Killing Spree

There is in the Philippines an all-out war against drugs and all sorts of criminality.

After a tough-taking mayor was elected to the highest position in the country, there had been a renewed police enthusiasm to go after those involved in drugs — from the streets to institutions.

From the campaign trails to his inauguration speech, President Rodrigo Duterte and his PNP (Philippine National Police) chief issued strong statements against drugs, criminality, and corruption, and repeatedly warned that they will kill all those who are involved.

“If you destroy my country, I will kill you. If you destroy our children, I will kill you.”

–Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in his inauguration speech on June 30, 2016

But it is going too far.

Since June, there has not been a day when no news item about drug-related killings ever made it to the headlines.

The thing is, the operative word in these stories is that the men are ALLEGED drug suspects.

Plus, the circumstance of their deaths would only be one of these four versions:

1) That the alleged drug suspect, in an entrapment operation, as soon as he felt that he was dealing with a cop tried to shoot the police and in defense, the police or one of the other operatives shot the ‘suspect’. Kill or be killed;

2) That when accosted by police in one or so version of an oplan wherein operatives plead with those involved in the drug trade to voluntarily surrender, the alleged drug pusher or user resisted and was shot dead;

3) That while aboard the police mobile, the suspect who was in handcuffs tried to grab the gun of one of his police escorts and was shot dead — whether accidentally or in self-defense; or

4) That the drug suspect was killed in a chance encounter.

Coincidence?

I won’t say anything. Just that I’m tired of the news reports and of seeing photos of bloody corpses as I am about to have my first bite of breakfast.

Still, day in and day out as I sit in the newsroom, I wonder, how many more reports about killings of this sort will come in? How much longer will it happen? What if one of those who were killed were wrongly accused? What if it was only a case of mistaken identity?

Response to the daily prompt: False

Serenity

The deep blues of the sea is such a relaxing sight to see.

Whenever I’m feeling stressed out or panicky, I love pulling out this photo I took during one summer outing at Imacoto Beach in Bicol.

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Aside from the calm it gives, I relish at the memory of me meeting my SO’s welcoming family last summer.

Here are some other photos from that island vacation:

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Daily Prompt: Island

The Power of Thoughts

2014 was a shitty year for me. So at the beginning of 2015, the very first words I wrote in my journal were: 2015 will be better. Believe.

Indeed, it was.

2015 had been a roller coaster ride as I try to reach for my dreams. The highest point being when I finally got into the media; the lowest point being that feeling of a familiar burn out towards the end of last year.

I have this burning passion to tell stories from the ground. But I was hired to be an armchair journalist and was constantly writing about stabbing, shooting, rallying.

Perhaps I was just tired of crime stories, but I somehow felt tired of writing. Normally I would be so excited to grab my journal and pour my heart out as soon as I got home, but I started resenting the craft.

Instead of letting my thoughts flow into words, I went for the brush and paint. It was a mediocre attempt, though. Deep inside, I knew that my art is still writing.

So when 2016 opened, I wrote: Writing will take me to heights unimagined.

Surprisingly, with the half of the year through, I think I’m almost correct.

First, I was able to revive this blog from its near death. I am happy to say that I will not lose the momentum to keep on updating my readers anytime soon.

I’ve also been very fortunate to bag a few interesting writing sidelines. It helps give me another sort of identity as a writer and it makes me believe that there are still lots of good in the world.

I am positive that the rest of the year will bring out the best of my writer self. I am still looking for ways to better my craft and for opportunities that indeed will take me to heights I never dreamed of.

Response to the daily prompt: Prophecy