Paminawa ang wa’y tingog


Listen to the voiceless

They killed Kian
The funeral march is finished
The mother has been interviewed
There is no resolution yet
She said he will not rise
The child who had been buried
And where are the voices
Of our generation?
No one listened to
The rebellious students
Who they say keep on yelling
Yet have no solution
Who will even listen?
The deaf government?
The boastful politician?
The police busy with tokhang?
Who will listen?
Who will act?
As for me Facebook is
The only place I can voice out.

The Philippines’ most recent (publicized) tragedy was the murder of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, a Grade 11 student, who was targeted for allegedly being involved with drugs. Testimonies from family and neighbors say otherwise.

Kian is a statistic: he is merely one of the countless people who have been murdered in the Philippines’ war on drugs.

Tokhang is a Cebuano word, a colloquial term popularized by President Duterte’s war on drugs. This is what the Philippines’ anti-drug campaign is called. It is a coined word from the Cebuano words toktok, which means “knock,” and hangyo, which means “to plead.” Tokhang basically describes the situation of people who are suspected to be involved with drugs: an executioner knocks on their doors, and the suspects plead for their lives.

This poem reflects the helplessness I feel in this situation, with nothing but Facebook or social media as an outlet to voice my sentiments.

In an age of unprecedented electronic communication, the voice of the powerless remain unheard. May God bless my country — and help us, God.

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