PHILIPPINE society does not have the death penalty. Hence, if the state cannot legally kill a citizen for a proven cause, how much more of an aberration is killing for only a suspected reason?
Seventeen-year old Kian’s death was by all appearances a case of murder, of extrajudicial killing if you will. Whether or not he was active in the drug scene is not an issue. Sinner or saint he did not deserve to be shot by policemen who are sworn to serve and protect citizens.
Thus, I have no problem adding my outrage to that of those who seek justice for Kian. I am for fighting a drug war because society must always try to stop this menace. But there is a right and a wrong way of doing this and fatally shooting a suspect from behind his back and at close range is definitely not right.
In the same exasperating breath, however, I must sadly admit to having to hold back a deepseated resentment against two groups of people.
First is the group of some Duterte supporters, among them officials in his administration, who justify Kian’s death as inevitable and necessary collateral damage. Included in this group are those that recently fired heavy flak at the Redemptorist Fathers’ letter of condemnation of Kian’s death and blanketed the drug war and its controversial (to say the least) modus operandi with the justification that these have cleared their barangays of drugs.
Like I said, I support the drug war but there’s no way I can support, in the name of good results, any violation of human rights which most likely happened in Kian’s death.
The other is the anti-Duterte group that uses Kian’s death to advance their political agenda. Among them are media and religious personalities who insinuate that all others who are not against Duterte and his drug war are not truly outraged by Kian’s death as if they alone have a monopoly of the nation’s sense of decency and moral standards.
Nothing can be farther from the truth. The outrage is coming from all quarters as among Duterte’s supporters are decent folks who have no political agenda but have even higher moral standards than the opposition.
The issue is not the presidency. People have settled this with 16 million votes and this we must respect. The issue is not the illegal drug trade either. A government must always do its best to contain it.
Conduct of the war is the issue as means never justify end. Not Duterte’s means either but those of 40 percent of the police that are on the take.
Now that Duterte has faced off with Kian’s parents and given his word that their son will get justice, unless one is politically motivated the raging should shift to watching for a possible cover-up. In the event of that we should all rage even more.