The bullet-riddled corpses sprawl on the sidewalks,
the dark alleys or inside the shanties
waiting to be laid to rest in public cemeteries
or dumped in common graves.
The inconsolable widows & orphans or shocked fathers and mothers
cannot not afford to bury them
for the police are making a killing out of the killings or mass murder
inspired by the blood-thirsty ruler.
The slums beside dumpsites, railways, waterways & cemeteries
beyond the posh villages & subdivisions
have become killing fields
day by day, night after night
as the poor wait in fear & trembling
for the executioners in uniform
or masked hit-men riding in tandem.
Why do brutal, corrupt & incompetent men
lord over this land like criminals?
Why do pious men and women who fill the churches Sunday after Sunday
and join processions en masse or attend the Pope’s Mass in millions
keep silent or approve of this and say
those addicts & enemies of the state deserve to die?
Where is mercy and compassion
for those wounded by neglect, abuse,
isolation and loneliness in need of healing and conversion?
Where is justice for those unjustly punished without due process,
deprived of human rights & dignity
while drug lords go scot-free
just because they are relatives, friends or partners?
O Lord, we believe that you will deliver us from evil
as you did in times past – especially at EDSA.
But how long must we wait?
How many more lives have to be wasted?
When will the people stand up and rise empowered by your Spirit?
In this dark night we toll the bells and light our candles
full of helplessness and despair
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Fr. Amado L. Picardal is a Redemptorist priest from Mindanao, a former Executive Secretary of Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, a biking priest and a hermit).