Shaping opinion on killings
The 112 unresolved killings in a span of six months in Cebu is quite alarming in itself but the deaths of a young couple and the alleged attempted ambush of a barangay official , all from Cebu city, drive home the bloody , brutal nature of this relentless war on drugs launched by the incumbent administration.
Jaime Mata still had a long life ahead of her but it was tragically cut short by her murder along with her rumored boyfriend Stephen del Corro and police had blamed illegal drugs as the cause behind their murders .
But while they are part of the long line of victims that were snuffed out supposedly by illegal drugs, it was the alleged ambush of Barangay Tejero Councilman Jessielou Cadungog that resulted in the death of PO3 Eugene Calumba which cast a spotlight on how this war on illegal drugs is being waged and it is a war soaked in blood.
There is also a certain irony in the Cadungog case as Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, who had been vocal in his supportfor the administration’s war on illegal drugs and even initially engaged in a contest with the President over how many drug personalities wind up getting eliminated , now finds himself wondering out loud about the spate of unresolved killings in Cebu when the war itself reached the doorsteps of one of his political allies .
Regardless of the political angle, the Cadungog incident and the resulting response from the police in defending Calumba from allegations that he was a hired killer showed the ugly side of this war and poses significant ramifications on public perception concerning this government campaign.
It remains to be seen how the public views the spate of killings that occurred in the past few months of which 92 were carried out by unidentified motorcycle riding assailants .
Not a few people hold the opinion , dangerously erroneous as it is , that the more killings of suspected drug personalities are, the more effective government is perceived in terms of its anti-crime campaign.
That perception is being influenced and shaped in social media and other outlets of communication by the administration’s army of trolls and communicators who point to the rising death toll as proof that the government is not slacking off on their jobs regardless of their lack of evidence and case buildup against the suspects.
And when one of these suspects turn out to be innocent and had been summarily executed in front of witness or as in Cadungog’s case uncovered something highly suspicious , then public perception on this war on illegal drugs may unravel and stir up public outrage that will demand accountability from law enforcement and government agencies about their actions .