NO ONE likes to speak ill of the dead. And by no one, I mean no one.
Although I can’t imagine people saying nice things about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.
I guess you just have to draw the line somewhere.
I mean, if the recently departed was responsible for the near total annihilation of Jewry in Europe then maybe a slight slur would be acceptable. Encouraged even.
So, too, if the person was behind the deaths of 15 million either through torture, hunger, deportation and whatnot.
But who am I kidding? Those kinds of people no longer exist today. I mean, they don’t. Don’t they?
Reigns of death and terror are so... ‘90s. I doubt millennials even have an inkling of what happened in Rwanda or in Srebrenica. Not that I blame them. They weren’t born yet.
People want to move on, especially after such traumatic events. They want to forget, especially those who had a direct hand in the atrocities. Some are too embarrassed or ashamed because they did not do anything to prevent or stop the killings.
What about the Rohingyas of Myanmar? Wasn’t that just three years ago? But wait. Isn’t our Southeast Asian neighbor ruled by that adorable Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi? Then that doesn’t count, right?
I know. You’re all probably thinking that I am digressing. But I am not.
How shall I put it? I will be talking about someone I don’t know personally. That person was gunned down over the weekend outside his store by still unidentified assailants on a motorcycle.
The victim was an incumbent barangay official, who, in the mayor’s words, was a hard worker who chose to be a frontliner in efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the city.
That makes him a saint in the public eye and me an a**hole with a capital “A” in bold letters for even suggesting that the victim might have had skeletons in his closet.
I wouldn’t have remembered if the police hadn’t brought it up. After all, it has been 20 years. However, back in 2000, I was already an editor at SunStar Cebu and I couldn’t have missed that one particular story.
A wife filing a complaint against a fiscal for having an affair with her husband; the husband and fiscal denying any wrongdoing; the wife getting killed by a killer who later took his own life; and the fiscal finally declaring that she “must have been born” for the slain wife’s husband.
But hey, that could have been somebody else. Right?