Life’s value: Work­ing student ver­sus drug ad­dict


Cebu Daily News - - OPINION - Ruphil_stp@ya­

Ire­mem­ber a re­flec­tion story when I at­tended a rec­ol­lec­tion ini­ti­ated by the Young Catholic Move­ment Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Dio­cese of Maasin many years ago.

I would like to share here the sit­u­a­tional story that our fa­cil­i­ta­tor at that time gave us. The story goes this way: you are on board a ves­sel with your loved ones, friends and other pas­sen­gers. In the mid­dle of the deep blue sea, the ves­sel en­coun­tered a strong typhoon that made her sink even­tu­ally.

You are lucky enough be­cause you are one of the pas­sen­gers who boarded a small life raft that has a ca­pac­ity of only 2 per­sons. Be­cause there are three of you who boarded the life raft, there is a need to sac­ri­fice one of the pas­sen­gers.

Let me make a lit­tle mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the il­lus­tra­tive story to make it more rel­e­vant in con­nec­tion with the re­cent grue­some and bru­tal in­ci­dent in Cebu City. If you were the one be­ing con­fronted with the sit­u­a­tion and your co-pas­sen­gers are the work­ing student, Charie Mae Man­cia, and the drug ad­dict and killer, Emelito Fa­mil­iar Jr., then who do you think you would want to go?

Imag­ine the re­spec­tive back­grounds of your two fel­low pas­sen­gers. As per me­dia re­ports, Charie Mae was a self-sup­port­ing col­lege student in one of Cebu’s uni­ver­si­ties. She worked in a pizza par­lor to sup­port her­self and her two sib­lings. She rented a board­ing house near her school and her work.

Emelito, on the other hand, is a job­less drug ad­dict and had pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal records. As per po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Emelito’s pur­pose of en­ter­ing the board­ing house of Charie Mae was only to steal her valu­ables to sup­port his vices. When he no­ticed that the lady vic­tim re­acted, he bru­tally killed her.

The ob­vi­ous an­swer to the very ele­men­tary ques­tion will clearly ex­plain why ma­jor­ity of the Filipinos sup­port the war on drugs of Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte. The sur­veys con­ducted by Pulse Asia and So­cial Weather Sta­tions (SWS) show that 8 of ev­ery 10 Filipinos are in fa­vor of the war on drugs.

Yes, life is valu­able. That is not even de­bat­able. But in the above­men­tioned sit­u­a­tion where you are con­fronted to choose who be­tween the two per­sons should go and who is to be re­tained in the life raft, or in this world, the an­swer is very clear.

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