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Change by death

Change by death

The change that Filipinos were groaning for after many years of suffering from misgovernance and corruption by past administrations may not be coming that easy after all. Simplistically, all that the well-meaning citizens wanted was a government that would address basic problems such as the rising joblessness, peace and order, corruption that has been the primary culprit for the worsening poverty situation, among many others.

When change or the semblance of it came, never did it cross people’s minds that the population would be decimated by the thousands in just seven or so months of governance. Never did people expect, too, that by some twist of fate, the so-called Davao Death Squad would be extended nationwide as a matter of course. Erstwhile it was not logical to think that in order to feel safe in the streets at night, thugs, or so they are reported by the police to be, would be gunned down at an average of 30 persons per night. It was not logical, too, to think that the whole police force is well and operational despite failing to solve even a single case of about four thousand victims of summary killings. Not until a senator, palace functionaries and social media trolls convinced, or trying hard to convince, the citizenry that it is now safest to walk in the streets, though soaked in blood, at night—and that the police is succeeding in weeding out drug addicts and criminals.

In the face of massive propaganda in social media, a good majority of the populace now believes that killing and more killings is the only way to solve the drug menace in the Philippines—despite Colombia and Thailand saying otherwise. Amidst political pressure, a comfortable majority of both houses of Congress believes now, too, that death penalty is deterrent to crime notwithstanding a corrupt and corruptible law enforcement and justice system in the country—and despite the glaring empirical data that prove the contrary.

All that people wanted was change. But the change unfolding seemed different. The narrative would be woven like the Aesop’s Fable of the “Frogs who wished for a King” that tells a story of Jupiter giving the frogs a crane for a king that started gobbling them down one by one as soon as the new royalty claimed his throne. Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot is of different plot and genre altogether. But the protagonist, Prince Myshkin, is one that can sport a character capable of pursuing change at whatever means and cost, including the Quixotic and the immoral. CBCPNews