On killings, tigkiriwi and gam­bling

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

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EGROS the is­land to­day is in the spotlight due to the mur­der and ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings hap­pen­ing in the north­ern, south­ern and ori­en­tal side of the is­land. The Bish­ops of Ne­gros had come out with their col­le­gial state­ments amid these killings. In­di­vid­u­ally they came with their pas­toral let­ters and ac­tion in their re­spec­tive Dio­ce­ses. As a col­lec­tive act, they re­quest for the tolling of bells ev­ery 8 p.m. and the manda­tory pray­ing for peace (Ora­tio Im­per­ata). They are do­ing their pas­toral and spir­i­tual care for the peo­ple of God. Other groups have also come out and con­demned the ir­ra­tional and in­dis­crim­i­nate killings in our is­land. Our brethren be­long­ing to the rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment and em­brac­ing a dif­fer­ent ide­ol­ogy as ours be­come the tar­get of crit­i­cism and blame. Although they do not claim to kill in­no­cent in­di­vid­u­als, they are be­ing pointed upon by the “In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee.”

This is now the time to check if the PNP poli­cies and man­date on peace and or­der are still rel­e­vant. They might only be good in pa­pers. The Armed Forces are quick to re­spond to the prob­lem. They will be send­ing in more troops to the is­land and may rec­om­mend to de­clare a state of emer­gency in the is­land. But hav­ing force with force will only re­sult in great vi­o­lence and worst, it will sim­ply end with more dead bod­ies. Govern­ment has to re­mind it­self that all con­flicts can end on the ta­ble for ne­go­ti­a­tions oth­er­wise all will be losers in “war.” My pro­fes­sor in So­cial Phi­los­o­phy once told me that in war or vi­o­lence, there are no win­ners, only ca­su­al­ties.

To put an end to all these killings, the peo­ple should do some­thing. We need to rally be­hind the lead­ers who de­spise killings and mur­der and put to the chair of jus­tice those lead­ers who seem to be ap­a­thetic at the is­sues of the day. Clean-up, de­mo­li­tions, graft and cor­rup­tion, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and other re­cur­ring is­sues must not only be the con­cern of our lead­ers. They have to be con­cerned with the is­sues of the day and must take them se­ri­ously.

A few days ago, Pres­i­dent Duterte sus­pended PCSO games and few days af­ter re­stored the lotto oper­a­tions in the coun­try while still halt­ing other small fran­chises of PCSO. On the other hand, he praised

PAGCOR in his SONA for giv­ing his ad­min­is­tra­tion a greater slice of their pie. He even en­cour­aged PAGCOR to do more (mag­su­gal pa kayo). I can­not un­der­stand the stan­dard of moral­ity of the Pres­i­dent, does he even have one? Is he against gam­bling or is he just sim­ply af­ter the rev­enue? I was taught that gam­bling is un­eth­i­cal be­cause one would put his or her fate on it and would no longer do more. It is a game of chance and no one wins ex­cept the bank (Banca). It is im­moral for we put our end or pur­pose on the game of chance. The govern­ment le­gal­izes gam­bling to make it as a rev­enue source. Even if an act is im­moral or un­eth­i­cal but it pays taxes and rev­enues, then it be­comes le­gal. “Not all le­gal is moral” is an old cliché that keeps on ring­ing but in this coun­try, what is le­gal au­to­mat­i­cally be­comes moral and even eth­i­cal. The in­con­sis­tency of the Duterte says it all.

Wel­come lean months, Tiem­pos Muer­tos or tigkiriwi! Au­gust is usu­ally, the dead sea­son in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal. It is a time when sugar cen­trals clean their machines and it is off-sea­son. The palay plan­ta­tions are not yet ripe for har­vest and investors are not com­ing in. For­eign Tourists are go­ing home and peo­ple pre­pare for the open­ing of classes. Par­ents are open­ing their piggy banks for the pay­ment of school re­quire­ments. This is the time where we are re­minded of the good times and the time of abun­dance. This is the time where we sit down and re­flect on what have we done. If we had done good, then there is noth­ing to be sad of. If we have not done well, do not de­spair, the happy times are just around the cor­ner. Septem­ber and the “ber” months are com­ing.

St. Ezekiel Moreno, ST. Se­bas­tian, St. Cather­ine of Alexan­dria, St. Fran­cis Xavier and St. Charles Bor­romeo, pray for us.*

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