Becoming more often noted and lamented upon, the culture of death in the country is becoming a day and night fact, an already common and expected phenomenon. So it is that instead of the preservation and enhancement of life, it is the nonchalance to day-and-night killings that the Filipinos—young and old—are progressively witnessing, seeing or hearing about and wherefore probably even considering it but as a matter of course. When life is done away with as a matter of course—this is the premise, the basis, the output of the culture of death.
When the killing of people is met with nonchalance or even glee and delight, when getting rid of human lives becomes normal, when getting rid of human persons is looked upon as something customary—this is when death becomes a constitutive element of culture. Among other things, this means that, strangely enough, killing becomes a part of living. So it is that the culture of death is a gross contradiction of social life, a blatant negation of civilization. When life is done away with, what is left to attend to, to care for, to promote and defend?
Terrorism does not simply promote but even affirms the culture of death. The more people are killed, the better. The more lives are taken away, the merrier the killers become. Preserving and enhancing lives are irrelevant. Defending and promoting lives are nonsensical. So it is that the more guns and ammunitions there are, the better for terrorism. So it is that the more mortal are the cannons, the tanks and planes, the merrier are the terrorists.
The warring and killing fields in certain parts of Mindanao long since existent and mortal, promote the culture of death. So it is that the carrying of guns and bullets, having hand grenades and keeping bayonets—having anything and everything deadly—have become a cultural heritage thereat. No wonder then that even foreign terrorists bearing this or that name, fighting under this or that banner, have already become part of the Mindanao killing forces.
The so-called “war” against drugs that has become synonymous with day-and-night extra-judicial killings has become promotional of the culture of death. The fact that certain drugs are legitimately prohibited by law—their manufacture and distribution, their sale and use—remains in accord with reason. But to nonchalantly kill those therein involved is not merely doing away with prohibited drugs but in effect doing away as well with a good number of people.
So it is that the now proposed Death Penalty Law is but a poignant expression of the culture of death. To penalize those who manufacture, sell and/or use prohibited drugs is morally acceptable and legally tenable. Reason: Their production, business and/or consumption effectively boost criminality and generate criminals. Penalize them, yes. But kill them, no. Otherwise, those killing them likewise become killers themselves.
So it is not asked: What do Filipinos prefer to be identified with: The culture of death or the culture of life which is synonymous with the preservation and promotion, the enhancement and affirmation of the life of every man, woman and child? If even killing oneself by suicide is abominable, how could killing others be laudable?
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