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Confused about my Philippines

MANILA (SE): “The violent procedure in tackling the drug scourge is causing apprehension among the majority of our citizens who are against any form of drug trafficking,” the Salesians of Don Bosco say in a statement posted on the website of the Philippine bishops’ news service.

And there is plenty to be disturbed about, as both trigger happy police and goons roam the streets removing anyone they fancy who does not have political or financial clout.

But if you are rich and influential there is different treatment.

Warnings are given and due process is even being offered to police and politicians who surrender, but for two street sleepers in Zamboanga del Sur there was no warning, no investigation, no questions and no proof—just bullets followed by accusation.

“The killings happen almost every day,” a resident of a small township told the Sunday Examiner. “I hear the gunshots, but yesterday for the first time I saw two men being shot right in front of me.”

The message describes two skeletal figures stumbling as they ran from the men with the guns, but to no avail, as the shots rang out and the emaciated forms of the victims with their bony arms and matchstick legs fell to the road, to lie dead in their own blood.

“I am confused about my Philippines,” the message says. “People dying, killed brutally. Salvaged anywhere and they say the reason is drugs.”

The message goes on to say that this is too hard to comprehend, as the newspapers say that drugs are expensive, especially cocaine, which the two dead men were accused of taking.

“I can’t imagine how they could buy cocaine when they sleep in the streets, wear rags for clothes and can’t buy food. The people accused of drugs here are all poor. It is disgusting. I feel bad. They just kill the poor people then they accuse them later. We can’t believe they all take drugs.”

The message questions why the government does not realise that if they are, it may just be because of their poverty. “Maybe they just want to kill the pains of hunger for a few hours so they can sleep. Being poor does not give anyone the right to brutally kill you.”

But the two-faced president of The Philippines is beginning to show a few cards, as the poor ,whose bodies have been left to rot in the streets during the three-month blood-letting campaign, have become sacrificial offerings to flush out the rich and powerful from their holes.

A shamefully arrogant and hypocritical act for a president who proclaimed in his first State of the Nation Address on July 30 that he does not believe in the separation of God and state.

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