By Atty. Farah G. Decano
“IT was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”
– Charles Dickens
TALE OF TWO CITIES
The year 2020 started literally with a big bang in the Philippines with the eruption of Taal Volcano as if foreboding of the uneventful things to come.
And indeed, the dreaded incidents happened: the untimely demise of Kobe Bryant; the worldwide spread of Covid -19; the insufferable lockdowns in many countries and their consequent economic repercussions; the shutdown of ABS-CBN; the onslaught of severe typhoons; the PhilHealth scandal and the still ballooning Philippine public debt.
What with these series of unfortunate events, one could not help but think that the horseman of doom is about to march from the sky and signal the end of the world.
On hindsight, the year 2020 also brought good tidings to the world.
The lockdowns have fortified bonds of families. Mothers and fathers get to stay at home and monitor their children attend their online classes. This writer, however, is not discounting the existence of domestic abuse which made lockdowns unbearable to battered spouses and abused children.
Companies begin to explore and see the value of work from home set up. This means less office maintenance and operating expenses for the upkeep of their businesses.
With less people traveling, our air quality has improved. I surmise that the incidence for allergic rhinitis and asthma may have gone down in the immediately preceding year.
In the year 2020, individuals are forced to take stock of themselves in order to adapt to new situations that the pandemic brings. People engaged in new commercial activities such as online sales and bidding. We also witness the rise of bike-riders in the delivery business.
One of the greatest contributions of the year 2020, to my mind, is that it taught the people to keep still, evaluate their relationships and do a lot of introspection.
Through introspection, individuals recognize their seeming helplessness against Covid-19, their fleeting existence and their nothingness in this world. It is in this state of nothingness that they realize and acknowledge a Being much greater than any creature in this world.
It is not surprising that the year 2020 brought back many people to their faiths.
* * * *
The death of flight attendant, Christine Dacera, is indeed disturbing, but what is more disturbing is the outpour of victim blaming from ignorant netizens who claim that Dacera deserved her rape-slay. They claim that she asked for what had happened to her because she was unvirtuous. They further asserted that she tempted her fate by going out alone with some of her gay friends to celebrate new year in a hotel.
These claims are preposterous. Women are raped because there are rapists!!! PERIOD. No amount of uncouth behaviour, whether drugged or not, exhibited by any woman can justify her rape.
Without pronouncing any judgment about the guilt or innocence of the arrested suspects, this writer finds the defense of gay sexual orientation flimsy.
Rape can be committed by anybody who has no respect for the humanity of the victim. Sexual orientation alone does not automatically absolve the suspects.
Some people may ask, how can gay men commit rape when they cannot lust on women?
Contrary to popular belief, rape is not a crime of passion and lust. In reality, it is more of a crime of power. The culprit imposes himself/herself on the victim, who, without consent, cannot extricate himself/herself from such unlawful intrusion. It is reflective of the rapist’s mindset that the victim is a mere disdainful sex object and must be subservient to the perpetrator’s will.
I suggest a better defense theory for the suspects in the Dacera rape-slay.
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