On “Tokhang”, Digong and the ordinary Filipinos

Posted: August 19, 2017 in Random
Tags: , , ,

On “Tokhang”, Digong and the ordinary Filipinos


DISCLAIMER : This is a heavily opinionated blog entry. Some contents might trigger you, but you should not take everything you read here as absolute facts, but you can use them as basis for your critical thinking about the goings-on in our country right now. And if you have anything to say about any of those, I won’t suppress your right and freedom of expression. Or better yet, have it done on your own blog. Includes graphic images and languages.


A few months ago, I witnessed a dead body lying in front of our barangay chapel. It was noontime, when the neighborhood heard a couple of “BLAMs”… I was inside the house and ignored it, thinking it was only some construction workers working nearby. And then four more successive loud bangs were heard, and in that moment the sequence of noise became familiar to my ears. A few minutes after, there were already commotions in the streets, some neighbors shouting that a tricycle driver/barker was gunned down by men riding in tandem. I walked out the hosue, and near to the shooting incident, and there I saw him. The guy was familiar as I used to ride his trike going to and away from home regularly. The blood from his head shot already flowing down the street, trailing the line of asphalt for a few more meters. A splatter of meat and grey matter flew just a few inches from his lifeless body.

Neighbors were saying “dinaanan sya ng motor, bumalik. ‘Pag balik pinutukan sya sa ulo. Umandar na yung motor pero bumalik ulit… tapos binira pa sya ng apat.”


tokhang 2

If you would pan the cameraphone I was holding when I took the photo, you’d see that this barker was gunned down in front of the barangay chapel and the makeshift trike terminals

A few more days after that, within a span of two weeks, within the vicinity of about three barangays, around four to five individuals fell from the ‘Tokhang’. All were alleged by the neighbors as pushers. Mind you, the neighbors know. They just don’t show. The reasons are too obvious to discuss already.


**Photo not mine. Credits to the unknown owner. A victim of riding in tandem shootout. The CCTV footage of this incident has been circulating in all social media platforms, and online feeds from the media.

I told myself, my barangay and the nearby ones are infested with shabu. I used to hear them from our apartment door, whispering “ihanap mo ko. Crystal clear.” or “pre may diamond na ba?” You get to recognize what these codes mean when you see the people who speak of them. Not to be very judgy, but it is not impossible for you to think that they are talking about the “transactions”.

So, I told myself, the rounds of Tokhang was just right to scare them away. And they did get scared, a few months after that and the people with “transactions” are nowhere to be found.

I used to laud the police force for their relentless fight against drugs. I kept on justifying that all the reported casualties were done in line of duty and never from abuse of power. I was standing for the fact that the reported 3000+ cases of drug related casualties are only a very small percentage of the success of the campaign against illegal drugs. I had high hopes that the PNP’s image would finally change, and that the people are going to trust them again, helping to make the streets safer, the citizens more secure. But the relentless fight against drugs, would have been relentlessly successful if not hurdled by the scalawags in uniform.

And then a lot more reports on TV surfaced. I easily dismissed them because from my own judgment, the police were following their orders and had the right to shoot if it meant they had to defend their lives. For months I have dismissed those accusations of them doing it intentionally. But I did not dismiss the probability that vigilante’s or bad cops in plain clothes are starting to kill their “familiars”  – anyone who would rat them out. Criminals killing each other. Saved us the effort of eliminating them. That’s what you get when you watch too much Narcos, I guess.

I have friends in the police force, too, who are upset by the fact that they are being labeled as bad cops. I had a colleague back in college who vented out his frustrations on Facebook, saying that the policemen who are knocking on these suspect’s doors should not just have body cameras worn, but more importantly, they should also wear bulletproof vests. So, you also cannot deny the fact that there are still many policemen who are performing their duties with honor and dignity. Hah. He even kid about sending a priest as the front man to knock on the doors of the suspected individuals who are involved in drugs, and be the first to catch the bullets fired at the policemen should they retaliate.

Kian’s death is a turning point, however.  *edited/updated, Aug20, 1:23PM.* The CCTV footage shown as if no one but the police was not lying. The witnesses would not be speaking as if they were paid to do it. They seem to be telling the truth. And there are a few angles of the story about it was a different individual who was collared by the policemen from the individual that was Kian. And if proven that the police men who did this to him really executed him Tokhang style, then they better get rid of these cops for good.

And with just that, the War On Drugs failed. The propaganda against it won. Big Time. This time there was no denying that the policemen were really doing the dirty deed. Not just because they were on a call of duty, but for some reason that we still do not know, they just murdered an innocent teenager.

