By Pastor Glem Melo
We must all view the pictures and videos, and read the articles in the New York Times’ interactive webpage, “They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals.”
For 35 days, NYT photojournalist Daniel Berehulak documented 57 victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) that have become extremely rampant since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office and launched his “war on drugs.” Berehulak writes,
I HAVE WORKED IN 60 COUNTRIES, covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and spent much of 2014 living inside West Africa’s Ebola zone, a place gripped by fear and death. What I experienced in the Philippines felt like a new level of ruthlessness: police officers’ summarily shooting anyone suspected of dealing or even using drugs, vigilantes’ taking seriously Mr. Duterte’s call to “slaughter them all.”
I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable — on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls’ school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald’s restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living-room sofas. I watched as a woman in red peeked at one of those grisly sites through fingers held over her eyes, at once trying to protect herself and permit herself one last glance at a man killed in the middle of a busy road.
Today, the number of reported EJKs in the Philippines is at the 5,800 mark. A friend and mission adviser wrote to me in an e-mail, “This is extremely frightening. It seems very close to a precipice of anarchy on the one hand or totalitarianism on the other. It is a crucial time to pray.”
Lord Jesus, please stop the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
To President Duterte and those working with him, this is what the word of God says:
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
This is what the LORD Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” (Zechariah 7:9)
CREDITS: All photos are by Daniel Berehulak.