Monday, May 14, 2007

Cycle of Violence

I'm not supposed to be blogging about this for fear of getting shot in the head but here it goes.

It saddens me no end to realize what a farce our Bill of Rights is. The spirit of the law that has guided the framers of our so-called Freedom Constitution has long dissipated. Only the letter of the law remains, tucked hidden in dusty libraries that nobody visits.

To kill another is anathema to every kind of law there is but to do so in public or be preceded by torture, brutally and inhumanely--is plain evil. What makes it more alarming in our case is the fact that these killings never seem to stop. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has come and gone, his report is presumably, already filed in the proper fora/ venue--but there seems to be no apparent resolution. Peace remains elusive.

I'm constantly amazed and disgusted at how other human beings could possess such audacity. In Visayas, a veteran lady journalist was assaulted inside her home and shot in the head repeatedly while eating dinner, with her small children looking on. In a mountain village, an old man watched as his only son was bludgeoned, then later shot to death in front of their hut allegedly by men in fatigues. Later as the perpetrators watched, the helpless father cradled his son as he lay gasping for air and dying in his arms. The young man was tagged as an insurgent, but evidence suggested otherwise. Another yet is the story of an nine-year-old girl that lost half of hear head to a hail of bullets just for committing the mistake of bathing in the wrong place. She too, was labeled a communist. Authorities however, later retracted the allegation after it was discovered that the girl's height was a little shorter than the machine gun her killers claimed she was then carrying.

And so it was that we continue to live in this culture of violence. In our democratic nation, a three-term mayor gets shot in the head in front of the COMELEC, of all places; a thirty-year old mayor is murdered while watching a basketball game, an assasin slips inside a church and pumps a bullet to the head of a seated mayor-wedding sponsor, a pajero full of impoverished, weary, faithful supporters gets riddled with bullets, a volunteer radioman is slaughtered alive, tortured so brutally, the lower half of his face caved in, his own relatives could not recognize him...the list goes on and on and on...the list too of desaparecidos or the disappeared grows longer by the day. But that's another topic.

These victims--mothers, fathers, sons, daughters--are people that we have never met. Yet their senseless deaths shall continue to haunt us. What happened to them could happen to anyone in a society like ours. Their murders will continue to warn us. We cannot be complacent. We cannot close our eyes. So many tears have been shed over them, so many children left orphaned, parents traumatized, purposes cut short.

My apologies for such a dark topic but this is the truth around us. It is the truth that binds us. And as long as these dark forces continue to exist, our country can never be free.

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