Criminals have no place in the city, except in jails, detention centers, and God forbid, in funeral parlors, says Davao City’s The Punisher as he took his oath at the city hall on June 30. Stop or leave. If you can’t or will not, you will not survive. You can leave either vertically or horizontally, he furthers. Indeed days later, the war against criminals in the Philippines’s largest city commenced.
Whether you’re a fan of Batman or not, I presume everyone has reservations for vigilante justice, to say the least. Ideally, rule of law and due process should be favored over vigilantism. However, when justice in a country such as the Philippines move at a glacial pace and prosecutors in the country aren’t exactly role models, is vigilante justice justified? I guess that topic would call for a separate post. But one thing’s certain, these desperate measures illustrate the condition of the country’s judicial system and its failure to deliver on justice swiftly and honestly.
Also, not only is vigilantism against human rights, it fails to address the very root cause of the problem as well, which is the lack of economic opportunities for citizens to provide for their needs and maintain their survival. If there are enough quality jobs for citizens in the country, then there would be no reason for them to resort to crime and violence. So instead of spending millions on arming death squads for a short-term solution, wouldn’t it be better if these funds will be used on creating jobs for the unemployed?
Justice isn’t vengeance. Vengeance isn’t justice. But for as long as our justice system fails us, there will be people who will take law into their own hands.