The deaths of a mother Sonya Gregorio and a son Frank Anthony Gregorio in Tarlac, Philippines produced a narrative frame of the Greek tragedy. People who knew Greek literature could understand this Greek tragedy in question. This narrative frame of a Greek Tragedy, somehow, linked to Friedrich Nietzsche’s interpretation of life in the cosmos to be as meaningless and futile as it has been. Of course, Nietzsche believed that Greek tragedy dealt with human themes such as love, loss, pride, the abuse of power, and the oppressed and troubled relationships between gods and men. These gods have been powerful people who could control, lead, and protect people in the country. To view this situation in relation to Nuezca’s case, Nietzsche’s narrative arc and frame of Greek tragedy revealed.
What readers understood here in this Nuezca’s case and Gregorios’ tragedy would be the terrible crime committed by the main hero or protagonist of a narrative or event. In other words, the hero, protector, or protagonist committed outlandish and awful crimes due to their arrogance, foolishness, pride, and superiority.
According to Nietzsche, the Greek tragedy becomes the highest form of art. This art represents realities. For example, killing a person whose killer is a hero demonstrates an artistic Greek tragedy. A police officer whose role is to be a hero to protect the people becomes flawed as he kills those whom he promised to protect and save. Nietzsche considers this one as the highest form of art because this action has always been a human condition. It has been a nature to kill when being threatened by other forces. Nietzsche confirms it since he observes the tragic events in humanity – the Holocaust, the world wars, and the human suffering. For Nietzsche, it appears to be a tragedy to hold. It seems a mixture of Apollonian and Dionysian elements whose components can explain the frailty of human beings to experience the full gamut of human conditions.
Going back to the killing of Sonya Gregorio and Frank Anthony Gregorio, Nietzsche would call it the perfect example of a Greek tragedy. All elements were available, for example, the flawed hero, the merciless killing, the stupid community, and the victims. No one stood there to stop the killing when the video camera was rolling. All people at the scene of the crime were watching. Sonya as the protector of her son Frank Anthony ended her precious life in the grave. She wanted to save her son by covering and wrapping her son from the supposed to be the hero. She did not want her son to die, so she had to protect him thinking to spare his life without knowing that her son would be next to die. Police Officer Jonel Nuezca as the protector of the people ended his life in jail. His immediate action out of anger permitted him to kill two people whom he had sworn to protect. Again, this event was what Nietzsche explained about the Greek tragedy – the hero and protector turned out to be flawed because of arrogance and foolishness. Nietzsche said that Police Officer Jonel Nuezca failed to play his role as the hero. He miscarried his duty to protect all people because of hubris, pride, and superiority that controlled him. His love and protection for his daughter, for whatever arguments might be between the mother and son and his daughter, clouded his judgment. He lost his proper mindset due to the revealing anima. All of them were drawn in the pit of sad and crushing horror.
According to Nietzsche, this event, the killing of Sonya Gregorio and Frank Anthony Gregorio would, somehow, relate to the classical Athenian tragedy that exceeded beyond anarchism, cynicism, nihilism, pessimism, and suspicion of life. It happened because people continued to create problems around them in this fundamentally meaningless world. This meaningless world, according to him, occurred from the beginning. Only the people and those in power asserted and invented meanings, such as laws, rules, and tenets of all events in the world. Besides, Nietzsche has been right to see that people killed one another due to arrogance, foolishness, pride, and superiority in this meaningless life and world. If one powerful person told someone to kill a person, that someone should evaluate first if his or her action was right. However, this action did not happen. It would be hard for the Police Officer to evaluate his actions. Everything was out of hand. Critics would ask what triggered him to be a cold-blooded murderer. Did someone or something tell him to kill other people because those criminal actions would be fine? And why no one or nothing stood up for what was right during the commission of the crime. Were all in shock? Who videoed the crime scene? Why was it that none called the Police Hotline since there was a moment when one would call any other Police Officer? In other words, people did not care about life because for them life has no meaning. Please imagine posting an issue with the president of an organization or a country on Facebook and YouTube. Surely, those who posted comments on that president would receive millions of loathing responses. And the fight took off to social media – Filipino culture. It would be ridiculous to think that the Filipino people could easily lose their finesse, manner, morale, and reputation by spreading hate because of their political colors. The political colors, such as the red and the yellow, fought for each other on Facebook and YouTube. I just remember when one employee of ABS-CBN promoted its business on LinkedIn. A few people or LinkedIn users commented and wanted that employee to remove and stop his or her promotional marketing. Why is that? I did not even know if those people who prowled online were real people or not. For me, numerous Filipino people failed to distinguish what is right from wrong. “Sometimes, people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed,” a statement came from Friedrich Nietzsche.
