Senator Risa Hontiveros’ Killing Fields

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There is one thing that some in the news media and Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros have in common: they love to sensationalize.

Hontiveros on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s extension of the government’s war on drugs until the end of his term is like creating a “Pinoy version of Killing Fields.” 

Very dramatic.

Of course most people know that the Killing Fields are in reference to 1970’s Cambodia where more than a million people were believed to have been killed by the Khmer Rouge.

The lady senator even attempts to be a mathematician by estimating that 72,000 would be killed in the war on drugs by the year 2022 which is when Duterte’s six-year term ends.

Politikal Pinoy would like to find out how Hontiveros came up with that number! Hopefully, it was a scientific method that she used.

Just like Hontiveros, some in the news media have come up with sensationalized stories, complete with very Hollywood-like photos, which depict  the entire Philippines as a “Killing Fields.”

For the uninitiated readers who have never stepped on Philippine soil and don’t have an idea of the size of the country and its population, it would be very easy to imagine a place where one could be stepping on a dead body in every street corner, every single day.

It’s like an Easter egg hunt. You don’t see an egg until you specifically search for it.  Then you gather your eggs and put them in your basket and declare “this place is full of Easter eggs; they’re everywhere!” This is exactly what the news media had done.

But to compare the casualties of Duterte’s war on drugs — which by the way no one, not even the news media, has proven them to be state-sanctioned — to the Killing Fields is to diminish the historical significance of the Cambodian tragedy, or the Holocaust for that matter.

Madam Hontiveros, perhaps you should quit the Senate and go back to being a “journalist” so you could bask in the company of those in the news media who are passionate about speculation, sensationalism and spreading half-truths.

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