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Unaddressed pitfalls in Digong’s all-out antidrug campaign

02:35 AM September 07, 2016

However you put it, the Philippine National Police is among the government agencies responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country—either by direct involvement or sheer ineffectiveness.

Strange enough, the law enforcers who gained notoriety for protecting drug cartels and syndicates in the past are now earning praises for killing drug suspects at will—in the name of a “drug war.” Do you really want to vindicate and encourage the police to further abuse its power while the unjust social system prevails?

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Try to understand this at any rate: If the PNP had never been involved in drugs, kidnapping, gambling, extortion, prostitution, corruption and other illegal acts, perhaps the war on drugs might be justified. But if the institution itself is guilty of blood debts and countless crimes against the people, applauding the spate of killings only promotes the prevalent culture of impunity in the land.

Indeed, it’s easy to instigate violence without understanding its social implications. It’s like campaigning against a deadly virus but spreading it in the process.

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In the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, the poor, whose lack of resources and access to basic social services makes them more vulnerable to exploitation via the illegal drug trade, are mostly the target of summary executions. Meanwhile, the wealthy few enjoy the benefit of due process. Far from being the protector of the Filipino people, the police imposes order on the masses to protect the economic interests of the ruling class.

President Duterte’s antidrug crusade is bound to fail if he would not be able to enforce the socioeconomic reforms needed to address poverty as the root cause of drug problem in the country, and more so if he would tolerate the senseless killings.

—DANIEL ALOC, [email protected]

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TAGS: drug war, extrajudicial killings, Killings, Philippine National Police, Rodrigo Duterte, summary executions
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