Eight years ago today, the nation was shocked-—horrified—at what would later on be known as the Maguindanao massacre. Fifty-eight people lost their lives in single atrocious act. After all this time, it appears we are none the wiser.
There was of course initial outrage. The violence was universally condemned, arrests were made, cases were filed, and hearings were conducted.
Since then, however, we have lost track of how the cases were going, and how the families of the dead have recovered from the tragedy and moved on.
In 2009, there was indignation because we were not used to this kind of violence. Now, under yet another administration, and under very different times, we wonder whether we would still be aghast if the massacre happened today. Or would we have been desensitized?
The value of a life appears cheaper these days, not that we accept or approve of it.
It would be asking too much, we know, to hope that the cases be resolved swiftly, or that those behind it be made to pay for what they thought they could get away with. There is also the sheer inability of the justice system to respond to the demand for swift resolutions.
So, meanwhile, what can the once-outraged nation do?
We must continue to be outraged. There is no getting used to violence—on anyone, anywhere, at any time.