News about extra judicial killings are all over the news for several months now since President Duterte took his position as President of the Philippines. Pictures of these crimes are all over the news be it on the internet, televisions, and radios or through tabloids and spreadsheets.
According to these reports, majority of the population of the Philippines expressed their worries. In fact, one of the reports said that based on the SWS Quarter 2016 Survey, seventy-eight percent of the participants were worried that they or someone they know may become victims of extra judicial killings.
A recent report by the international human rights watchdog Front Line Defenders also stated that the president “normalized the act of extra judicial killing in his war for drugs.”
People would often blatantly react to this issue. Others would even express distaste with what is happening . Some would even blame the president for these killings. But what really is extra judicial killing?
Extrajudicial killing also known as extrajudicial execution is the killing of a person or persons by a government authority without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process.
Having this is mind, we can now access the situation in our country.
Can we really categorize the reported killings as extra judicial killing?
Did the president really ordered for an extra judicial killing?
Is it true that majority of the people disagree with the president’s stand regarding the war against drugs?
“We will not stop until the last drug lord and the last pusher have surrendered or are put either behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish.”
These are the words of President Duterte. Is this an official statement?
That’s just how he is. When people voted for him, they already know that he has a habit of speaking profanity-laced comments and harsh words. It is one of the qualities that makes him different from the rest.
Does that statement qualify for an official order made by our president to exactly kill those who are involve? Did he signed and sealed an order regarding the exact policies on how the government would fight the said war?
Since there is no official, signed nor sealed order made by our president to kill people who are involved with illegal drugs, why are we blaming him for all the crimes and tagging the crimes as extra judicial killing?
Would someone with a proper state of mind follow a man’s statement to kill just because he says so?
If we’ll look closer, not all crimes are police related encounters. Most of them are caused by either vigilantes or unknown men. Some would also state that bodies were found with a cardboard stating that the dead person is “a pusher”, etc.
Having defined EJK as involving government officials, can we say that all the reported deaths were extra judicial killings?
The answer is no.
Does a crime made by a vigilante fall under the category of extra judicial killing?
The answer is no.
Are we sure that all of the said victims were killed by a government official?
Answer again is no.
Then why is it that media is tagging these crimes as extra judicial killings?
Why are we blaming President Duterte for all the extra judicial killings?
He may have started a fire with his statements but have we really given it a deep thought?
Isn’t it that some may have just been using his word as a cover up for their own selfish motives?
Isn’t it that someone may have just had a personal grudge to that man who was reported to be found dead due to multiple gun shots?
Have we thought that maybe, the man claiming to have been ordered by the president to kill a certain person was telling a lie?
Or maybe, someone powerful who had a personal motive to ruin Duterte was behind all of these?
Have we thought that maybe, people were just tired of the implications drug can cause to a family and to our country?
Did the police and military really killed those people unjustly? Aren’t they just defending themselves from them?
No one really knows the exact truth on what’s really behind these killings except the perpetrators themselves and our Creator.
Extra judicial killing or not, it is not right to kill someone no matter how bad he is.
But knowing how rampant drug abuse is in our country it would be better to hear news about a drug pusher found dead than news about a child being raped or a family being murdered by an addict.