Davao Bombing: Divide or Unite?

I could not help myself from ranting on my Facebook page yesterday about the many insensitive comments regarding the terrorist attack in my hometown, Davao City.

It was evening in the Philippines and afternoon here in Spain. I was online and witnessed the breaking news and development of the terrible situation with many dead and wounded. Very soon, someone in my social circle posted criticism about the inefficiency of the new city administration and blamed them for the lack of security in a very disrespectful way.

After a while, my news feeds were burning with news of mockery and blame games. At least, some of them apologized after being refuted, but most of them cavil and used the tragedy in a very immature way. Do they think they are cool, glamorous and smart? It was disheartening to read posts saying that victims at the night market were poor anyway; they were unlucky enough to be on the wrong spot and it was good that it happened in a market with poor people and not in a Mall. Can you imagine?

A crisis situation takes out both the best and the worst in people. It’s sad to witness the mindless immaturity that often follows a tragedy. But also heart-warming to see how the majority help and comfort each other.

Davao has been regarded as one of the safest cities in the world for many years. But due to the new President Duterte’s determination of making the Philippines into a more just society by fighting crime, corruption and terrorism, more threats can come. It’s ironic, but understandable as Duterte, who was the former Mayor of Davao also has mighty enemies. Since he is the one responsible for Davao’s success, it is almost expected that the terrorists will hit where it would hurt the most.

The situation can easily escalate. Duterte has started a process that can be very painful and there will likely be more innocent victims. But like the 91% of the Filipino people, I feel that I can trust him. If nothing is done now, and carried out by the power of a man like President Duterte, my country will sink deeper into the swamp of drugs, crime and corruption. The terrorists will gain grounds and a nation with great resources will become a banana republic.

It’s sad that the Western media have not yet discovered the social and pragmatic profile of our president instead they are focusing on his rough statements and street smart ways of governing. But I know this will change when the result of fixing the nation speaks for itself. We should all support the bold attempt to bring peace and prosperity to our country and let the terrible terrorist attack unite us instead of mocking the Davaoeños and blaming the President on social media.

2 thoughts on “Davao Bombing: Divide or Unite?

  1. My wife is from Manila so I am not a complete outsider, I am also a former Senior Detective, London Metropolitan Police.

    With my background I am 100% in favour of serous enforcement of the law, however, to permit and even to encourage the indiscriminate killing of people who are suspected of crime, and even worse to use that as an excuse to settle personal vendettas is a route to disaster and embarrassing to law abiding citizens.

    I have seen Rodrigo Duterte on TV boasting that he has killed people he thinks were committing crime. That makes him as bad as any dictator there has ever been. He should be arrested and brought before a court.

    Pass constructive legislation to combat illegal activities, with the strongest punishments, even maybe the death penalty, upon conviction and implement those laws legally and enthusiastically. That is bringing suspects before a property constituted court and trying them property.

    Thank goodness in most places in the world burning witched and torturing people because some one thinks they are evil no longer exists.

    • Thanks for your good reply. I agree with you, and I wish that the Philippines as soon as possible will set a course towards the standards that you are referring to. But the situation in my country is complex and it’s a sad fact that many of our politicians are hiding their greed and corruption behind the ideals you are used to from London. For Duterte, the welfare of his people is his mantra and he has a social profile that you haven’t seen in most of the western world for decades. Your leaders are bombing and destroying nations sheltered by noble motives so the situation is more than black and white. Tony Blair and George Bush for example should be brought to court long before Duterte, but of course he also has to be held responsible if he breaks the law. But are you so sure that he is doing it?

      As a lawyer, I think he is able to maneuver wisely on the right side. His undiplomatic behavior is destroying a lot for him internationally, but it has a clear domestic purpose. Don’t judge him for what he is saying, judge him for what he is doing. As a former detective, you know very well that what seems to be the truth often is wrong. Investigate more and you will learn a lot about our culture and mentality 🙂

      My husband is a Norwegian and he has a view on this issue more in tune with you. Two years ago, he wrote an article here in Mindanao Advice, The Shadow of an Eagle, and I have also made an interview with him on his thoughts about our President: What Kind of Mad Man Has Become President in the Philippines? I hope these articles will nuance the picture a little. All the best!

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