True, we must not “shoot” (so to speak) the messenger. But we might consider doing it if the messenger wrote the message; and yet refuses to show how he arrived at its thus far baseless conclusion.
So it is with the message of Amnesty International, which by the way condemned Cory Aquino after she took office by toppling a murdering dictatorship against which Amnesty International never proposed taking international action. An army unit, suffering withdrawal symptoms from the brutal Marcos regime, raked a hamlet with automatic fire and cut a family to pieces. This was exposed by a Cory’s crusader, Mrs. Bea Zobel, who took in the only survivor of the massacre: a baby minus a hand shot off with an Armalite.
The AI message condemns the war on drugs with the same vehemence that it has condemned genocide. But that category does not apply here. Genocide is committed for reasons of race and faith. It is not genocide if we are talking about a career choice to be a pusher.
I myself think the killings in the war on drugs are not working, yet they threaten to bog us dosn in a mixed quagmire of law and order and plain crime by law enforcers.
AI makes the additional charge that the government is using government funds to reward every killing. Nothing in the budget shows this. Indeed, no proof is shown with regard to any of the other charges—other than the fact that there are plenty of cadavers. Though how many no one has figured out.
Like Human Rights Watch and the High Commission on Human Rights before it, AI’s intent is to conclude that government’s guilt of gross violations of human rights speaks for itself without need of proof. And to reverse engineer from that conclusion to any facts that might appear to substantiate it. That is unacceptable.
That many have been killed no one can deny. That the war on drugs is not working is shown by the continuation of the killings; while the sudden stoppage of the killings, upon the suspension of the war, might show a connection between the killings and the responsibility for them. So said leading human rights expert, Sen. Ping Lacson.
But to call for an International Criminal Court indictment at this time shows the irresponsibility of a messenger who wrote his own message and therefore cannot claim the status of messenger. It is a “threatener” of government. An ICC indictment at this stage will be answered in the Russian manner—by the withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC. That will give government the total freedom, without accountability, to do anything it chooses to its citizens. What then is to be done?
Show proof of the accusations by demonstrating how proof was acquired, in a manner verifiable by the accused.