Now that the country’s electorate is again called to pass judgment through the ballot on how the sitting administration is faring in its task of governing the nation, perhaps it is good to take a look at the Duterte administration’s centerpiece program that, according to police records, have so far claimed 25,000 lives - the bloody illegal drugs war.
What has this war so far achieved in regard its objective of eliminating the illegal drug menace after almost two and a half years of the Duterte administration? Has it reached its objective? By the way, the timeframe of six months to have this problem totally expunged was set by the President himself while he was still campaigning in 2016.
Of course, there is no need to rub in that the six-month deadline came, that was on Dec. 31, 2016, but the drug menace is still very much alive necessitating a recalibration of its self-imposed deadline. The nation readily granted the sought extension of another six months that ended on June 30, 2017.
But June 30, 2017 came yet the drug problem was still very much alive and kicking despite the fact that it claimed thousands of lives already while being implemented. The Filipino people still wanted the Duterte administration to succeed in its centerpiece program. And showing its leniency, another extension of one year was granted.
Even before the one year extension could end, the President himself publicly admitted he might not be able to kick this menace to an end by the time he’ll end his term yet. What does this mean? It simply meant the nation need to understand that more killings will have to be carried out over and above the 25,000 deaths calculated by the police from the war’s inception in mid-2016 up to the present.
The administration is even threatening to release the names of politicians in its dreaded list of narco-politicians in the guise of guiding the electorate in making a wise choice in the May midterm elections. Many, however, strongly believe this threat to make public this list is only a ploy to prevent political foes from getting elected to office as reelectionists or otherwise.
This threat is labeled by many as a mere scheme at weaponizing the list against political enemies to prevent their election in May. This could be likened to a gun being pointed at the head of its political foes since the administration is supposedly shying away from endorsing or anointing shady characters suspected of involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Undeniably, what the war on illegal drug has so far achieved was not
eliminate it but instill fear in the hearts of everyone to the point that they are now immobilized from fighting against it but rather support it as if it is the best thing that ever happened to this country.
We should understand that it is a concept in politics to strike fear in the hearts of the people so that in their frightened state they could be easily be manipulated to behave and act according to the desired wishes of the author of the fear.
In our country, the war on drugs, which at first was said to have just victimized almost two million Filipinos, young and old, male and female, moneyed to penniless, among others. But now it has grown by leaps and bounds. The number of victims is now pegged by the President no less to eight million. What does this prove? It only proves that the bloody war just triggered an increase in the number of victims. It has not achieved even just an iota of its intended desire of reducing, if not eliminating the problem totally.
Even the volume of smuggled drugs from China and other countries have ballooned to unprecedented levels. Whereas before the volume and value of smuggled shabu brought into the country were only worth millions of pesos, two years after the start of the war on illegal drugs, the smuggled shabu, intercepted by the authorities or now valued billions of pesos.
This only proves one thing. It is failing in achieving its desired objective. However, it is succeeding in instilling fear in the hearts of the people proved by the fact that many still approves of it compared to those who disapprove of it for being too bloody even making the fight for accountability for its barbaric nature a lonely one. (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)