OPINION: Autopsy of an autopsy

Teddy Locsin Jr.

Posted at Sep 20 2016 12:57 AM

The roots of extrajudicial violence in the Philippines are the people who object to extrajudicial violence in the Philippines; which is to say the ex-officials of the previous regime (whose inanity, inactivity, and incompetence created the situation that only extrajudicial violence can correct.) 

Extrajudicial violence, Amanda Taub writes in the New York Times, will reach the point where it will be unstoppable. Random killing tends to take on a life of its own. This is the foundation of fascism and the meaning of Franco’s battlecry, “Long live death! Or Viva la muerta. Death is fascinating. We are all drawn to it.

Amanda says that clinical studies of drug-ridden societies show that, when lawlessness will not stop, extrajudicial violence against it will not stop either. The latter feeds on the former, and soon becomes itself unstoppable. 

This is true when law and order elements, tasked to stop lawlessness, are incompetent and corrupt or protective instead of relentless against lawless elements, like the previous regime was.

The public becomes grateful for any enforcement sufficiently lethal to make a deep dent or cuts deep enough into lawlessness to carve a fat slice out of it. 

This is true even if the elements used to achieve those ends are lawless; which is to say law and order elements that were remiss in their duty, and even complicit with criminals. So that even extrajudicial killings by cops getting rid of witnesses is seen as still a good thing. The only good Injun is a dead Injun. That is why at the funeral of a dead cop people still say another one down. 

In short, anything that gets the job done, so long as the job gets done. 
    
I have said that the solution to a bad people problem is getting rid of bad people. Rehabilitation won’t do it. Death is the final solution.
    
But isn’t that senseless? 
    
One day the only lawless elements remaining will be lawless security forces, which will prey on the society that tolerated their lawlessness. 
    
My answer to that is: maybe yes, more likely no. Security forces know one thing. It is one thing to kill and another thing to govern. Greg Honasan repeatedly recalls, “I have found myself in the Palace 3 times—armed to the teeth—and I never know what to do when O am there.” 
    
Amanda Taub quotes Mexican professor Gema Santamaria as saying, “rule of law does not sell well.” 
    
Gema is wrong. 
    
Only rule of law in failed states does not sell well because it is not real rule of law. It is a cover-up for incompetence, like the Luneta Hostage Crisis and Mamasapano. 
    
Real rule of law sells—in the United States, Singapore, Japan, China, the UK, and other successful states. Rule of law there works better than extrajudicial violence. 
    
It is cold, systematic, and the work is done clean. Think FBI, Secret Service, DEA and Alcohol Tobacco Firearms. They roll up hundreds even thousands of suspects yet never break rules of engagement. Miranda rights are always read before throwing away the key to unending solitary confinement.