A CARDINAL principle of materialist dialectics states: “In a chain of processes, seize the key link.” Lenin put this principle to good use in strategizing the Bolshevik Revolution, in Russia, and winning it.
Now we are witnessing a frenzied drug campaign by the new Duterte government, as though curbing the illegal drug menace is the key link in the multi-process character of Philippine governance. A veritable euphoria daily seizes the nation with news of continuous killings, which Duterte has owned up to in his avowed determination to rid the country of illegal drugs. As reports go, an average of 10 drug elements (junkies and pushers) got killed daily starting from July 1, the day after Duterte took over Malacañang.
A comrade claiming to be a nephew of Duterte who was once a member of the special operations unit of the New People’s Army operating in Metro Manila asserts that, indeed, the drug campaign is the key link in achieving good governance in the country. Drug lords, he avers, control the electoral process, thereby ensuring the election to executive and legislative positions of persons who, in turn, ensure protection of the narco trade.
On the other hand, as Duterte himself has confirmed, top generals of the Philippine National Police have been in connivance with drug syndicates, which should explain why despite arrests every now and then of illegal drug trade operators, the trade machinery on the whole has been virtually left untouched.
In the case of some big drug operators who ended up in jail, the national penitentiary has become just their playground, continuing to command their respective businesses right from within their well-appointed detention cells.
Tanauan Mayor Tony Halili at onetime admitted to me that the drug syndicate in his city is being run by its leader, who is in jail.
All told, in the spheres of the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—the three branches of the Philippine government—the narco trade is well ensconced and guaranteed to flourish continuously.
So it would seem that in pursuing good governance, by seizing the illegal-drug campaign as the key link in the chain of processes of governance, Duterte is on the right track.
Mao Tse-tung had said, “Cure the sickness in order to save the patient.” When Duterte goes on a killing rampage against drug addicts and drug pushers, is he saving the patients sick of the narco trade? He simply kills those patients but not curing the illegal drug menace.
Facebook friend Tony Lacaba, brother of one of the often acclaimed slain heroes of the revolutionary armed struggle, Eman Lacaba, posted an article on his Facebook page which serves to answer the question. Titled “How Maoist Revolution Wiped Out Drug Addiction in China,” written by C. Clark Kissinger, originally posted on Revolutionary Workers Online, the article offers a truly credible insight by which we may be enlightened on the ongoing Duterte campaign against illegal drugs.
For an opener, the article states: “In the United States today, ending drug addiction seems impossible. The system claims to be ‘fighting drugs’—with cops, new medications, religion, new therapies, and ‘just say no’ campaigns. But despite all of this the drug problem won’t go away—while armed police enforcers harass and brutalize the people.
“Why? Because this dog-eat-dog system causes drug use, and because powerful forces within the system profit off of drug sales. The production, transportation and sale of drugs is a multibillion-dollar business. It is run by big-time capitalists who have ties throughout the US government, the CIA and the police. Meanwhile, the top rulers of this system blame the people for the ‘drug problem’ –especially poor ghetto youth.”
The article then proclaims a dictum as a lead to its lengthy elaborations: “ALL OPPRESSION, INCLUDING DRUG ADDICTION, CAN BE OVERTHROWN!”
Yes, no doubt about that. But the problem is, how?
According to the article, old China had the world’s biggest drug problem.
“Before Mao’s revolution won, in 1949, the people of China were miserably poor, ruled by a handful of rich landowners, warlords and foreign capitalists.
“Under that old society, many people were strung out on the pipe. There were 70 million junkies in China—addicted to opium, morphine and heroin. Half-starving laborers used the sweet opium dreams to cover the pain of hunger and hopelessness. And the lazy rich used drugs to fill up their empty hours. In some areas everyone, even children, smoked opium. In the cities, tiny bottles of drugs were sold on the street corners like ice cream. People got high on the job.
“The people of old China suffered terribly from this drug addiction. Many poor people used their pennies on the pipe instead of food. Addicts often abandoned their children or even SOLD their children to buy more drugs. Addicted women were often forced to become prostitutes and many died of diseases.”
The article traces the history of drug addiction in China and, in so doing, drives home the point that the drug menace is endemic in a capitalistic society. Here’s how the article puts it:
“Drugs were forced on China by the rich colonialists of Europe and America. The British government even waged the famous Opium War, in 1839, to force China to accept opium brought on English ships. Malcolm X wrote: ‘Imagine! Declare war upon someone who objects to being narcotized!’
“This drug trade started because big capitalists could make fortunes selling addictive drugs, and because colonialist governments needed that trade to finance their takeover of China itself. Corrupt Chinese officials profited, too, by helping the foreign capitalists enslave the people. This is similar to the way the US ruling class helped create today’s worldwide plague of drug addiction. The US ruling class is tied into the drug traffic at all levels—they often organize it, finance it and defend it. In the 1960s, the CIA flooded heroin into oppressed communities to pay for their secret war in Laos. Then, in Reagan’s 1980s, the CIA expanded cocaine traffic to finance their secret war against Nicaragua. US drug companies make profit off speed and downers, which are sold in both legal and ‘illegal’ ways. The official connection goes down to the street level—where cops demand their ‘cut’ of drug profits.
“The experience of both China and the US shows why this system can never solve drug addiction. The system causes the suffering and isolation that makes many people escape into drugs. The system uses drug addiction to weaken the people and enslave them. And all kinds of capitalists and officials then make big money from drugs. In short, this system CAUSES drug addiction and profits from it.
“In China, the Maoist revolution ended drug addiction QUICKLY. Mao’s revolutionary armies defeated the oppressors’ armies in 1949. THREE YEARS LATER, in 1952, there were no more addicts, no more pushers, no more opium poppies grown, and no more drugs smuggled in. In only three short years China went from 70 million drug addicts to none.”
Given the above insights, I am constrained to view the ongoing Duterte campaign with a large dose of skepticism. The drug menace is not the malady; capitalism is. No matter how intense you campaign against drug addiction, you will never succeed without at the same time campaigning against the ogre that needs to feed on drug addiction continuously in order to sustain its monstrosity.
By this I do not mean to motivate the President into campaigning against the abolition of capitalism. He won’t do it; he can’t. Like the character of the proliferation of drug in old China, which came about as an offspring of capitalism, the Duterte presidency is an offspring of capitalistic funding.
What I am only suggesting is for Duterte to call a spade a spade. His ostensible campaign against illegal drugs amounts to nothing but a deodorizing of the terrible stench of capitalistic oppression, which he is absolutely helpless to prevent.
In conclusion, here is this dossier from an informant that the foreign vessel that dumped some P1.8 billion worth of cocaine in the Eastern Samar coast in 2009 had still got plenty of it cleverly stashed in hidden compartments when it proceeded to dock in Davao City; those that had been dumped in the Eastern Samar coast simply served the purpose of a decoy to distract attention from the bigger cargo. Bricks of that bigger hot stuff were then reloaded into containers cleverly lumped with innocent-looking banana export for shipment finally the world over.
Question: Why is—or rather, was—Davao City apparently made the transshipment point to the world for the precious substance that originated in South America? Why the need to take that long route to ship cocaine the world over? Because it was there that such shipment, in the guise of transport of bananas, could be conveniently done? Who was the Davao City Mayor in Dec. 2009?