‘A pragmatic calculus’ | Inquirer Opinion
Letters to the Editor

‘A pragmatic calculus’

/ 12:00 AM December 06, 2016

An epitaph on a tomb in a Parañaque graveyard: “Here lies my daughter. Killed by an illegal drug addict.”

A store owner in Bambang district, Manila, was robbed of her laptop computer by a drug addict who lived in the neighborhood. A 7-year-old girl from Dagupan Street, Tondo, was raped by a drug addict.


The real culprit behind all this: shabu.

How many such crimes have been committed since this evil-inspired, mind-and-behavior altering substance crept into our communities—and how many more are forthcoming? And yet this is not the question.


The question is: Do illegal drug producers, traders, pushers and addicts have human rights?

Against my conscience as a lawyer who understands the intricacies and features of human rights and due process, I submit that these scumbags have no human rights whatsoever under any and all circumstances.

Why? Because drug producers down to the last addict are beasts and monsters—even worse, devils.

Everyone into drugs—producers, traders, addicts—must be eliminated asap, with no hesitation. No exception. They have forfeited their “refuge,” if any, under the bill of rights because rapists, murderers and perpetrators of heinous crimes do not deserve even an iota of kindness and tenderness from the law. We must condemn them all, without mercy.

Extreme measures in extreme times. “Anyone who assaults and kills another person must be put to death” (Exodus 1:12). “However, if someone deliberately kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and be put to death” (Exodus 1:14). “The punishment must match the injury. A life for a life; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot; a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise” (Exodus 1:23-25).

President Duterte says: “You destroy my country, I’ll kill you. You destroy the youth, I’ll kill you.” Attached to this warning is a declaration of an all-out war against illegal drugs. This was the President’s signature promise in the election campaign. It’s a stern, razor-blade message that’s working well and fast, according to the mood and exigencies of the time.

The President means business and this we can see almost every day. The end justifies the means and the means justifies the end—a pragmatic calculus that is compatible with ongoing social trends.


Killing is a necessary evil that must be done when extreme conditions warrant it, and we are in a situation where doing it is justifiable. This is war.

A softening in this campaign could only lead to exponential growth in the number of drug-related crimes rampaging through and ravaging our communities; we could wake up one day to see a broken, tattered and devastated Philippines. Shabu is a modern-day weapon of mass destruction.

Relying on our notoriously slow judicial system to stop the illegal drug trade and abuse is like relying on a turtle to deliver an urgent message.

Instead of throwing brickbats at the President, we must applaud and commend him for doing a good job.

MANUEL BIASON, [email protected]

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TAGS: drug killing, drugs, EJK, Killing, letter, Letter to the Editor, opinion
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