A part of me says, “Don’t watch and read these disgusting news about extra judicial killings anymore. They just make your blood pressure go up, and derail you from your focus.” or “Don’t write about it. You have to be careful, you might anger the powers that be.”
But what is the value of all the parenting and financial intelligence that I talk about if the very basic safety of our kids on the streets, our basic freedom and right to due process are all at risk? Do we have to wait for our family and friends to be the next victims of this outrageous killing spree before we even say something?
I cried in anger watching and reading the news on the 17-year old Kian de los Santos who begged the cops, “Tama na po! Tama na po! May test pa po ako bukas!” Instead of showing mercy to the boy, they mercilessly dragged him to a lot where it was dark, then said, “Ito ang baril, iputok mo, tapos tumakbo ka!” The ending was of course, another life ruthlessly ended, accompanied by a fake story recorded in the police report – Kian carrying drugs and shooting at them. It was a good thing that the CCTV captured what really happened.
There’s a lot to be said about the fixation of the current administration on the war against drugs. I say fixation because the president mentions it every single time he addresses his people, accompanied by expletives not worthy of the seal carried by his podium.
Before anyone tries to defend these actions by telling me the ill effects of drugs, let me say this. No one is refuting the ill effects of drug abuse. No one! What we are against is the method being used, which has been historically proven ineffective.
What incentives are we using to curb the drug problem?
Since the administration dubs it as an all out war, it seems to them, and they expect us to accept, that it necessarily comes with lots of blood and bullets and dead bodies on the streets, just like any violent war. According to an article by Reuters entitled Special Report: Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in Duterte’s drug war police incentives include P10,000 reward for every person killed drug suspects, rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other “troublemakers.”
What can we learn from The Rat Massacre in Hanaoi?
In 1897 after a failed stint as a Finance Minister in France, Paul Doumer was sent to Hanoi to be the Governor-General. During his term, the city encountered a problem with rats and they were feared to carry with them diseases including bubonic plague. The colonial government solution: Hire Vietnamese rat hunters and pay them for each rat killed! Below was the killing statistics:
End of April 1902 – 7,985 rats killed in one week
Start of May 1902 – 4,000 rats killed each day
On May 30, 1902 – 15,041 rats killed in just one day
On June 21, 1902 – 20,112 killed in just one day
Unfortunately, even with the astounding number of rats killed by their paid rat army, there was no dent being made to improve the situation. Instead of going to the root of the problem, their Plan B was to increase their rat killers offering the civilians to join the killing spree for a reward of one cent per rat killed.
The killings went on but the rat population increased! Why? Because the enterprising Vietnamese were now breeding rats in order to get the reward! It was the wrong incentive. It was the wrong solution!
I wish to end this article in the vernacular in order to touch the heart of every Filipino. I know a lot of you are also appalled by what’s happening in our country, but may be too busy or too tired or too scared to express or do anything.
Sa mga nakaraang buwan, sa nakaraang taon, sino ba ang kadalasang nakasalampak sa lansangan na duguuan at pinatay na walang kalaban-laban? Hindi ba’t mga taong kasing hirap ng daga? Hindi mahalaga kung sino ang ibinoto mo, ngunit ito lang ang tanong ko: “Ilang Kian pa ba ang kailangang patayin bago tayo matauhan?”
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Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook and You Tube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom.
ATTRIBUTIONS: Image from depositphotos used for the cover to help deliver the message of the article.
Figures and statistics derived from the following: