Dela Rosa’s stone-faced ‘advice’
As if not satisfied with the thousands of killings in the war on drugs, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa told families of victims of drug-related killings to “move on, walang forever.”
This was on the occasion of the Philippine National Police’s gift-giving program before Christmas Day to families of victims. Looks like this is one of the most bitter Christmas messages for families and kin of the victims of the war on drugs.
Instead of assuring us of investigation and making sure that violators and those responsible for the killings should be made accountable, the PNP chief almost endorsed the atrocities by saying: “Let’s forget all the bad things that happened for the sake of the children.”
Dela Rosa’s words are not only inappropriate, they are uncalled for. It is the height of insensitivity and injudiciousness. He is not only wrong, he is also not ready to solve the problem of addiction in humane and just ways. He also cheapened the grieving of families. Packed with the extravagance of arrogance and sternness, the PNP chief entirely missed the point with his advice to the grieving.
This is a chilling message of impunity. With such a braggadocio message, anyone whether in uniform or riding tandem, could just kill and the PNP chief would simply say to families, “Move on na kayo, walang forever.”
For the sake of the children, justice must be served. That is a nonnegotiable requirement. You want the families to move on? Then do justice. End impunity. Stop human rights violations.
There is no shortcut in the healing of pain and the binding of wounds, just like there is no shortcut in addressing the drug problem. Social justice and human rights must be the guiding framework so that people, especially the poor ones, would not experiment or engage in illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa should know that when the families of victims seek justice, it is not about grumbling. It is about making right the wrong indictments done against the poor. He must further realize that the killings of the poor are not only the concern of the families but of the global human community as well. Even just one death should concern humanity.
Dela Rosa should not even usurp the religious teaching on moving on. Christians believe in this: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” ( Isaiah 1:17).
Herod killed children in his desire to eliminate his perceived enemy — this “undesirable” who is Messiah and considered as a threat. There was a massacre, and history would never forget that.
Moving on happens when the offended and the victims are able to get justice and they are indemnified through the justice system.
NORMA P. DOLLAGA,
Kapatirang Simbahan Para Sa Bayan (Kasimbayan), firstname.lastname@example.org
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