Saturday, December 11, 2004


The Filipino culture—not to mention its Christian elements—hold certain basic truths that are required by civilized community living and which are necessary for sound social interaction. These dynamic realities are in the order of nature. Hence, without them, human nature itself would make it practically impossible to make people live together. In their absence, there could be no peaceful community, much less intact families.

To name a few of these natural mandatory ingredients in the making and bonding of human communities, the following can be mentioned: honesty and truthfulness, commitment and fidelity. That is why at the bottom of domestic conflicts, national dissents up to world tensions, one cannot but ultimately find deceit, lies, disavowal and/or betrayal as their common underlying causal factors.

Foremost of these natural imperative truths is the sacredness of human life from the moment of conception to its final moment in the here and now. This truth is so fundamental that without it, everything good and everything bad would be altogether irrelevant.

The danger threatening the said premier truth is the gradual numbness descending upon Filipinos in the appreciation of and respect for life by their witnessing of deliberate killings no less than by the state itself. This is the markedly adverse implication of death penalty. Repeated public ministrations of death even to proven criminals gradually desensitize people to the intrinsic value and meaning of life as the most precious among human assets.

This is exactly the effect of the now calendared death penalties. Unless these publicly scheduled executions are cancelled, the killing of people could become as a matter of course to the citizenry—with no fear, no reserve, no remorse.

This is social disaster in the making. Indifference to human life is infallibly followed by depreciation of human rights, which in turn is followed by mayhem.

14 June 1999