What took me so long to condemn extrajudicial killings
Rodrigo Duterte was officially elected president of this country more than a year ago, I thought that justice for those who deserve it will no longer be as elusive as it was during the previous administrations.When
This was my belief during the first year of the Duterte administration. (READ: Highlights: Year 1 of President Duterte’s administration)
I even reached the point when I hoped that those who opposed the policies of the highest official in the land, specifically the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the media that aired critical news, would be abolished to stop them from criticizing the president's war on drugs.
I turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to news about extrajudicial killings because I completely supported the campaign to eliminate illegal drugs in this country. I shut up and convinced myself that nothing was wrong with the number of drug suspects and criminals that were killed everyday. I thought I was right.
My view has already changed. I now see that the police have gone to extremes, killing hundreds or maybe thousands of innocent lives just to create the impression that the war on drugs is indeed succeeding.
How could I have been so insensitive every time I said: "Gabaan. Namatay lagi kay addict man (That's karma. He deserves to die for being an addict)"?
How could I be cruel to have waited for so many lives to be sacrificed before realizing that something was wrong?
I am ashamed of myself.
If it took the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos for us, die-hard Duterte supporters, to finally come to our senses and tell the president how lopsided his sense of justice is, then let it be our way to repay him for his sacrifice. Maybe, that was the purpose of his life in this world - to be an eye-opener for all of us. (READ: Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy)
Kian Delos Santos and all other victims who were used as pawns in the drug war should ultimately be given justice - human and divine. – Rappler.com
Giancarlo Elbambo is an education graduate and a part-time college instructor in Cagayan de Oro City. He first posted a version of this article on X, Rappler's free self-publishing platform.