Thinking Out Loud: Again, Murder

Jun. 12, 2006

Thinking Out Loud (Joan Soco)

Again, Murder

Last night, as I was commuting home, I saw a crowd on R. Castillo Street in Agdao. Three patrol cars and a 911 ambulance stood by. The driver of the jeepney I was on stopped and asked about the commotion.

We learned that a boy, said to have been a notorious drug addict, had been shot dead allegedly by the Davao Death Squad or DDS. While my fellow passengers gave varying versions of tsk tsk tsk and gipatay na pud sa DDS, a strange feeling crept inside me. As the jeepney pulled away, everyone inside fell into an uneasy hush.

In the June 4, 2006, telecast of his program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte sent a threatening message to drug addicts and pickpockets who, he said, would be added to the long list of wanted criminals. Though he said it in a way that he could not be accused of directly ordering the murders, the message was subliminal and emphatic.

For me, the biggest question about the summary killings is the efficiency of the authorities. Is government so inutile that it cannot keep the peace, that it cannot solve a single case of summary execution in the city, and that it can only tell the victims families We told you to convince them to change, see?

And our leaders do they view our youths as so hopeless that they deserve these unjustifiable deaths, just because they are delinquents? Is there no more room left for change unless these young people are killed? When will the killings stop?

We cannot eliminate crime, so lets just liquidate criminals is this the policy of government now?

Notorious Englishers

On the lighter side, I received a text message this morning about our notoriety for mangling the English language. Here are some examples of the said notoriety:

* The skys the langit!

* Been there, been that.

* Give him the benefit of the daw!

* Lets burn the bridge when we get there.

* Whats your next class before this?

* Hi, Im Jane. Whats yours?

* Well, well, well. Look do we have here.

* Im so iterated! (Uy, galit siya!)

* Its not my problem anymore! Its your problem anymore!

Aside from recognizing that we really have to study correct English, we should also master our own language. How will we be able to speak correct English if, in our own language, we ask: Tama ba yong gisabi ko? instead of Tama ba yong sinabi ko?

We still have to learn so many things about English. But we really should start learning our own language.

(Ms. Soco is a student of Mass Communications and International Studies at the Ateneo de Davao, where she also served as president of Samahan, the student government. She was the 2003 Mutya ng Dabaw.)

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