“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Erosion of the moral fiber

ONCE the online trolls are ignored aside together with the “ad nauseam” churning of repetitive brouhaha from professional manufacturers of fake news, some sense are slowly popping up. Observably, it was the killing of Kian de los Santos and the salvaging of teens thereafter that jolted an apathetic crowd from slumber. Also this: the discrepancy between a sachet of shabu that killed every poor chap and the P6.4 B of smuggled illegal drugs that merited political respect and convenience.

National apathy and mass insensitivity was and still is the accusation of a few that seem mindful of the real score. The guilty bystanders cheer and clap whenever the national leadership babbles about killings and more killings—or attacks people and institutions in gutter language and utter vulgarity. Conjectures, half-truths and lies are hardly distinguishable now from the truth. The antithesis, the enemy or the non-conformist have been summarily and discriminately tagged “dilawan”. Initially, it damns consciences, and then numbs the senses but becomes normal in the long haul. Seemingly gone are the days of urbanity, sense of the truth and the sacred respect for life.

But a growing number of individuals are coming to grips. One netizen for instance posted this of late: “How much deeper do we sink into the depths of depravity? The political circus…the never ending teleserye of Philippine politics… I thought change was coming,,, but instead… I can’t even describe it… the disgust…insults and personal attacks to push aside deep discourse on public issues? …where is the change that I voted for?”

Earlier this month, Manila archbishop, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, wrote his flock what may be the strongest so far of his pastoral statements. This he said, “We cannot allow the destruction of lives to become normal. We cannot govern the nation by killing. We cannot foster a humane and decent Filipino culture by killing. As we denounce as inhuman and un-Christian an act willfully intended and planned to inflict harm or death on a human person, we call on those who harm or kill others to listen to their conscience, the voice of God that summons us to do good and avoid evil.”

A few days ago, the Permanent Council of the CBCP came up with this: “We mourn. The nation must beat its breast in a collective admission of guilt for in our silence and in our inaction, in our diffidence and in our hesitation lie our complicity in their deaths! We are appalled by the remorselessness by which even the young are executed. The relentless and bloody campaign against drugs that shows no sign of abating impels us your bishops to declare: In the name of God, stop the killings!”

The victims for this pervading madness are many. But worse are the children who are waking up to gradual erosion of the very moral fiber that this Christian country painstakingly built through the sweat and blood of heroes and role-models whose lives inspired the upliftment of the human spirit—unlike the gross destruction and hatred prevalent today.

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