In the past years, a Catholic seminary located near EDSA, Guadalupe in the heart of Makati, Philippines had a poster saying “VII. Huwag kang magnakaw.” which refers to the seventh commandment in a tablet claimed by Moses to have been written by his god. In English, it means “VII. Thou shalt not steal”. We all know that the Philippines, being a 3rd world country, is among the world’s most corrupt country — Jan 2017: PH still among world’s most corrupt countries: Transparency International Index. By having this poster seen by many, the Catholic leaders were hoping to make “corrupt politicians and government employees” alike to change their ways and be more prudent in doing government business. In those years, the Filipinos were one with what the Catholic leaders was advocating.
This year, the same Catholic seminary had changed their poster which now says “V. Huwag kang papatay.” which means “V. Thou shalt not kill.” It is quite obvious why the seminary have this poster nowadays. The Catholic leaders in the Philippines, namely the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has continuously criticized the Duterte administration over the apparent disregard of human rights because of the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJK) that had already resulted to about 8,000 deaths brought about by the war on drugs since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016 – – CBCP: Pastoral Statement on the Extra-Judicial Killings. The message is quite clear and of course, the Duterte administration lambasted the Catholic leaders. CBCP is now at the receiving end of social media bashes mostly by the avid supporters of the country’s populist leader. This time, the Filipinos are completely divided about this “EJK/human rights concern” on top of the worsening political polarization – – the avid supporters of Duterte crying for more bloodbath rationalizing the innocent deaths as just “collateral damage for the good of the many” while the anti-Duterte groups are rallying to protect the rights of every citizens in the country.