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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Why I Still Value ‘Due Process’…

July 27, 2016
by Grimwald
Now, before you go thinking that I’m an anti-Duterte and pro-drug lord activist, let me clarify to you that no, I am not against the progress brought forth by the new administration. Indeed, I believe it is high time that something be done about our many social issues, especially that of the illegal drug trade that has been destroying our youths for decades now. I also utterly despise the current Commission on Human Rights who seem to be more about protecting criminals and terrorists rather than defending the rights of the common people. Unfortunately, again, given the juvenile mindset of typical Pinoys, I cannot help but wonder what the country is coming to with the latest wave of news and gossip about “extra-judicial killings”.
Again, prior to continuing, let me share with you another moment with my grandfather. Yes, I know that some of you are probably tired of Grimwald talking about his grandpa but bear with me here. I wouldn’t be telling you some personal stories if they weren’t related to the subject I’m discussing.
I was a teenager when the 9/11 took the world by surprise and plunged a whole country into grief. My grandfather, an American soldier (actually, he’s part of the navy so that would make him a “sailor” not a “soldier” but I’ll call him the latter for simplicity’s sake) who had fought in many wars, was one of the many who wept for the death of so many of his countrymen. However, when he learned that the act or terrorism was perpetrated by an Islamic faction in Afghanistan, I saw in him a look of disappointment and disgust. He would continue watching news about the War on Terror, especially in the effort to destroy Osama Bin Laden and dismantle the Taliban in Afghanistan, but I could see in him a sense of sadness.
When I asked him about his odd behavior of late, he explained to that it was because he was disappointed in what had happened to the world at large. He told me that during the Cold War, the time when the U.S.A. and its allies were engaged in a proxy war with the U.S.S.R. and its allies for those not in the know, they actually supported the Taliban or at least its predecessors. In a sad sigh, my grandfather told me that in politics, especially on a global level, there are no permanent friends or enemies.
Being a young teen at the time, I began to become more and more aware of the “grayness” of human morality. However, at the time, I still wasn’t fully aware of it at the time and I asked my grandfather if the American government and military weren’t aware of the insidious nature of the Taliban, its predecessors and its allies. Again my grandfather explained that the issue was not that simple. Just because a given faction fights against corruption and oppression doesn’t mean said people are not corrupt or oppressive either. Indeed, according to him, even the worst of the world’s scum can hide behind an otherwise noble or righteous banner.
The Taliban, at the height of the Cold War, hid behind the cause of freedom against the U.S.S.R. who projected an image of oppressive communism. While there was a lot of issues in their culture, such as their poor treatment of their women and their backwards ways, the Taliban nonetheless saw NATO as a useful ally and pretended to support them. When the Cold War ended, the U.S.S.R. having collapsed and they saw that they could do as they please, the Taliban quickly turned on their former allies and  vilified them in their own society.
My grandfather went to point out that throughout the course of human history, there is never a shortage of scum who hide behind a mask of righteousness and commit atrocities beneath the banner of a noble cause. During the American Revolutionary War, my grandfather pointed out that there were British soldiers who raped and slaughtered colonials and there were also colonials who raped and slaughtered many a Native American tribe. At the height of the American Civil War, there were minor factions who stole uniforms from both the Union and Confederate factions and wore them when torching civilian villages and brutalizing locals which would be attributed to the factions whose uniforms they were wearing.
Going back to our own country and its problems, I often worry that the current “War on Drugs” might have some unforeseen consequences that will bite our country in the butt later on. Truth be told, if one looks back on our own history, unforeseen consequences are a given and are what continue to plague our country to this very day. The “War on Drugs” is indeed a war, ladies and gentlemen, given how many have already died so far. Unfortunately, considering the rather immature and selfish mindset of typical Pinoys, I can only pray that there will be less collateral damage in the times to come and that we will be able to quickly identify criminals and murderers who are simply masquerading as righteous vigilantes.
I mean who’s to say that a bunch of corrupt cops can simply kill an innocent or otherwise harmless citizen and make it appear that the victim is involved in the drug trade. Alternatively, a drug dealer can have his own runners killed in order to cut off loose ends that will lead to his ties with criminality. Worst of all possibilities though is that there could be murderous sociopaths in society who could conduct atrocities under the guise of vigilante action.
Like I said, I don’t like the current justice system in the Philippines and yes, I think it needs a complete and total overhaul and a purging of its ranks. However, for the good of all, we should at least preserve and respect the idea of law and order and not simply give in to our vengeful desires. Yes, we should cleanse our society of its many dregs including and especially that of illegal drugs and while I am aware that this war can’t not be violent, I still think we should still make an effort to prevent needless bloodshed and be on the lookout for sociopathic charlatans who may take advantage of the situation to give in to their baser, animalistic desires.

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