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Outrage? What outrage?

THE Yellow Cult and even a few veteran columnists are forecasting President Duterte’s isolation, and eventual fall in the wake of the brutal killing of the 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, whom the police alleged was an illegal drug courier.

That is so, so far from reality. The Kian killing won’t be a political storm for Duterte. A drizzle perhaps, no matter how much his critics cry out to high heavens in melodrama approaching the ridiculous. “Ang multo ng napatay ay humihingi ng awa,“ the wannabe-Cardinal-Sin Socrates Villegas cried in his Sunday message. How did he know that?

In the first place, Duterte has quickly stopped the small mob to move towards him. “They will go to jail, if the investigation proves (Kian’s killing) was a rub-out,” Duterte said. That response is in contrast to his backing of the police team that killed Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa right inside the Baybay City sub-provincial jail in Leyte last year.

That’s enough for most, if not all, of the 82 percent of Filipinos (according to PulseAsia’s June report) to believe that he’s got nothing to do with such a dastardly crime. After all, people see that the police organization can’t ever be 100 percent good. That is the reason the term “police brutality” is used anywhere in the world. Did anyone blame state governors or the incumbent US President for the notoriously racist shooting of blacks by the police red states?

The Yellow claim that Duterte is responsible because the killing was part of his war against illegal drugs, and his injunctions to be merciless towards the “enemy” won’t hold water, and would even backfire. What war hasn’t what the Americans euphemistically call “collateral damage”?

Robredo and Trillanes at Kian’s wake: Rather, the outrage has been against politicians like them squeezing as much political points from the murder.

We in the elite have actually never really felt how serious the country’s illegal drug problem has been. We whisper about this son of a rich friend getting hooked on cocaine, but no worries, he’s in some P5,000-a-day rehabilitation center in cool Tagaytay and will be ok in a few months.

A living hell
That’s all about what the elite know of the illegal drug problem. On the other hand, in our “inner city”, so to speak, poor families’ lives become a living hell when the father gets addicted to shabu– which most probably he turned to in order to mitigate his hunger at work. Our live-out domestic worker’s life was shattered, and went downhill when her husband got addicted to shabu. He beat her often.

The police has managed to cast doubt on Kian. Whether true or not, many of the poor, because they have seen how bad the drug problem is, would prefer to believe that he isn’t innocent, thus sapping the unexpressed outrage over his killing.

In urban poor neighborhoods, it has been a life of living dangerously, in constant fear of a drug addict having a bad trip, and threatening the lives even of his family, posing a serious threat to young ladies going home in the evening from a day of hard work. How else could you explain the phenomenon of the rape and brutal killing of young girls, the number of cases of which have gone up.

A comment in a Facebook post raged: “17 years old lang daw si Kian? E sa Bulacan noong isang linggo e isang trese-años ni-rape at pinatay isang 5-años na bata!”

Versions of that comment was in fact made by many netizens in a GMA-7 post of Vice President Robredo and Antonio Trillanes 4th visiting Kian’s wake: Bumisita ba kayong mga epal na pulitiko sa burol noong limang anyos na bata na na-rape sa Bulacan?”

That GMA-7 post is Exhibit-A for the point of this column, and you can check it out yourself. There were over 1,400 comments on it, a huge number, nearly all bad-mouthing the two politicians for exploiting Kian’s wake for “politicking”— “epal” as the popular slang puts it—and only a very few condemning the killing, and blaming it on this government.

Not the poor
I don’t think the poor are outraged at the police’s killing of Kian, since from their own miserable existence in urban-poor areas, the drug problem has been so bad that teenagers going into it, as addicts or pushers, aren’t rare. Worse, Caloocan where the killing happened has been known as becoming the worst crime-infested city (at par with Quezon City) where illegal drugs proliferate.

The rich and even middle class on the other hand just don’t care, as they really don’t for the poor in general. I bet that if a survey on which news the elites have been following closely, the Andres Bautista exposé by his wife will lead the Kian killing by a mile.

The divide between the rich and the poor in this country has become so wide, that the rich are almost like the elite in that sci-fi film “Elysium”, who live in a space habitat orbiting the earth, while the poor live down in the ravaged earth. Who cares if a life is snuffed out there, in our case, in a dirty alley in Caloocan? I can’t remember an instance when a heinous killing outraged the nation, except of course in the case of Ninoy Aquino. But then he wasn’t a faceless poor person, was he?

So, if the poor aren’t outraged over Kian’s killing, and the rich and middle class aren’t outraged, what is the outrage Robredo and the Yellow Cult are expecting to topple Duterte?

The only outrage I’ve detected is over Robredo and Trillanes’ attending Kian’s wake, obviously to squeeze as much sympathy from the people for their lost causes.

I sincerely hope though that Duterte’s government bring justice to Kian, for his horrible killing. As chief executive, that’s his duty to the nation.

* * *

I’m getting sick and tired reading articles that start with a I-have-always-supported-the-war-on-drugs, or I-support-Duterte but this Kian “murder” blah, blah blah. Many even get so melodramatic, like the one who posted “Father of life, take this child into your arms” blah, blah. Aargh.

Just let the investigators do their job. And if you find something, I mean really something specific that shows the investigators are lying, that’s when you cry to high heavens and tell us what these lies are!

This is so different in cases like the Mamasapano massacre when we knew immediately that Aquino was in nearby Cotabato City pretending the fighting wasn’t going on in which 44 of our elite troops were killed one by one; or when more than a dozen peasants were shot by police and military in front of Malacañang during Cory’s watch, or when strikers were killed right at the gates of Hacienda Luisita. Or Tish Bautista presenting us with the actual bank passbooks of her husband, the Comelec chief.

In essence, these sickening posts (and columns) reflect how much Filipinos love to join mobs.

Just criticize Duterte if you think he needs to be criticized. You don’t have to sheepishly preface your criticism with a you-love-him-but-blah-blah.