Collateral damage

First of all let me just make it clear that this columnist is not in favor of extrajudicial killings nor am I trying to justify the spate of seemingly wanton killings or salvaging (depending on how you look at things occurring) on a daily basis. In fact, my heart cries out to the families of innocent victims, those alleged to have been what I would say at the wrong place at the wrong time.

One seeming incident of such would be the recent news on the killing of Jefferson Bunuan, a 20-year old student/scholar of the Kaibigan Foundation who was ironically a criminology student who accordingly intended to become a cop, but sad to say was killed by the cops. According to reports he merely slept over at the place where the encounter occurred. Therefore, one lesson for us all is to avoid suspicious company.

To back track a bit, let us try to understand that according to Pres Du30, we are in a war with the drug trade and this country could eventually become a narco-politics state. This pronouncement of the President, I earlier took with a grain of salt and brushed off as some sort of exaggerated baseless claim, but after what we have seen with all the thousands of drug users who are turning themselves in, it turns out that it appears to be a factual claim and indeed, the war on drugs is one very serious war. This may need drastic measures to solve. Speaking of drastic measures, they say that in times of serious and/or desperate situations, desperate and/or drastic means of solution may be the only answer. This being the premise, since the President is fully aware of our very corrupt judicial system, assuming that the full extent of the law will be observed in dealing with those who are in the drug users/pushers law enforcers lists and therefore the so called due process is observed accordingly, perhaps the President believes that if you merely arrest these pushers, given the very corrupt judicial system, give them some time and they will be back on the streets sooner than you expect with their usual trade.

If this is the situation and you were presented with the solution to this problem, perhaps the ongoing purging through the Oplan Double Barrel and Oplan Tokhang is indeed the only way to go, and I happen to believe that it is the only way to go!

In fact, one thing noteworthy in all of this ongoing operations is that there are areas that for the past weeks, did not even register a single police blotter at PNP stations on reported petty/index crimes, which is therefore a same conclusion that majority of these index/petty crimes (cellphone snatching etc…) are drug related.

However, unfortunately, in a war there is always what they call as collateral damage and as defined by Wikipedia is “Collateral damage is a general term for deaths, injuries, or other damage inflicted on an unintended target. In military terminology, it is frequently used for the incidental killing or wounding of non-combatants or damage to non-combatant property during an attack on a legitimate military target.” There is of course the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) which is an independent constitutional office. They should attend to their mandate and do their job accordingly. At this point, we can just hope and pray that there may be no more victims of collateral damage.


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