Enemy of the State
By Joe America
What do human rights advocates think about the Philippines? And people who believe in the goodness of democracy and Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal? What do the Yellows think, and those accused of being Yellow even though they are critics of LP?
Kindly allow me to dial it in straight. No wishy washy diplomacy or delicadeza.
The principled might think . . . .
Autocrats need enemies to justify extreme acts. It is the oldest trick in the totalitarian book. President Trump has his immigrants and the press. President Duterte has drug users and people speaking up for human rights.
The financially and emotionally needful like having these enemies as well. They get a measure of revenge each time an enemy is smashed down. The needful become powerful for a moment. They become punishers, too.
Then we have the enablers like the House of Representatives, Senators Cayetano, Gordon, and Pimentel, and the men doing the President’s bidding (Bato, Alvarez, Panelo, Aguirre, Andanar, and Yasay). They also need the enemies so they can be big shots for a powerful President. The noise from the conflicts drowns out the sound of them sucking at the fat of their pork, or greedily gobbling up bonus payments.
It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic. It is obvious what is happening, but the entire nation is like a deer caught in the headlights, frozen by confusion, expectation, and resignation. Or willingly participating in a campaign of killings.
Nothing happens to bring civility, compassion, and calm back to the Philippines because all the institutions have been captured or corrupted by the men in power. The House is a batch of lackeys, the PNP operates like the President’s Gestapo, professional journalists cede their space to trolls like Mocha Uson, and judges rule on the basis of advantage rather than law. It is an absurd democracy, a society of idiots without the savant, and the laughs we find to retain our sanity are miserably painful.
What a way to run a country.
Do you know what is really strange? Lost in the battlefield noise are the good deeds being done, the comprehensive tax reform, the better use of Clark Airfield, the raised emphasis on family planning, the working on critical infrastructure 24/7, the priority on education, and being at the edge of domestic peace for the first time in the history of the Republic.
The President is too often his own worst enemy, unnerving investors by threatening the US, UN, and Europe, burying President Marcos as a hero because the President owed the Marcos family a personal debt, and giving away precious sea resources as if they were Pokemon cards available only to the President for trading. And then there are the dead bodies in the gutters, bleeding, taped up or stuffed in trash cans, or cradled in the arms of weeping wives with wailing kids in the background, scarred for life. Piles of naked bodies . . . thin and malnourished and stiff with death . . . are stacked five-deep in a ghastly bin at the morgue.
Tough enemies, these guys, eh?
I’ve been in war, but this is no war. It is a slaughter. Armed cops or vigilantes sneak up using motorbikes or shoot through house windows at anything moving, unarmed teens, men begging for their lives, even little kids. Collateral damage, they say. There are no rules. There is never an investigation. Never a detailed press report; there aren’t enough pages in the broadsheets for that. Cops travel with a disposable gun and an extra bag of shabu to frame the mistakes; even priests or your mama are not safe. Questions are never answered. There is no FOI on murder. Cops killing witnesses? Criminals or sick people with needs? Legitimate use of force? Resistance to arrest?
You’ll have to excuse me for observing . . . the State’s enemies are your brothers and sisters. They are not the Japs or the Spanish or even the well-armed, brutal, racist Americans of 1899. It is your neighbor, or some poor schmuck across town, a small guy doing drugs because the world passed him by.
A world run by the entitled who simply did not give a shit about him.
The enemy is not several divisions of troops in flak vests and night-vision goggles backed by supersonic jets and missiles and artillery and tanks.
It is a skinny guy in tattered clothes who scored a pack of shabu and has nowhere to go.
Gun him down.
Enemy of the State.
If this is a war, it is hardly a courageous one. It does not make the Philippines great. Great requires big acts, brave ones, not small, ruthless ones. It requires heroes who will defend the innocent, not shoot them down. Great requires compassion, courage, and honor, not executing Filipinos who never had a real chance.
. . . . .
Perhaps that is what they think.