Pubdate: Sat, 24 Dec 2016
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines)
Copyright: 2016 Philippine Daily Inquirer
Author: Recah Trinidad
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Hooded killers have turned the bloody anti-illegal drug war of the Duterte
government into an art form.

That's no exaggeration. One stark evidence is the front-page photograph by
Raffy Lerma -- a sidestreet Filipino Pieta -- that shows a grieving wife,
rain-soaked and in rags, cradling her bloodied freshly murdered husband.

This picture also threatens to be the emblem of the Duterte regime's
deathly drive against illegal drugs.

Last weekend, this grim theme dimmed a bit with the start of the dawn
masses, the Simbang Gabi, that also ushered in the official period of
holiday caroling, a season of good tidings.

There was pure innocent gladness among loitering kids around our humble
neighborhood by the Pasig with children trying to outdo one another
singing out loud for loose change.

The happy restiveness would rise and ring into a raw and colorful serenade
by bunches of sun-smelling earth angels.

There has been a change in the repertoire: The all-time favorite "Ang
Pasko ay Sumapit" has been upstaged by "Isang Pamilya Tayo Ngayong Pasko."

The minimum fare for each household (serenaded) has gone up from one to a
couple of pesos.

There has also been a sad twist. Since four days ago, the carolers have
started to thin out, the angel voices in our neighborhood all but stilled.
The number of overeager carolers dwindled almost overnight.

Maybe, it was pure coincidence, but most of the carolers refused to come
back and do their holiday thing out in the open on the same day it was
reported that "8 of 10 Pinoys fear dying in the drug war."

Then, yesterday, there came a report that at least four suspected
addicts/pushers had been gunned down in two hours in nearby Addition Hills
in Mandaluyong City, cramped and overcrowded scene of successive fires

It was unsure how the news would be treated in our community.

Amy, the dusky and robust trash collection monitor, said the carolers
could just return in full force today, Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, nosy Nick B., a trusted exclusive recorder of dreaded
behind-the-scenes developments, swears that the price of "shabu" has
doubled in many neighborhoods around the city; although the trade of
illegal drugs has barely subsided despite the rash of killings.

All told, it would appear that hooded killers, despite their crude
on-street death theater, have succeeded more in driving away angelic
Christmas carolers, while at the same time failing in their mission to
eradicate the secret marketing of illegal drugs.
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