By Leandro DD Coronel
Who would have thought the movie “The Purge” could ever become a reality anywhere in the world? Actually, it’s what’s happening in our country. Life does imitate art.
There was a series of movies that depicts an annual night of cleansing society of “undesirables” by killing people in a span of one night. The movie’s plot was for the government to set aside one night of the year when everybody can kill everybody else with no penalties.
You can imagine that it can be very gruesome and gory. During the night hours everybody is on his own killing binge and the killing is free, on the house, a free-for-all. Anarchy and chaos follow.
The premise is that society spawns its own “undesirables” and society at large is left to its own devises to “correct” that situation.
That’s virtually what’s happening in Philippine politics today. Call it “political cleansing” or whatever. Look at whom they’ve shunted aside. They started with Sen. Leila de Lima, who’s currently in jail on very flimsy charges.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is being raked over the hot coals. Ombuds(wo)man Conchita Carpio-Morales is under attack. Vice President Leni Robredo is being demonized.
It’s killing season, all right. And the literal purging comes in the form of extrajudicial killings (EJKs). Thousands have been killed under the administration’s “war” on drugs. Mere suspects are gunned down, short-cutting the judicial system to make the killing more efficient, not subject to the scrutiny of the courts.
If that isn’t purging, what is? Actually my good friend, the perceptive Mackoy Villaroman, has a more chilling word for it: “culling.” But what they’re culling aren’t diseased chickens; they’re human beings.
Suspected drug users and peddlers are being killed without due process when due process is what a democracy requires. Political enemies, too, are being eliminated in a purging way.
And yet the people in power deny responsibility for what’s happening. “I didn’t order that,” “I know nothing about that,” “I don’t even know who’s doing it.”
But these things can’t be happening without the blessing of higher authorities. It’s programmed purging at it’s most efficient.
In the “The Purge” movie, every house is closed for the duration of the killings. Families hunker down for the duration, not knowing if they’re targets or are safe.
In our country today, those who aren’t allied with the ruling coalition don’t know if they’re safe or in danger. So far society hasn’t raised much of a squeak over the killings and character assassinations.
That many of us have allowed this virtual purging means we’re complicit in it. History will judge us harshly.
Tantrum Ergo. When the administration says it has nothing to do with the fervid efforts to kick out Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, how do you react?