Filipinos support the war on drugs, not the horrible components

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Marlen V. Ronquillo

As Lenin’s October Revolution marks its 100 years this month, students of violent upheavals look back at that epic event in human history, then try to illuminate modern society on its impact, influence and costs.

Some have ventured into this often-overlooked area. What was the cost to human lives of that Marxist Revolution, from the last quarter of 1917 up to the time Joseph Stalin made an accounting of the impossible human toll to Winston Churchill in 1942? Ten million, Stalin told Churchill, by way of raising both palms to signal 10, and each finger representing one million casualties. Not on that figure was the bloody count from 1942 to 1953, the year Stalin – and his bloody purges – died.

Why did a revolution that was anchored on the liberation of the oppressed and giving everyone a place in society the source of so much bloodletting and human misery? Why did Marx’s grand idea of economic and social liberation that sounded like a detailed, more defined version of the Sermon on the Mount cause so much horror and pain?

The answer is simply this. Some of the lofty-sounding state-sponsored programs waste human lives in the process. The grandness of the agenda is often scarred by the operational components that cause the loss of lives and spread anguish all over. Why did the dream of eliminating the official state and putting in its place a “stateless society” end up eliminating a substantial part of that society?

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A scaled-down version is Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. It is lofty in principle. Who does not want a country that has been purged of the addicts that more often than not do horrific things and the drug sellers and pushers that are the equivalent of the earlier merchants of death?

My neighbors support the war on drugs. My next of kin support the war on drugs and it is a 100 percent support. My parish priest supports that war on drugs as written on paper. I also support it 100 percent, that written version of the war on drugs. What twisted mind would not support a drug-free community? We who live in non-gated communities (meaning from the poor to the lower end of the middle class) want a peaceful life without the crazed addicts.

After Mr. Aquino’s lazy governance and his obsession with the GDP, Mr. Duterte’s initial pronouncements and actions were gusts of fresh winds to most Filipinos.

The divergence, and where many Filipinos come in conflict with DU30’s war on drugs, is on the details. Filipinos support the war on drugs except for the hideous, horrible operational details. When the war on drugs cause the slaughter of the innocent, that is a different story. When the war on drugs slaughter the Carls and the Kians of our earth, we say, no. That is not what we support.

The war on drugs need a rethink and the overhaul must purge the hideous operational details of the war, as currently being implemented. What are these components?

Extra-judicial killings are against the law. And against all moral codes known to man. There is an established body of laws that deals with people found pushing and using drugs and they stand on solid legal footing. The judicial system is predisposed to implement – not pose as a hurdle – to the implementation of the law.

The view that the war on drugs has an accompanying “collateral damage” – no matter how limited – is bunk. Think of a five-year-old girl murdered by riding-in-tandems without remorse on the justification that the father was a drug user/pusher.

No war on drugs targets the innocent, like what happened to Carl and Kian and many others. No one murders a kid who pleads for his life as he had an exam to take the next day. The last-minute pleas of Kian as policemen pumped bullets into his frail, subdued body still give nightmares to parents in poor, urban communities who worry endlessly about their kids.

No war on drugs rest on the principle of “betraying your neighbors” which is exactly the terrible idea behind the Masa Masid and the drop boxes. These are the Makapilis all over again.

No war on drugs leads to the jailing of an elected senator who may be guilty of one thing – her bad choices in men.

No war on drug misses the suppliers/smugglers of drugs. Right now, not one big-time supplier from either China or Taiwan has been dealt with. The lowly chemists and processors, also mostly Chinese and Taiwanese, are the ones being arrested.

Will Mr. Duterte do a pivot and, at the very least, moderate the reckless killing that has been the only constant of his war on drugs? The change, from the PNP to PDEA, has not stopped the killings.

We do not know what is going on at the policy-making level. But if the recent survey were to be used as guide, the leadership would do a pivot.

While 80 percent of those surveyed expressed support, 73 of those surveyed believed EJKs are taking place. It was an oblique way of saying, “We support the war but please stop the EJKs.”

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