Some people tell me that just because they hate EJKs doesn’t mean that they are pro-crimes and pro-drugs. That people who think that way are narrow minded.  Personally, I could not care less of their opinions. I find it very hypocritical. I don’t know if it’s their too much hate for Digong that they criticize every controversial move in a heartbeat, posting on their social media walls about how EJKS have terrorized the nation – but never for a second have anything about corruption nor remorse on the the ill effects of drugs. The innocent lives of the victims taken. The hopes of a better life of a drug user gone. Talking about double standards.

Do not get me wrong. I hate killings, too. I am not a bloodthirsty sonofagun. I couldn’t even stare at the ‘tokhang’ victim’s body long enough to take a good picture of it.  But I have in me so much disdain with anyone involved in drugs. Still, regardless of that, when an ideal that causes too much trouble and loss of life, there is a right time to let go of it.

So, for now, let’s just all at the same time hate drugs and EJK. Deal? Good.


Law 45 of the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene states :

“Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit.  Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt.  If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things.  If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.”

On a side note, Duterte now becomes a victim of circumstances, as much as the innocent lives that have fallen in the hands of the policemen who pulled the trigger, while covering up their deed as part of the official duty when they put in the logs in the incident report the word “nanlaban”, when that is not what really might have happened. Maybe it’s his own doing. Maybe it’s his oppositions’. But what is clear is that he has put too much faith in the police force that they are able to deliver the promise of change. But it seems that every drop of blood brings us a step back and away from that goal. What’s worse is, the opposition seem to just let it be, and make a bigger mess out of something that could have been easily resolved. It seems to me that the formula he used in Davao could not be applied to the entire country.


The answer is very obvious. If you are a fan of old Pinoy action movies, you would get the traditional kontrabida druglords, with gangsters having connections with the police, and a solo protagonist like Ricardo Dalisay. Back in the day, criminal personalities like Baby Ama, Asiong Salonga were glorified. So, it is not impossible to think that some policemen may be behind the killings. This is where the movie makers get their inspiration from. But I strongly believe these killings were not committed solely because they were given a directive. Come on, guys. You are better than that.

Good intentions are overshadowed by the means that are employed to achieve it. Couple it with political adversity, with politicians waiting like vultures, seeking proactively for the opportunity when the President, or the administration makes a mistake that they can magnify, any dreams and efforts of bringing goodness to the country can be wiped out just like that.



*If you are a Filipino and you have no idea about any of this, then I don’t know where you’ve been living all your life.

The Filipinos already know that the our men in uniform are not at all saints. Some are overly nice, but some of them are as evil as what you can imagine in movies. Those who enforce the law seem to be the ones to first violate it and bask themselves under the sun like crocodiles with impunity.

The Filipinos already know that our politicians are not at all the ideal public servants that we voted them for. We have decades and decades of history of bad politics and governance. Some even much more evil than the policemen under their wing. They have the luxury of a turncoat, ready to jump to the other boat when the one that they are on sinks, dropping names and allies, and even raising their hands in prayer to show how saint-like they are in a heartbeat, as if they have not stolen a single centavo from the people. All that to save their political dynasty. Not just a lifetime career, but they need to expand their clout so that the next generation in their families would have the same niche and influence of power. And, oh, they are really taking this very seriously.

The Filipinos already know that some members of our media are not at all fair and just. Some groups are influenced, if not funded, by the powerful businessmen, and even politicians, to help them cover up their dirty deeds. Some are just too good in shaping the people’s minds, conditioning them of what they think should be right, even if it is already obvious that some news articles are written in all lies. All to protect the interest of the few – which are the powerful ones. A few favors and whispers from here and there, and you could hear and read from the news about how dark the days to come will be like. That is how they like to picture our country’s future to be.

The Filipinos already know that Duterte is not at all a good man. And the 16 million are not that stupid to not know that. But then again, who among our finest politicians are clean? The reason why they voted for him is because he was the guy whom they think would bring us closer to that change – away from corruption, from drugs, from abuse of power. He was the only one with the will power and who is seemingly the guy who would not sell himself to corruption. He is old, but still able. So what more could stealing a few millions would do in the remaining years in his life?  When I cast my vote in May 2016, I had problems in my mind about my country that I wanted solved. And I am still holding on to that hope.

As far as wrongdoing goes, we all have our different threshold. Mine may just be greater than yours, as I have first-hand experience of living in a community of drug dependents. I used to live as a kid in tough streets when some who oppose the drug war right now might have been living from silver spoons when they were young, safe in their haven. No need to worry about the daily commute because they may be riding a cab or being driven by their parents or chauffeurs going to school. Back in the day, you would see drug patrons hiding their ‘goods’ in between the concrete windows of your homes when cops arrive and check back on it a few moments after. I remember one time seeing a roll of joint and a sachet of white crystals stuck in between the hollow blocks of our outer walls but it never bothered my young mind as to what they were. Me and my friends used to peep on a hole of a well-covered house, where a shabu session was ongoing.

