I was reading the papers (online, of course) this morning when I found myself seething. My blood boiled so much that I can’t afford to flash a smile to workmates, to the nice lady at the canteen, or even think happy thoughts. “Moved” would not be a good word to articulate exactly what I felt when I read about the massacres at Cabuyao and Calamba. These are not crimes driven by anything at all. Personally, I think even the Devil himself will stop short of lining up innocent lives, just to riddle them with bullets.
To be honest, I am not afraid of guns. I am afraid of things that force a man to take up a gun and shoot without mercy.
And we can’t help but ask, “Why?” The dead, in their final breaths, may have already taken with them the very reasons for their demise. The murderers, with their complete lack of moral fiber, may begrudge us the very reasons for their inexcusable act of slaughter. “Why” is not a question you ask in the event of a murder. You don’t ask murderers questions.
I am reminded of the sickening, unreasonable death of a young man named Cris Mendez. There was no reason for him to die, maybe except that the sorry, pathetic excuses for human beings who held that paddle the moment he died deserve every drop of guilt that drown their consciences at this very moment. That they deserve the “prejudiced” opinions leveled against them. That they should suffer a fate similar to Cris Mendez, only that there is a perfectly legitimate reason for every UP student, UP alumnus, and sympathizer to take a burning two-by-four wrapped in heavy chains, and to flog each and every one of them down to the last inch of their sad, miserable breaths.
Yet guns are a different story. Just what kind of sick, miserable torture does anyone have in mind for those who murdered those bank personnel at Cabuyao, for those who shot that family – and the children – at Calamba? Should we build a gallows, should we fashion nooses out of rusty old barbed wire, should we hang them by their necks while we let loose a million red ants on their bodies before we annihilate them with a grenade stuck straight up their rectums? Even that’s not good enough.
Eighteen people – ten from Cabuyao, eight from Calamba – are dead. Even the sickest, most disgusting act of torture that employs a rusty nailcutter, a used toothpick, and the lid of a freshly-opened can of sardines will not bring their lives back.
It is that which these murderers should be most fearful of: not only have they denied their victims their lives, they have duped us all of justice.
Which is why “twistedness” is the order of the day, why I seek vendetta. Why today I read “justice” to be nothing more than a synonym for “retribution,” a synonym for “revenge.” And if you are one of those people who are “not affected,” if again you bank on your apathy, you – unlike the victims, unlike the murderers – deserve to die.
But then again, like almost everyone else, there is nothing I can do. Which makes it all the more frustrating. Which makes it all the more irritating. Which makes it all the more insulting…
Which makes it all the more disgusting.
Disgust. Now that’s the word I’m looking for.