(Jeffrey) Philippine Flag TatterdIndependence Day doesn’t seem to be, it isn’t the first time he didn’t come. The Supreme Court might or might not be, as he has flip-flopped on statements whether he would respect their judgement on Martial Law. The (formerly) pro-Western orientation of the Philippines I doubt.

Are the dead sacred for him? If their name is President Ferdinand E. Marcos, most probably. If they are among the many dead in the drug war, most probably not (link) even if they are children (link). Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was even flushed down the toilet (link). Like some excrement.

Even Stone Age men, yes even Neanderthals respected the dead and buried them properly. Among enemies in war, it was part of the honor code to bury the enemy properly. Most famous were the honors given to Filipino General Gregorio del Pilar by his enemies in battle, the Texas Rangers.

What is even stranger is that so many Filipinos still seem to be callous (manhid) to all of this. What is still sacred to them, one may ask? Has Filipino culture turned into Wowowee, anything goes? A sense of the sacred makes us human beings. Things beyond daily survival that we think matter.

Respect for the dead who have helped build society we live in. Respect for the nation which should benefit all. Respect for laws which keep our egoisms in check. Respect for women. Respect for commitments to others – partners and allies. Is everything just expediency? What can be trusted?

Irineo B. R. Salazar

München, 12. June 2017