In the so-called war on drugs in the Philippines, who gets to judge whether a person is good or not? Is it the president, a confessed sexual predator who revels in his lack of character? Is it the police, whose highest officials are known to collude with drug cartels? Is it the citizens who feed on social media-generated propaganda paid for by the rich and powerful?
Everyone who knew Oman knew that he was a good person. He worked hard to support his family, as his father had a disability. He had just received certification to become a seaman and was looking forward to working in Dubai.
In July 2016, Oman was busy looking after his elderly grandparents who were visiting from the U.S. He ran errands for them and did repair jobs on their unfinished house. That night, he had just finished feeding his half-blind grandmother. So when his tricycle driver friend invited him to go to the market for a snack, Oman said yes to the much-needed break.
On the way to the market, they picked up a passenger. As the passenger got off to pay his fare, a group of men sprang on him and gunned him down. The driver managed to run away, but Oman didn't. He raised his hands, perhaps to show the men that he was innocent and harmless, but they shot him anyway. They kept shooting until they were sure he was dead.
The passenger turned out to be a suspected drug pusher. Not that it was an excuse for him being executed. It definitely didn't justify Oman's murder being dismissed as mere "collateral damage" by people in government.
Oman had so much to live for, but whatever hopes his family had for him and their future are all dead now. It's a tragedy that all the goodness he had in him couldn't save him from the evil unleashed by a depraved president.
He was 20 years old.