Last year, I saw a CCTV footage of my brother’s face being broken by a teen age drug-user who cheap shot him out in the open one midnight in Martinez Street, Mandaluyong – in Addition Hills, a barangay with the biggest number of voters, also the poorest, and probably the most drug infested area in the city. Hist face turned a la Margarito when he fought Pacquiao. And when we were in the police station when the 17 year old got apprehended, the mom came, begging us for mercy. I swear to God, I wanted to jump him and land a sweet punch to his jaw and break it. At age 19, a kid can do much damage already

The Filipinos already know that our country is the US’ lapdog in Asia for decades. We also know that China has been exploiting our resources, swindling us with their businesses and false economic promises even from decades back. And we all know that the US and China are currently  having a power struggle, and they decided to make the West Philippine Sea their playground. The US has been fucking us from the back, and yet, we get mad when another country does the same – as if one is exclusively better than the other. When did our colonial mentality wane anyway?

And when Duterte decides to swing the pendulum of power to the other side, everyone just went gaga over it. Funny and pathetic Filipinos ignorant of the current global situation. We do not own the stage, and we are merely their pawns and yet we act as if we are at the center of their attention. It’s about China dominating the global economic and arms race, and US is rushing to wage the Third World War to reset the playing field in the hopes of bringing everybody back to stone age so that they can start the race again. Face it, people. They’re more fucked up than you think.

Duterte must be thinking, “binababoy na rin naman nila tayo, edi pakinabangan na natin pareho.” And it is evident that the US and the Western powers are trying to pull us back to their influence, but the PH does not budge, and continues its now friendly affairs with the Asian neighbors. When US realized that they can’t sway the man back, you then get to hear about Maute-ISIS, with ISIS being allegedly funded by the US,  infiltrating the country and wreaking havoc down south. What’s funny is that Duterte’s oppositions seem to side the Maute, telling the Filipinos that it is a violation of their rights to assault them and declare Martial Law in the entire Mindanao island. 60 days after the declaration and I have not heard news about the military being abusive like how Makoy’s were during his own original version of the 1081. The opposition seem to be leveraging on necropolitics just to topple the Duterte administration down. You see kids from Catholic schools holding plackards showing words like “NO TO MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO” as if their young minds can already ponder those.  I grew up living in that kind of propaganda, and it is just a matter of time that these kids would grow up and discover that the real Philippine history isn’t how it was written in the textbooks.

We already know all of these even before this administration even began its term in the public service. And yet, majority of the Filipinos, who seem to hate the 16 million who voted in favor of the administration, blame all the errors in the system to just one man, who has served in just about over a year as President. AS if he was the one who shaped the wings of the TRAPOs, who sharpened the fangs of the policemen, who equipped the media with words that hinder us from seeing the truth.

The Filipinos sought for change. And most who voted for him even accepted that the fate of the Philippines at least in the next 6 years will be bloody – if that is what is needed to clear the streets of crimes brought by illegal drugs, of poverty, of unemployment. The 16 million who back him up isn’t just enough to brace him and his administration of the incessant waves coming from the opposition. Maybe we were wrong to have believed that promise, but you cannot take it away from us that we hoped for what’s best for the country. This collective decision in choosing who should lead us, as mandated by the Constitution was brought about by our experiences about how the country have been, at least for the past three decades after the EDSA 1.

All the opposition let us  see are the EJKs, the malpractices in various government agencies, the stench of corruption from the old system being unearthed and it’s all blamed on the guy in the seat of power. Okay, I give you Mocha Uson because she is an immoral bitch. You guys can have her.

Suddenly, all the blame funnels down to him. It makes me believe that Pinoys really have a short attention span. Suddenly, we have forgotten about #SAF44, about the Pork Barrel, the horrible traffic in EDSA and the MRT that’s nearing a flatline, about graft and corruption, the “laglag bala” scandal, among others that are just too much to mention. As if the ones that came before him had not done any blunder in their term.

All of a sudden, people forgot about this documentary, created even before Duterte stepped in:

And on top of it all. We Filipinos lack discipline. We are unworthy of having a good government. I wish Duterte would just resign only to prove that the alternative will not do any better. And of course, I love to be proven wrong on that part. But then again, no matter who you put there inside the Palace to lead us, if we Filipinos go on in doing the same shit, we still end up eating the same shit. So there. We’re fucked, aren’t we?


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