LAST August 16, Kian delos Santos’s name was added to the growing list of victims in the Philippine drug war. Because the schoolboy was just as old as us when he was dragged into a dark alley and shot under the false speculation of drug possession, we are profoundly angered and saddened. To see his youthfulness and potential in life get cut short with the mere pull of a trigger prompted a grief that has swept the nation -- especially us, its youth, who could have easily known him as a friend, brother, or cousin.
In this abusive society, it is not enough to be an idle citizen who does not contribute any violence to the current rise of brutality. Rather, we must actively stand against these abusive norms and counteract the injustice by refusing to remain silent.
We, the privileged, who are not victimized by the war on drugs, are no less responsible for the atrocities that have deemed it necessary to claim the life of Kian than the very policemen who slaughtered him. When their voices are silenced by guns in the night, our voices will reach into hearts and push for change, even when our words are hoarse and our fists clenched. Our voices must advocate for rehabilitation as a method to combat the rampant drug addiction. Our voices must demand due process to the victims massacred by the government and its recklessness. Our voices must stop the killings. (Marina Mata, Simone Yatco, Jacinta Pagdanganan, Julia Gutay, and Juliane Ona)