Asia.
I am not maligning the current president. What I meant by mentioning his name is to point a time reference. I am also not pushing for hatred for religion but what I am saying is that we are the country that promotes prayers, love, family bonding, hospitality, and all the rightful words written on textbooks about Filipino culture while in fact, right now, the Authorities on such discourses and Institutions who have a huge influence on what can become acceptable to our beloved society appear indifferent.
I fear the killings and the what seems to be silence among people and the joy some civilians express because allegedly criminals are being killed.
This is because we hear other sides to the story: that there are innocent ones. But no, non innocence never gives the right to execute.
I fear for myself and for the people who are benign who could be mistaken and wasted for. I am terrified that the happy streets that used to hold colorful parades will be covered in bloodshed and that vigilantes will flee and terrorize the young independence we celebrate and that our Filipinism would be short lived. I fear that the Diaspora would be encouraged rather than reversed.
I am afraid of how people think: that no justice should be served and outright killings is justice. I am afraid that the cleanliness we see is just superficial because at dusk, guns will roar and rule anytime of the night.
I fear the Philippines is no longer an abode but just a place to stay in. I fear that even when people plan to spend all their life here, would think otherwise.
And let us ask ourselves, we say no to short dresses, extra marital affairs but we nod our heads to summary executions? Have we turned to be a nation that chooses one that is more convenient for the law to be implemented? Have we forgotten what we really sew the flag for? Or are we making plans? What is taking too long?
Let us ask ourselves, when we speak of a country, this country, wouldn’t we cringe at the point where we say “Bayan kong Pilipinas?” (My country, the Philippines).
If thinking about the news forms a lump in your chest, then know that intimately you are bothered. Deep in your acceptance of the facade of the so called triumph over crime it is sparking in you a flame of false hope.
Do something. Call the attention of people who should be called for. If this generation can instantly pursue campaigns on the most trivial of matters by using the technology they are accustomed to, then raise your voice. Use your platform.
Let us not be mere spectators to this prevalent unjust deaths. Moreover, let us not be victims of the terror in this country that is supposed to take care of us.