Stop the killings, stop the descent to barbarism
It must be said at once that it is not completely true that the mass killings have the support of the majority of Filipinos. Although the SWS survey last October showed 84 percent were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied,” respectively, with the war on drugs, there was a substantial 71 percent that did not approve of the extrajudicial killings. The logic is clear: People are against drugs and the syndicates and the crimes associated with the menace. But this doesn’t mean the majority of Filipinos condone the killings.
On the other hand, the war’s death toll, now almost 6,000, highlights the level of barbarism our country has descended today. It is not only the state-sponsored killings that are alarming, but the cheering of those who support it, whether they are few or many, or whether they are social media trolls or simple folks who think the killings should be applauded.
The Roman Empire fed the Christians to the lions as the crowd roared in excitement. The Nazi Empire set off the Holocaust against the Jews while its supporters cheered in approval. Several years ago, there were pogroms in many parts of the world, and the mobs slaughtered those they called cockroaches, termites, sub-humans or dregs of the earth. During the colonial period, there were pogroms, too, against the Chinese settlers in the Philippines.
The ruling class abetted all these, as these brutal acts delivered gore to the masses who called for blood against those “responsible” for their strife.
Today, civilization has retrogressed. And it will take not only a change of government, but a change of the system and culture—embedded by decades of poverty, misery and abuse—to reverse the barbarism of today.
SONNY MELENCIO, chair, Partido Lakas ng Masa, [email protected]
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