One curious detail explains our kind of EJKs. This detail is assurance that extrajudicial killings over here are not harbingers of martial law or dry runs for sweeping police operations against the civilian population at large. Our EJKs are more like appeals to the survival instinct of the criminal kind. Let me explain.
Our all too visible extrajudicial killings are like dog barks far worse than bites. To be sure, the bites are not trivial—3,000 kills at last count. But the drug menace has been estimated at between 100,000 and 300,000, and again at 1.7 to 3.8 million. Right there we have a ridiculous margin of error but still these are pretty large figures to eliminate, with the best will and way in the world.
And that explains why bodies are turning up prominently in public places. What we see—bodies—and why we see them—reflects a policy of deterrence by sampling. They are not first steps to mass extinction.
A problem that big cannot be shot away. So you turn to sampling. Given the size of the problem only self-restraint will eliminate it. Drug lords, pushers and users must stop of their own accord the dealing and taking of drugs. But this will not come about by reasoned explanation but by brutal example.
Show ‘em the bodies and that will discourage from the drug habit more pushers and users than you can possibly shoot. Drugs befuddle but leave you with just enough sense to know the danger of doing drugs today. When bodies are seen on the streets, wrapped Egyptian fashion, it is a policy of persuasion.
But if you deeply believe that drugs is a people problem like Communism—which is a problem of communists, then you adopt the Cold War program, not of open extra-legal executions, but disappearances as practiced in Chile under the Chicago School of Economics, Argentina under the junta, and in our country under the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. Salvaging was so successful that to this day relatives of victims cannot make a case for compensation. No traces of their lost loved ones were left by the Marcos regime.
To end Communism you must put an end to communists. Ditto drugs.
For that purpose, you do not throw the evidence on the streets and provoke moral outrage. Instead you bury it out of sight and induce oblivion.
But once that happens, once EJKs go sub rosa, then the prospect of genocide becomes real. Political assassination becomes irresistible because no accountability is visible. Then the killings extend to everyone and anyone who gets on the wrong side of law enforcers—for criminal, political, or personal reasons.
This is how America made the world safe for America—and the rest of the Free World.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.