ANY death that is due to the inhumanity of humans to fellow humans should be anathema to anyone claiming to possess basic human decency, but much more so to those who claim to speak from a moral high ground. Condemnation that does not encompass all unjust deaths is hypocrisy born of either political expediency or moral cowardice or both.
I understand why people call out the President’s failure in his State of the Nation ddress (Sona) to present a detailed plan for managing, controlling, and finally running Covid-19 to the ground. (Incidentally, failure to present such a plan does not necessarily mean it doesn’t exist.) But since its birth, hasn’t this nation been ravaged by the much bigger epidemic of hunger? Is it not a fact that the number of deaths by Covid-19 cannot match the number of deaths caused by hunger?
Yet have we ever asked any of our previous Presidents for a detailed plan on how to fight hunger that has long stalked the lives of ordinary workers, farmer-tenants, and their families and killed way more Filipinos than Covid-19 has so far and ever will?
Blaming government is easy, but why are we not waging a serious war against the more deadly pandemic of hunger? What detailed plans have we asked previous and present administrations for the prevention and cure of death-dealing hunger? Or do we perhaps toss the idea because hunger infects and kills only the poor among us?
I also understand why our moral mentors (bishops, priests, pastors, imams) oppose judicial (death penalty) and extrajudicial killing by government. But why oppose these quick public deaths only? Why not oppose slow and silent deaths by hunger? Could it be because to credibly oppose death by hunger they have to share their wealth with the poor whereas to oppose the death penalty all they need do is denounce it at no expense and from the relative safety of a pulpit?
Anyway, what detailed plan do Churches have to help government fight the hunger pandemic that has killed more Filipinos than Covid-19 ever will? Are they not perhaps merely escaping to a religious place where they conveniently save only the souls but dump the bodies of the poor on the laps of government?
How many poor children die daily of hunger? How many poor mothers resort to crude abortion methods (often dying in the process) because they can no longer afford a fifth or sixth child? Why can’t bishops at least leave government alone to provide poor mothers with a budget for safe and effective contraceptive methods that rich mothers can afford on their own?
We have to condemn and wage war against all deaths caused by human injustice or neglect such as hunger. To condemn only the death penalty and extrajudicial killing by just shouting against it is deadly hypocrisy.