The tragedy that befell 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos allegedly in the hands of Philippine police officers is truly an outrage. No kid deserves to die that way. And so it is, like in any society that aspires to be a truly just and modern one, imperative that justice be sought for the wrongful death of Delos Santos.
The important question therefore is this: How exactly will this justice be effected in this instance? Via the criminal justice system? What’s the alternative? A street rally again? Unfortunately, within hours of his death breaking news, Delos Santos has become the most recent of a string of victims turned into political artefacts by a desperate and rudderless Opposition.
Indeed, Delos Santos is but the latest such artefact cast in the mold of the original artefact that started a long tradition of necropolitics in the Philippines, none other than Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. Yet the murder of Aquino himself back in 1983 remains unsolved. So one just has to ask: How can justice for Delos Santos be delivered when Ninoy’s own son, a former Philippine president himself, could not see to it that his own father’s murder is solved while he was in power?
For that matter, Filipinos don’t really need to go too far beyond their own day-to-day existence to reflect on the inherent hypocrisy in some of the outrage fads their “activists” launch into. How, for example, can a people issue calls for “justice” whenever the latest outrage circus is in town when easy-to-solve everyday injustices cannot even be rectified? Manila’s horrendous traffic, for example has unjustly sentenced millions of Filipinos to prison time within their own cars befitting murderers. But is there justice in the way buses and jeepneys routinely clog half the width of Manila’s roads loading and unloading passengers illegally with impunity?
Therein the answer to those questions lies the answer to why nothing changes where it matters. Because many things Filipinos consider unimportant actually matter a lot. It starts with small things. The easy solutions cannot even be implemented. The smallest injustices cannot even be resolved. How then could Filipinos hope to solve the truly big problems?
It is, indeed, the height of hypocrisy for a people who can’t follow even simple traffic rules to call for “justice for Delos Santos”.
Those street kids you drive by everyday? How come nobody is outraged about them? And yet here we are screaming #JusticeForKian.
And take that manhole on the street that has remained uncovered for weeks. Someone could be seriously injured or even be killed by such banal hazards that are easily corrected. Filipinos’ low regard for public safety attests to a disturbingly low regard for human life. Yet they now scream #JusticeForKian like human life suddenly turned to gold.
The fact is, the scale of banal injustice in the Philippines that fails to launch outrage fads dwarfs those alleged “extrajudicial killings” idiots shriek about today. There is, to cite another example, “senator” Antonio Trillanes who, over the 2000s led and was involved in several armed rebellions. Here is a man who endangered thousands of Filipino lives. He was elected a Senator nonetheless. #JusticeForKian? Seriously?
You can’t take seriously a people who can’t even solve small everyday acts of impunity when they cry #JusticeForKian. There are many Filipinos — unsung victims of injustice — who don’t get the same sort of Outrage Fad treatment #JusticeForKian gets because of political agendas. You want #JusticeForKian? Don’t turn him into just another political artefact. Learn that real justice can only be achieved on the back of consistency.