According to Nietzsche, life in this world has no meaning and value. All that exist do not even have significance and value. He said that people asserted and invented meanings and values to have those things around them meaningful and valuable. He even confirmed it when he saw the tragedy in Greece and, perhaps, in his hometown, Germany. However, his observation has been timeless and universal that all these tragic incidents in life were the mere by-products of human conditions and assertions. Some people and some gods wanted those acts of killing of Sonya and Frank Anthony to happen because of their powerful forces to influence the minds of others. Nietzsche said that people faced the worst events in life and in humanity due to the gods’ power positions.
The gods that Nietzsche talked about were the powerful people who held positions and powers. These gods could order instructions to punish and kill people who led them to face the abyss of human suffering. Sonya Gregorio and Frank Anthony Gregorio became the by-product of this injustice which human beings tried to inflict on one another. Because of this issue, people lost their humanity. They now revealed their innate animalistic instinct that tried to ignore the wearing of their masks or persona. These masks served as the barriers or cages to control people to become animals and monsters. If people wore off these masks or persona, they would show their true nature, their anima, their aggressive, ravenous, and wild characteristics.
Nietzsche has been right about this Greek tragedy. No matter how hard people tried to hide their anima or their animalistic nature, they revealed it when they lost their sense of being and value to humanity. As people lost their interest in giving meaning to life, then it would be relaxed for them to kill. In other words, it would be stress-free for them to end others’ lives without their qualm of conscience.
Those who dictated and ordered others to kill people did lose the very sense of humanity, too. In the killing of Sonya Gregorio and Frank Anthony Gregorio, we would ask how the killer’s daughter reacted to see two dead bodies lying on the ground. Did she blink? Did she feel sorry? Was she remorseful? We could, as well, ask why the killer, father, and police officer killed those defenseless and innocent individuals in front of his daughter. Did he consider it? Did he know what he was doing? Senator Ronald de la Rosa said that “the police officer is an addict.” Was Jonel Nuezca’s action the by-product of addiction? Was it pure evil? Or was it the pure nature of human beings? And pretty sure, we all had many questions, but we had only one fixed answer – someone or something did trigger Police Officer Jonel Nuezca to kill without conscience.
On the contrary, if Nitzsche was wrong, we should show mercy to all people. We should stand for what was right. And there would be no right in killing others even if that would be the death penalty. We all had so much hate in our hearts. We failed to meet the social contract because some forces of nature disrupted our beliefs and reasons. We became corrupted by these forces, such as drugs that until now they continued to be a problem. Who protected those illegal drug businesses? Perhaps, the killing of Gregorios should serve as a lesson to the Philippine National Police to clean their ranks. There should be a secret group, honest, just, and merciful, to determine those police officers who have gone rogue. Could this action be possible? I did not know.
After all, This Greek Tragedy, or even a Filipino Tragedy, in particular, haunted us something to think. The expected hero of the people, the Police Officer, turned out to be a flawed one. Because of hubris, he terminated two lives without blinking his eyebrows and eyelashes. Could we blame him? In this meaningless world, we could not blame him and we should not fantasize to wait for a hero to exist. If there would be one or two to claim to be a hero, this hero should never be blue, green, orange, red, yellow, or white. This hero should be any person in the world who would defend those innocent and weak people. However, where is the church? Where is the…? Well, I did not know what to say. I have never been in a position to elaborate and deduce more. It would be simply right to say that I just didn’t know. The question in mind remained firm to know why people killed others. The answer should be very simple – nature. We are all animals in one vast jungle after all.