When you are in the heat of a standoff with an intruder in your own house and you have a weapon within reach, which of your options would you err towards: (1) recognising the intruder’s “human rights”, or (2) recognising your own right to security within your own home?
Hold that thought for a minute while we step out and up into the bigger scheme of things playing out before us.
The trouble with the chatter all over the Net surrounding the dead bodies being exhibited and labelled as “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs) by news media today is that it is all skewed towards the rights of the ones intruding into our peace. For one thing, there is no evidence that the dead bodies being distastefully plastered all over media outlets’ pages (both digital and paper) are of victims of EJKs. EJKs are just notional assumptions applied to these observations that are figments of sloganeering created within the pointed heads of a cadre of “activists” preaching the abstract concept of “human rights” from their ivory towers.
Now step back down and into that home invasion scenario described earlier and, say, you opted to reach for the weapon and blow that intruder’s lousy head off. That’s homicide. But is it murder? There are several steps law enforcement agencies working with the justice system need to take to establish the nature of this killing. The police investigates the alleged crime, prosecution and defense debate the nuances of the facts unearthed by said investigation, then a judge rules whether or not you are, indeed, a murderer.
Those steps constitute due process. Yes, it’s that very same due process that these so-called “human rights” activists keep shrieking about as they issue their ironic cries of bloody murder whenever they see the next extravaganza of violence porn splashed all over their morning paper. By labelling the police — and, by virtue of their perverse imagination, the President himself — as murderers, aren’t these “human rights activists” also violating the human rights of the police and President Rodrigo Duterte?
The problem with Filipinos is that they have a weak grasp of the scientific method. Police investigation methods and the way a modern judiciary functions are all rooted on the scientific method — which dictates that a sound theory be systematically built upon a foundation of facts weaved together by rigorous logical constructs and then said theory tested against an established body of principles (such as a body of laws) out of which a conclusion is derived. This is the underpinning of the end-to-end due process that encompasses police work and justice delivery.
Looking at the way every “activist” and her dog are making ill-thought-out pronouncements about pictures the individual and unique stories behind which they do not bother to fully wrap their heads around, one would be hard-pressed to feel even an ounce of respect for the Philippines’ community of bleeding-heart liberals today. These “activists” have so far distinguished themselves not for the intellectual rigour of their advocacies but by the screaming noisiness of their movements.
The most hilarious aspect of this “activism” we see today is the time they waste barking up the wrong tree.
President Duterte, might we remind these “liberals”, is the chief of the Executive branch of the Philippine government. He does not make the laws. He enforces them. What these “activists” need to do is examine the law itself and understand what about it enables the police (and possibly Duterte) do what they are doing with the “impunity” they claim they apply to their work. Indeed, there is much legislators can learn from what we are witnessing today — learning that could be applied in aid of legislation.
What activists need to do is write their represantatives and senators. Be clear about what it is about the legal framework that makes the Philippines’ drug problem not just such a difficult thing to solve but one that seems to be flourishing and demanding of drastic measures to contain. Duterte and the police are doing their part — the drastic measures part. Legislators need to do their part — craft laws to pave the way for a just means to deal with the drug menace.
As for the “activists” and their “human rights” slogans, well, they need to grow a modern brain first — one equipped to comprehend the scientific method.