Cardboard /ˈkärdbôrd/
: made up of cardboard
: not acting or seeming real
: having an obviously false or fake quality

News Flash: The summary/extrajudicial killings have gone rampant since even before the start of the Duterte Administration in the Philippines. From May 10 to July 12, bodies have been counted for up to 339. According to the news, there are 136 counts of summary murder recorded within the first 13 days of the new administration. How many would you say if we count until 6 years within the newly elected Philippine President’s tenure of office?
President Duterte of the Philippines is dubbed as the “Punisher” due to his strict policies imposed on his own municipality – Davao City. He constantly vowed to eradicate drug kingpins, pushers and manufacturers throughout the entire land. Although his straightforward, unorthodox, and stern administrative campaign against illegal drugs is commended by most Filipino people and even the cause of his electoral victory; but when have we agreed that his unofficial title be used by the public authorities and vigilantes alike as a license to brutally and inhumanely purge the country?
It seems that the Hollywood movie “The Purge” has come to a reality when Filipinos elected a punishment to criminals and themselves. High over the news 10 dead bodies are bagged each day; “suspected” citizens who are allegedly violating the law is summarily murdered and, in vigilante’s style, branded by cardboard and blood.
Summary killing is an erroneous embodiment of Justice. As the culprits brand their victims through using marked cardboard, they would somehow show a justification that what they have done is a partake in keeping peace in the society, that they have a sworn votive, that they kill so that others could live in tranquility and fair shake; needless to say that it seems to be only a part of their vindictive stratagem or a motive to loosen up the belts with hopes that their connection, possibly illegal, to the victim they killed will be totally erased or, in the most fiendish conjecture, just a random killing shenanigan to quench their malign compulsions.
I, myself, have witnessed an actual summary/extrajudicial assassination on a broad daylight amidst the public. My naked eye saw the pandemonium it created not to the one which is being murdered but to the innocent bystanders who innocuously passes and woken up abruptly by a sudden bolt of carnage. Who knows what the victim have done to be shot like an animal on the street? It could be any reason; it could be petty or grievous. If the society turns that way, it would be a massacre. No essence of Justice, just pure blood lust and desecration of the Human Rights. It can be a society of Lawlessness, Chaos, or Anarchy. That makes our Republic be in peril because hooligans put the law on their hands and choose to kill based on personal vendetta.
It could be anyone; your father, mother, brother, sister or any of your kin can be a victim of injustice on the hands of whoever is willing and capable. When was the time we started to lose our humanity? When was the time we started not to care? We are all created equal under the Law, why is then that there are those who are treated to be lesser or more?
On this plight, nearly anyone and everyone should be afraid of their life (unless they can afford guns or a private army to safeguard them). Whatever they can, they can be branded on any crime they have performed or not. Just because they can they do, it is absolutely barbaric.
Before the fire goes wild, it is a duty of every citizen to have their share. It is your right, it is your children’s right, and it is the right of all. # All Lives Matter
After all, the right to life is the most fundamental human right.
“Extrajudicial or summary killing is homicide. Carried out premeditatedly and in conspiracy with other public authorities, it becomes mass murder, which, if left unabated and unchecked, can escalate into a crime against humanity under international law.”
– Sen. Leila De Lima on the Senate Resolution 9*
The principal irony is that it appears to be right, that they look like they are sympathizing to the whims of the Court of the Law, but itself unlawful. In the 1987 Constitution, Article 3, the First Section supplies every citizen the right to due process – that each and every one is imbued with the right to be heard before condemnation which proceeds upon inquiry and be rendered judgement only after trial.
Even Batman, whose parents also have been victims of criminality, can push Justice forward without using guns and killing no criminal or civilian in the process and chooses NOT to put the law on his hands or even look for his parents’ killers. What is your excuse?
“Every human being has the inherent right to life. The right shall be protected by law. ”
-International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights*

For those who support that “the end will rightly justify the means”, that summary extrajudicial murders are fair because it lessens the number of criminals with ease and swift in correlation to peace and justice, you have stumbled upon a mistake. Those who are already lifeless because they are by now dispatched have no more chance to defend and answer to the accusations thumped against them. Furthermore, if they know something else that would lead to the capture of significant rapacious and felonious citizen it would be no longer attainable which will again impede the progress in ending illegal drug circulation. In this case, those who appeared to be the most accountable and guilty are still allowed to mix with the guiltless populace with their veneer covering the perils they have created and criminality they have committed. In our time, there are still qualms whether we are doing, supporting and believing the admirable or the deplorable, on choosing between whether we should play the role of the blameless victim or the devious villain, and in our worry sometimes we may convince ourselves that it is better to be the killer than the killed or the hunter than the hunted so we choose to go out and with convictions we express what we think is right no matter how bad the means are.

For those who are, in truth, guilty but savagely slain have been given the chance to be spared from the agony of cross-examination, internal contemplation of the evils they have done, shame when looking face to face to their weeping relatives and non-relatives alike, and court room verdict anxiety; an illusory dungeon of conflagration shaped by the hell they’ve created themselves – a pure psychological torture no one can suffer but themselves within. Death is a disguised mercy for their putrefied souls – mercy and injustice they do not deserve.
This conundrum is not ephemerally significant but will resound throughout up to the following generations with the answer on how we are firm and sincere to our own Laws and Principles we stand as Nation. For those who can raise more awareness stand up without hesitation. Challenge the status quo in dignified and hurtless manner. Let us push the campaign against summary and extrajudicial killings until it reverberates to those who are in the position, until necessary actions have been taken, until there will be no more victims of these butcheries, until we can all enjoy the real Justice our laws have provided, until there will be no more cardboard justice to dispute.
Theme Painting: “Protest” by Curtis James


The #CardboardJustice is brought to us as a catchy and meaningful protest started by Adrienne Onday, which according to Onday inspired by her friend Hope Swann, last July 13, 2016 which she displays a Cardboard marked with “LAHAT TAYO POSIBLENG DRUG PUSHER” along LRT-2 passing to DLSU. Netizens reacted in both negative and positive reviews towards her public stunt. It is later followed by more social media protest against the prevailing summary executions all over the country.

*Senate Resolution 9, authored by Sen. Leila De Lima, aims to question the rampant summary killings by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the assistance of the Law.

*Excerpt taken from Part III, Article 6, Section 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


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