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For instance, we have never been critically minded. We do not question the lack of decency of some of our public officials. But what is more appalling is that all the violence right now unfolding before our eyes might only come as impersonal. We no longer see the victim as a human being. Indeed, we must ask: What has happened to humanist education in this country? Have we Filipinos misplaced all the values of humanity?
The current mood of the Filipino public is that it thinks any individual can be sacrificed for the sake of our brand of social solidarity. As such, as long as public interest is used to justify the death penalty for a boy as young as 12, some Filipinos might believe that no moral wrong is being committed. Most of us reason that this very young “criminal,” who has now become an enemy of the state, himself knows that what he has done can bring him instantaneous death. Yet, in so doing, we have disregarded the reality of unjust social structures that served as virulent preconditions for the anatomy of a crime.
It is unconscionable for many among us not to realize that bringing the tragic death sentence back, even to a person who is so young, only makes manifest that our society has not overcome the pangs of elitist rule, and this is because the poor will remain at the receiving end of the infirmities of our legal system. In reality, those who are in power are just taking advantage of our tragic sense of nationhood that has characterized our fate as a people.
Christopher Ryan Maboloc teaches philosophy at Ateneo de Davao University and is the author of “Ethics and Human Dignity.”
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