Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan wondered what happened to the Filipino people who changed their mind from rallying in opposing Mary Jane Veloso’ execution in Indonesia to saying that local drug pushers are not humans and deserve to die.
Pangilinan, in a Facebook post, aptly summarized how the Filipinos reacted to both situations that showed the ugly side of the illegal drug trade and led to the victimization of the poor Veloso and the similarly poor drug users and pushers.
He first recalled how we all prayed for a stay in Veloso’s execution in 2015.
“When Mary Jane Veloso was to be executed in April 2015 after being convicted in Indonesia for bringing in 2.6 kilos of heroin, the entire country rallied behind her and vigorously opposed her execution. The Filipino people saw her as a victim of international drug syndicates preying on her poverty and luring her with the promises of money she desperately needed,” Pangilinan wrote.
He then showed the Filipinos’ current attitude towards fellow Filipinos suspected of peddling drugs.
“Today, we now see over 2000 drug peddlers/addicts being killed (over 1000 by unknown assailants/vigilantes/presumably drug syndicate related and close to 1000 in police operations), many in broad daylight, the vast majority of whom are poor and destitute. Many of them have likewise been lured into becoming couriers and peddlers because of their poverty and the promise of money by drug syndicates many of which are run by corrupt policemen and corrupt politicians,” he added.
Pangilinan then compared what appeared to be a swift turnaround in the people’s opinions in a span of a year.
“In April 2015, we saw Mary Jane Veloso as a victim who was taken advantage of and exploited and thus undeserving of death. Today, we see the local peddlers and couriers who, like Mary Jane are impoverished, as criminals who are less than human and who deserve to be put to death,” he said.
“What happened to us?” Pangilinan added.
Indeed, what happened to us? The senator urged everyone who is wondering about the same thing to share his thoughts on the matter.
As of writing, Pangilinan’s post has been shared 1,866 times and liked 3,000 times since it was posted on September 4.