13 people have died today because our president said it was okay. Let that sink in a little.
Now, I need someone to tell me how this is okay. What is being done about this? Why are we, as a people, allowing this to happen? When did death suddenly become an acceptable punishment to a crime we are not even sure these people committed? And no, don't tell me they were criminals and they deserved to die. When Mary Jane Veloso was placed on death row, we begged for her to be set free–have mercy, she has a family, she is innocent; we listened to her side of the story, and we begged Indonesia to wait, until we could prove that she was not guilty. And yet here we are, gunning these suspects down ourselves. Who gave us the right to pull the trigger? How do we sleep at night knowing that this is the kind of country that we live in? That this is the kind of culture we will accept for the next six years? Knowing that this is the kind of violence, this is the kind of hatred that our administration "inspires"?
Whatever happened to the warm, loving, and (yes I'm throwing this in) God-fearing people that we are? Whatever happened to us? What made us this way? And how do we go back? How do we take a step back from all of this and realize that this is wrong. Finally, from there, how do we move forward as a nation. How do we heal these wounds?
Every time I read about someone who died because of this war on drugs, I always try to put myself in the shoes of the ones they've left behind. Did he have a daughter, that man? Is she waiting for him to get home? Did he do this out of necessity, because the poverty in our country pushes us up against circumstances that drown us? What will she say when she finally learns that her father was shot by the police? By a vigilante? How is that going to change her life? What kind of person is she going to become?
Maybe P. Duterte was right—no doubt he will lessen crime within six months. After all, they've killed 13 suspected criminals a day already. At this rate, 6 months from now thousands will be dead, but must we resort to violence to attain a semblance of change? How many more lives are we going to do away with just because we can so the administration can say they got the job done?
If this is the change we were promised, I want no part of it.