The rally on Edsa called by Catholic Archbishop Socrates Villegas was greeted with sharp reaction from an increasing number of anti-cleric and anti-oligarch elements in our society because the organizers sought to highlight the issue of “extrajudicial killings” and human rights violation. The rally headed by known reactionary and conservative elements in the Church has lost much of its appeal because 1986 and 2017 belong to two different political condition and situation with the people more conscious of the issues being presented.
The organizers cannot deny their motive nor can they segregate the issue as non-political because the issue of extrajudicial killings is now being exploited by elements opposed to President Duterte which the government has vigorously pursued to eradicate the more debilitating problem of illegal drugs. The issues of EJK and human rights violation are bound to collapse not because the majority favor the slaughter of their own kind but of the fact that the yellow opposition and their traditional ally from the extreme left have already prejudged the Duterte administration as responsible for the extrajudicial killings of drug lords, couriers and pushers.
Everybody knows that the clerics and their not-so-religious allies representing the oligarchy and the communists attended to emasculate the number to give credibility to their prejudgement of the government as behind these killings. Undeniably, their motive was political. In fact, for one to express his objection against the so-called extrajudicial killings, he cannot escape the indictment that he supports the continued spread of dangerous drugs. It is political because it leaves no room for the person to explain why he opted to take that stand.
This explains why the so-called healing rally was attended by prominent anti-Duterte personalities coming from the same political spectrum led by the hallucinating yellow opposition, corrupt Liberal Party and the ever opportunistic Left. Even the not-so-politicized public was able to readily identify them as anti-Duterte for the fact that they all raise the same issue. The presence of political personalities as Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Neri Colmenares, Teddy Casiño and former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was more than enough to tell who they are.
The crux about the position taken by these hapless hypocrites in castigating the administration is it contravenes the very problem which the society wants to eradicate. Nobody wants to commit extrajudicial killings or violate human rights, but the use of illegal drugs which has become pervasive that those engaged in the manufacture, importation, sale and distribution of illegal drugs have become punitive that imposing higher penalties has become illusory. Paradoxically, for anyone to take a soft stand against this menace that is ripping apart the rubrics of our society is to condone the spread of illegal drugs. One cannot make himself an objective observer on the issue, for even if he is not directly affected, it is his society that is being destroyed.
Human rights violation is a political issue, no doubt. It comes in various forms, and violation of human rights happens when the government allows the perpetuation of an extremely unequal society resulting in poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, ignorance and deprivation in the basic needs for human survival. It is this depressing situation where the Church has consistently and systematically violated because God created men not to be deprived of their basic needs which He himself created.
Poverty is man-made just as human rights violation. But as we see it today, the Church has opted to side itself with the oligarchs, the elite, the landlords and with a foreign power that continue to meddle in our internal affairs under the pretext of protecting human rights. It is this fact about the stand of the Church that gained for it the notoriety as a class that thrives on poverty. The Church knows that where there is poverty, there is ignorance. Without poverty created by society, people would see less value for priests like Archbishop Villegas.
With the advent of computer technology where the social media was subsequently invented, people managed to express their sentiment directly through that network which is sometimes called alternative media. The advent of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. now pose as the greatest threat to the corporate monopoly of the mass media. People are now able to effectively present their suggestions which inextricably led to the gradual death of the tri-media: radio, television and newspapers. The social or alternative media is not only a competition in business, as capitalists eating their own kind, but one that is engaged in a different way to disseminate information with the people themselves moulding and shaping their own opinion on every given issue.
We mention this because it is in this remaining bunker where the oligarchs, the elite, the landlords, and the Church thought would allow them to continue in promoting their bogus democracy touted as freedom of the press and of expression. The Church and its allies from the oligarchy and the Left believe that through their controlled mainstream media, they can still project that phantom of representing the majority. The people, no matter how discordant their views on issues, remain credible because of their endorsement of this pro-poor administration vis-a-vis in condemning the extravagance of the rich.
The Church cannot set itself apart from this reality. The issue about extrajudicial killings and human rights violation are issues they never raised when its allies were in power. They waited until after the Duterte administration came to power. Unfortunately, President Duterte’s appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque immediately lectured his subordinate about the so-called “value of mainstream media to government and society.” Roque is completely ignorant of what is going on. He forgot that the mainstream media despite losing much of its steam has long been appropriated by the oligarchy and the moneyed class.
There is no way Roque can convince the mainstream media to side with Duterte because the issue is not about the idealism of justice or about that self-serving claim that they represent the majority which is a falsity, but a war fighting for their own class interest. It may sound a bit Marxist, but the mainstream media is defending their class interest, of their corporate owners which succeeded in reducing Left as their barking mascot. The Church, sadly enough, chose to float in the heavens of hallucination.