War Against Illicit Drugs

MANILA – Since I went home in Fall 2016, I cannot recall a single day that is construed to be dull. The airwaves and broadsheet media are replete with news and gossips of series of scandals and new controversies involving government agencies, political personalities, affluent businessmen, and who else.

The expletives that emanate from the mouth of the President are per se the news depending who the media reporter is that filed the news. Digong, the endeared nickname of President Duterte, despite of his overwhelming majority over his closest rival, is not universally admired.

His detractors is perhaps outnumbered by his political supporters; but, the former are so vociferous and have the backing of some mainstream media that publishes the faults of President Duterte; rather than spread to the reading public the accomplishments of his administration.

The war against illicit behaviour altering drugs, to my mind, is the most misunderstood program being implemented by President Duterte. Detractors complain loud and wide the ongoing anti-drug campaign that many got killed including some innocent bystanders.

From the start, the President presented his platform of government that if he is elected to power, he will “declare war” against illegal drugs, against massive corruption, and against spiralling criminality.

Every time I attend both academic or economic forum and the talk hovers around news articles on the increasing tally of loss of human lives both from the government side and enemy camp, I always rebut what is there to understand about killing and dying in war?

War entails deadly armed conflict. In the subtleties of engaging in such fights, it is inevitable someone gets killed including innocent bystanders that were caught in the cross line of fire.

Admittedly, the police ranks were infiltrated by uniform wearing scalawags. But this abnormality is not sufficient ground to compel President Duterte to forego his war on illegal drugs. For one, the President is addressing this age old problem.

Policemen, who were figured out in a firefight in the regular performance of their duty, have the full support of the President. Two, however, if the law enforcers grossly violated the established rules of engagement, the erring policeman will have his comeuppance of the full force of the law.

The proliferation of mind altering drugs is not only harmful to individual addicts; but, injurious to the society over all. The users eventually turn to become pushers to feed their addiction. When addicts ran out of resources, they resort to criminal activity. Because of the unbridled wealth the drug lords amassed, criminals have the financial clout to bribe generals, judges, fiscals, governors, and congressmen as protectors of their criminal activities.

With this scenario, how shall peace loving citizens live when criminal elements rule?

The criminal apparatus must be destroyed to build crime free communities. President Duterte is not against the poor. Rich or poor, powerful or not, officer or lower rank if they are part of the apparatus that threatens the safety of law abiding people – President Duterte have no qualms to carry out his solemn campaign promise to destroy them all within the duration of his term.

Drug cartels must be demolished.

President Duterte is neither intimidated of the threats of impeachment, nor coup d’état, nor assassination. His singular focus is: fulfil his promise to the Filipino people.

The platform of government of President Duterte is not merely partisan politics.

The Filipino people must unite to rally with him. Local opposition is hell bent to discredit his governance. External forces are scheming ways how to take him down since he pronounced his independent foreign and economic policy upon assumption of office.

President Duterte is perhaps foul mouth in his tirades against criminal elements and foreign powers that interfere in the internal affairs of the homeland. But his cause – fighting the illegal drug menace – must be championed by all Filipinos; otherwise, the birth land would be in peril when criminal drug cartels will take over in governing the Philippines.