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Smiles for the dead

IN MY EYES

By Edward B. Antonio

 

 Many people nowadays are secretly smiling at all those dead bodies, fellas.

Some are happy.

Some are happier.

Some are happiest.

They are happy because the strong arm of the law has started catching up hard with the drug pushers, drug producers and the criminals.

They are happier because these dead people are finally put to rest so they can no longer molest the living.

They are happiest because finally, the streets and the homelands are slowly being cleared of these social termites who destroy the lives of people, their families and their future.

The first week of July has netted nearly 100 people dead, most of them drug pushers.

“Only 100?” asked Mang Maing.

“That’s already a big figure in so short time,” I said.

Mang Maing nodded his head several times and said, “More are coming?”

“Maybe. President Digong said last night in TV that he will kill all those drug personalities who are destroying this country. He gave the druglords an ultimatum. Did you not watch the news last night?”

“What did he say?” he asked.

I stood on a chair, and imitating President Digong’s mannerism of constantly touching his cheeks and chin, I boomed: “You know there is always a time for everything. There’s always a time for you to make money and make a mockery out of our laws. There’s always a time for you to be in control even if you are inside the prison. But there is always a time to rest and to die!”

“But the CHR (Commission on Human Rights) has been howling these days,” he said.

“Well, President Digong said, ‘I don’t know you’ saying he knows what is legal and what is illegal because he is a lawyer and a former prosecutor.”

The other day, I met with some people whom I asked of their reactions regarding the continuing police drives against drug people.

They have varied reactions, fellas.

Annie, a school teacher said: “Ay naku, mabuti nga sa kanila, marami na ring estudyante ang apektado ng droga, lalo na ‘yong tinatawag nilang marihuana.”

Peter, a local government employee with 4 kids said: “We have tried a lot of presidents and they have done their bests using their conventional methods of curbing our drug and criminality pero wa epek naman. Maybe, President Digong’s unconventional style will set things straight.”

Adelmo, a tricycle driver commented: “Ay, mahirap ng magsalita baka pati ako madamay. Basta ako, wala akong ginagawa, bahala na sila sa mga buhay nila!”

Magno, a police officer, who preferred to speak anonymously, said: “Well, we have to follow the procedures: identify the suspect, serve the warrant and arrest him. But if he resists and fights, then we will have to bring him down.”

“What do you mean by to bring him down?” I asked.

“Shoot him!” he said.

“Well, if President Digong orders a shoot to kill order to all drug personalities, will you follow the order?”

“We have to follow the order of law,” he said without hesitation. “Only when we are forced to shoot back shall we have the temerity to shoot to kill.”

Aling Puring, a 65-year-old retiree said although she shuddered at all those dead bodies she saw in TV, she said: “Let’s give Digong a chance to make good of his campaign promises.”

Gemma, a housewife who left her drug addict husband some years back said: “My life before was hell. I feared for my kids whom he usually beat. He was also a wife-beater. He did not have a permanent job. He kept on asking money. One night, she barged home drunk. His eyes were red and drooping. He asked for food. We did not eat that evening because we had no rice. We only had camote tops and malunggay leaves. He threw away the plates and spoons. He broke the glasses, then, he grabbed a kitchen knife and started stabbing the walls, the table and the chairs. We ran away in fear. Well, I don’t want him to die in this drug campaign. I hope he has reformed. But if he has not, I pray they would not catch up with him. But I know he will finally meet the law someday and may God bless his soul.”

I finally asked a female senior high school student and she said: “I don’t like them to die, sir, but if they are already warned several times and they won’t stop, maybe they deserve to die, after all. I am a girl and it would be safer for us to walk in the streets at night without those drug addicts and criminals stalking us.”

When I told Mang Maing of these interviews, he only said with a smile, “Amen.”

“Amen,” I returned.

With a smile, too!#