EDITORIAL - The great contradiction society now faces

The Freeman

Sleep on it. This is what people usually tell themselves whenever they grapple with difficult situations from which they cannot seem to immediately extricate themselves. It is also the same advice people give those they have thrust into these difficult situations - why don't you sleep on it tonight and maybe you can tell me in the morning.

Sleep translates to letting go. There is always a therapeutic effect in being released from pressure, no matter how brief or temporary. Old problems never seem as formidable when confronted from the fresh start that sleep brings. When sleep is not an option, just freeing the mind affords the same release. There is wisdom in avoiding the bull when unprepared to lock horns with the animal.

In the wake of an uptick in the number of killings involving people suspected of involvement in illegal drugs, it has been frequently asked why there has not been an uproar over the seemingly questionable manner in which the killings have been made. Why is there a deafening silence over what apparently are extrajudicial executions?

The silence is just like the sleep discussed in the opening two paragraphs of this article. The silence does not mean tacit approval of the killings. Neither is it even a toleration of them. The silence is just a tired society's way of dealing with a difficult situation. Filipinos may be fiercely jealous of their democratic traditions. But they are as bone-weary as well of the debilitating effects illegal drugs have on society.

Confronted by the crying need to protest the seemingly illegal means by which a part of the anti-illegal drug campaign appears to be waged by the police in contravention of those democratic traditions and the imposing reality that illegal drugs is wreaking havoc on the very fabric of the nation if left undealt with, it seems only natural for people to seek the temporary release valve of silence or sleep.

The silence you hear is the sound of people letting go. They do not want to think of the killings and how they seem to be the only effective means to address the problem. They do not want to deal with the contradictions they are confronting. They want to pretend these things are not happening. Eventually they will. But for now, let the dead take care of the dead.

Besides, there are people thrust into certain responsibilities to deal with certain problems. Let them do their jobs without the public hovering over their backs or breathing down their necks. The drug problem must be stopped. That is well agreed. What is not agreed is whether the stoppage has to be at all costs. Maybe the morning will bring a better perspective to this nagging problem. So off to sleep it is, or to silence concede and hope the morrow knows better.


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