Blood cries for Guadalupe

By: Jason A. Baguia December 16,2016 - 10:05 PM

The body count in the Philippine government’s war on drugs rose to 5,927 on Monday, the twelfth of December, while Catholics across the archipelago celebrated the fiesta of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

This Marian title is closely associated with the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life from womb to tomb and is best known in reference to a centuries-old icon of an expectant Blessed Mother imprinted on a piece of indigenous cloth enshrined in a basilica in Mexico.

Church historians say that the conversion of millions of Aztecs to Christianity and their abandonment of the practice of sacrificing humans to avert the wrath of gods were prompted by the Guadalupe painting’s miraculous appearance on the cloak of Saint Juan Diego in the sixteenth century.

Ironically, among Filipinos who embrace Guadalupe’s queen as their secondary patroness (next to the same Mary under the title “Immaculate Conception”), the philosophy of bloody human sacrifice is once again dominant.

Human beings are being slain without due process on the altars of impersonal deities — security and prosperity — as if peace and progress can really sprout from the remains of the murdered.

The country’s leader said he is not happy to see drug suspects being killed. But this claim of unhappiness is dwarfed by his venomous utterances.

First, he challenged those he called “bleeding hearts” to “adopt an addict” for them to taste each case’s hopelessness.

Second, he blamed his inability to implement bloodless means of stopping the illegal drugs trade on his predecessor’s pre-programming of this year’s national budget.

Presidential cynicism towards drug dependents and blame-shifting indicate a dearth of resolve to confront the causes of the narcotics plague that ought to be the fruit of sadness over related deaths. They also form excuses for law enforcers to resort to the apparently easier, swifter gunpowder solution.

The President apologized for the deaths of innocents caught in the crossfire. But “sorry” rang hollow after his pronouncement that children who were gunned down in this brutal campaign were mere “collateral damage.”

He promised to investigate the carnage. But what happens when a probe finds law enforcers liable? He will, as he said after the National Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the killing of a mayor in his jail cell was a rubout, spare the policemen from imprisonment.

Who can check and hold responsible the Chief Executive whose words justify the killing of suspects, demean lost lives and fuel overkill by law enforcers?

What is the practical value of the report from the Senate committees on justice and human rights under Sen. Richard Gordon finding no evidence that any drug-related killing was state-sponsored?

The Gordon report does little more than counsel the President to be discerning in speech lest he be misconstrued as inciting to violence, as if a slap on the wrist would stop him from iterating his kill mantra.

Lethal ramblings from no less than a head of state never sound vague to hitmen.

A gun-for-hire spoke in a documentary on the war on drugs produced by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. She felt no remorse for shooting and killing persons linked to drugs, she said, since they are society’s weeds, anyway, and should be uprooted. Sounds familiar?

A British Broadcasting Corp. report on the so-called war contains another gun-for-hire’s confession that her boss is a policeman. In an article in The Guardian, an active policeman kept anonymous by the media outfit revealed details of his and his colleagues’ illegal operations to eliminate drug suspects.

Staffers of the Commission on Human Rights said there is evidence that some policemen moonlight as contractual killers.

Vitriol from the presidential bully pulpit is the soundtrack to the normalization of bloodshed in our streets and slums. Do the legislature and judiciary hear?

Perhaps, it will take another miracle through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for us Filipinos to wake up, be contrite and do penance for tolerating our fall from civilization into the barbarism of abetting murder in the name of safety.

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TAGS: Basilica, Blessed mother, Catholics, December, drugs, Filipino, government, human sacrifice, illegal drugs, Mexico, mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness, Philippines, philosophy, prosperity, security, Virgin Mary, womb

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