All over the Philippines, a deeply divisive issue has taken over everyone’s minds and set neighbor-against-neighbor. We are, of course, talking about Pokemon Go. Nintendo’s latest Pokemon Game, developed by Niantic. It’s an “Augmented Reality” game, meaning players can find Pokemon anywhere in their environment.
There are no clear win-lose scenarios, but it’s obvious that the only winners, if you choose to play, are the telecom companies who’ll soon have you thousands of pesos in debt after you realize your pokemon addiction is preventing you from switching off your data connection.
Part of the gameplay revolves around Teams and Gyms, with players joining one of three teams, Mystic, Valor, and chickenshit Instinct, and fighting each other for control of Gyms, each Gym corresponding to an actual, real-world place.
<Read – Pokemon Go putting actual Gyms out of Business>
This had public officials worried, because not only were young people getting addicted to the new game, but they were also now dividing themselves by teams and territory. PNP Chief Roger Walanbato explained his anxiety in a statement to ACH, “Past experience has taught us that when people get addicted, when they form gangs and start fighting for territory… soon, you will have disorder. Chaos. Pokemon Go is a gateway game to harder crimes.”
The PNP has so far refused to produce statistics and proof validating his remarks, but they have said “trust us to do our job. We’ll keep you safe,” so we’re inclined to let that slide.
In response to the unrest that hasn’t happened yet, soon-to-be President-for-Life Duterte has announced a new initiative for combatting Pokemon Go related-crime: “Kill ‘em All!” As per Executive Order, he has instructed that for the sake of national unity that Pokemon players are only allowed to choose Team Valor, and that Team Mystic and Instinct are off the table.
Duterte argues that the potential disorder caused by having too many Teams is a safety-risk they are not willing to take, and to serve as a further disincentive, police and civilians are encouraged to use any means necessary to apprehend or bring to justice, any members of the other teams. There will be no investigation if one can provide proof (preferably in the form of a cardboard sign and an Instagram post hashtagged #Pokemonjustice2016) that they were members of an opposing carte–I mean, team.
Human Rights groups, Academia, whiny Millennial SJWs, and people with a vested interest that the Philippines not change in any drastic way have all come against this order, arguing that due process is essential to human rights. Du30 supporters have responded by assuming they’re all criminals or criminal sympathizers and beating them in the streets, as the government requests.
Team Instinct member Gary De Diyosa related one such incident to us in an interview. “We were walking down the street looking for a Dratini when two guys in Red came over and asked us to show them our phones. We refused, but they got angry and started pushing us. They shouted at us, and one of them said he was going to call the cops. Finally Jacob (Jacob Angeles, Team Mystic) relented and gave them his phone. They saw what Team he supported and they threw it down and smashed it. They told us to run.”
“We did, we ran as far as we could, but Jacob didn’t have his phone anymore and this was his first time outside the house in like, years. I lost him in an alley and I turned back to look for him. That’s when I saw it happen.”
“There was this SUV barreling down the street playing the Pokemon theme song, and they were coming for Jacob. As they got close, they pulled their windows down and someone shouted “VALOR, MOTHERFUCKER.” Another screeched, “TANG INA MO, MISTIK!” They then pulled out their own phones and just… blasted him with pokeballs. He didn’t stand a chance.”
Team Valor member and long-time member of Duterte’s #deathsquad, Arthur Manabes says in reply that people shouldn’t fear the Pokemon Go purge, because all of this is being done to rid the country of its “criminal element.”
“If you’re not a drug de–I mean, Team Mystic member, then you have no need to be afraid. Just stay off the streets, avoid Blue or Yellow clothing, and let us do our not-jobs”
“Other people may not agree with our methods, but you have to agree that in the end, this is all about safety and ridding the country of crime. And it has worked. Murder is at an all-time high, but drug use and video game addiction is at a low. You just have to trust that we’re doing our best to avoid hitting the wrong people, this is a learning process kasi, e.”