A war zone in disguise?


A non-government organization in the US described the Philippines as “a war zone in disguise.”

Whether a valid description or not, the NGO claim somehow has a ring of truth in it, some local observers say. The short news runner below the main CNN Philippines coverage did not give enough details on the claim of the NGO—nor its identity.

Watching the daily news on TV and the major Manila dailies is enough to make us cringe and wish we can be evacuated to a safer place. The bloody war on drugs, the series of political killings and terrorist bombings taking the lives of innocent civilians are just some of the grisly headlines that seem to have become the new normal.

These are occurrences not only in the present administration of President Rodrigo Duterte but go all the way back to the previous administrations. It would be a tribute to any president if he or she can stem this tide of lawlessness so the international community can see us as a stable country and not one where anarchy rules.

We can expect political violence to rise in the run-up to the May 13 national and local elections. The Commission on Elections has listed several provinces as election hot spots even as Mindanao is under martial law which was extended for the third time.

We cannot really blame the US-based NGO for getting the impression we are in a state of war, although internally.
Who was it who said: “We have seen the enemy, and it is us.”
But then I would suggest to that US-based NGO to look at America itself. While there are no political killings in the US, President Donald Trump has sown a deep political divide between Democrats and Republicans. Because he wanted to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, he has created an impasse in the passage of national appropriations. The Democrats do not want to allocate $5 billion for a wall that could be better spent for health and social services. Besides, Mexico is a friendly southern neighbor which has no intent to take over the United States. Trump, according to his critics, is fanning the flame of fear that illegal Mexicans are entering the US and taking over jobs meant for Americans.