Jee Ick-joo’s killing: The straw that broke the back of the drug war?



First read
THE interlocking stories of the kidnapping-murder of Jee Ick-joo and the bloody war on drugs reminds me of the old proverb, “it’s the last straw that will break the camel’s back.”

The proverb was recorded by Thomas Fuller in his Gnomologia as “Tis the last feather that breaks the horse’s back.” it comes from an Arab proverb about loading up a camel beyond its capacity to move, to the scenario of a single straw of grass or hay overwhelming the desert-roaming beast of burden.

Straw or feather, horse or camel, the lesson, as in Aesop’s fables, is that a small and seemingly insignificant addition to a burden can render it too much to bear, causing failure.

I don’t know if Jee is victim no. 6,000 or 6,001 in the drug war, but from the look of things, his killing by the police as a supposed drug bust is a burden that is proving too much for the drug war to bear.

Nobody to wage drug war
Just when we thought the drug war was intransigent and unstoppable, it went bonkers by kidnapping and murdering the South Korean businessman. All of a sudden, the drug war has been deprived of troops to wage it.

President Duterte on Tuesday ordered all police to stop prosecuting his deadly war on drugs as he shifted attention to cleansing the PNP of widespread corruption and abuse.

He announced: “I have ordered the police to stop all operations. No policemen in this country anywhere is allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign.”

Duterte described the police force as “corrupt to the core”. He said he would cleanse the PNP before allowing it to return to the drug war frontlines; in the meantime, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would take the lead with the support of the military.

PNP Director-general Ronald dela Rosa immediately followed suit. He issued this directive: “Starting today, I am dissolving the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) and all anti-drug units from the national level down to the police station level. All of these are now dissolved and deactivated. No more anti-drug operation.”

Dela Rosa said the PNP would only resume anti-drug operations once it succeeded in cleansing its ranks. He created a counter-intelligence task force that would go after police officers engaging in criminal activities, including the illegal drug trade.

So, no more Oplan Tokhang, the police visits to the homes of drug suspects. No more Operation Double Barrel, the deadly component of the drug war.

DU30 stopped short of waving the white flag in his drug campaign; he defiantly extended the drug war to the end of his term in 2022. This way, he held out the grim prospect of more killings of drug suspects down the road.

Sweeping review of drug war
The posture avoids an open declaration of defeat, and affords the hordes of Duterte fanatics some space to still flex their muscles and vent their spleen.

But the reality is that the drug war will now undergo a sweeping review. The extent of police wrongdoing will be unearthed. The mistakes of the drug policy will be recognized and corrected. The entire drug campaign will be placed under strict control and brought soundly within the parameters of the law.

Review should begin with bringing out the facts of the real drug situation. Regardless of the stark contradictions to DU30’s exaggerated drug statistics and grim prognosis of a nascent narco-state, investigators must not flinch from recognizing the facts and telling the truth.

The Senate inquiry notoriously failed to bring out the true picture of the drug situation. It did not ask the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) and PDEA to make a credible, factual presentation at the inquiry. Far more useful are the special reports and fact-checking of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Rappler, newspapers, and some social researchers and graduate students at the University of the Philippines (UP). They presented, in my view, a more accurate picture of the drug situation, and they persuaded me that the country is far from lost to the drug menace, contrary to what DU30 was telling us.

Even so, there is this to be said on the positive side about the drug campaign. Leaving the summary killings and police abuses aside, it made a strong affirmation of law and order. Crimes of all kinds were held to a lower norm. But how lasting this will be remains to be seen.

Respite from the killings
It’s vital I believe that we draw the right conclusions and lessons from this new development in the war on drugs.

Some critics may insist on making DU30 eat humble pie or swallow his boasts. They will be tempted to indulge in triumphalism. Human Rights Watch has quickly weighed in with a caustic comment.

I do not think this is a victory for the ideology of human rightism (of which I wrote in one column), which Duterte rightly rejected as a derogation of state sovereignty. The fight should focus on upholding the rule of law and due process, which ensure the protection of human rights.

We will mercifully have some respite for a while from hearing DU30 cursing foreign officials and organizations for criticizing his drug war.

What we really need and long for is respite and relief from the killings. But the other day, when the new directives were going out across the archipelago, five more people were killed in the drug war. More is amiss with our country than we realize. We probably stood just a hair’s breadth away from becoming a police state.

The Jee Ick-joo case is a bar which our criminal justice system must hurdle.


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  1. The Satanic Wisdom of knowing good and evil is a hymn to self-destruction. Notice that in the tree of Satan is the combination of two opposites , the good and the evil. Since they are in conflict with each other , they lend themselves to self-destruction.

    Any man who live by these twin wisdom eventually destroy himself.
    The wily Satan taught evil men how to use this knowledge to divide a government simply by the sleight of words.

    A very good example is the word , extra-judicial which is readily an offshoot of the word , judicial.
    So they have in their hands two words which appear related to each other. They have produced a branch , an extension of judicial by simply annexing the word extra , thus extra-judicial was born.

    This new term alone does not make any noise in the whole world. However by annexing another word behind it makes it hugely dangerous.
    That word is the word “killing” , and they have successfully created a monster of a problem for any good leader.

    Since its invention , the word extra-judicial killing has gone a long way. Its devastation has been felt far and wide , the Philippines was not spared. In fact , this monster has been bugging the incumbent president. Its lethal efficacy springs from its delusive character as it appears at first sight , as a government property.

    This is , of course , the purpose of its creation—it must appear as government-owned. By virtue of this , the enemies should have an easy time dismantling a hated leader by division. The extra killings are done by the enemies but the blame falls on the government because the term appears beforehand as a phantom image of the government.

    Christ has so testified on the inevitable : Mark 3:24-25 (ESV)
    24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
    25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

    So the devils are so happy with their creation , with this they can destroy and bring down their enemy whoever he is.
    Division is the main character of Satan’s wisdom of knowing good and evil—bringing together two opposites is a “dividing against itself”.
    Therefore a house built in this manner is a house divided against itself. Its destruction and fall is imminent.

    It is worth remembering here that the house being occupied by the present leader is the very same house occupied by the former president. It is therefore easy to understand that the house passed on to him was the very same house tarnished and ravaged by the previous administration. You all could see , that house is a house full of lawlessness. Corruption , illegal drugs , erring officials , massive disregard for the rule of law , etc.
    No wonder the incumbent is facing a monster so huge to fight off.

    Thus , the dividing of the present government is achieved by the evil ones through the use of Satan’s deceptive scheme.
    You see , destroying a government is so easy just by employing the Devil’s proven platform.

    The evil is made to appear pleasant by circumventing it by the word , good. Thus , making the unlikely combination of good and evil appears so pleasing to the eyes. No wonder the woman Eve was fascinated and deceived.

    The same deception is being carried out successfully by the term , extra-judicial killing which deceives the eyes of the beholder , thinking that it is all government activity , extra-curricular.
    So the devils are so happy with their evil invention , they are doing the damage without anyone noticing it , the president including.

    Always remember that the enemies are right inside the same house occupied by the ruler they want to destroy as much as the good and the evil are housed together in the Devil’s tree.
    Otherwise the efficacy of the demolition job is rendered ineffective. The division is coming from within.

    In other words , the enemies of the president are also in the government wearing the same uniform. They could be police officers , senators , congressmen , governors , vice-governors , mayors , vice-mayors , economic managers , etc.
    The enemies are right in the house!
    Their involvement in the multi-billion dollar illegal drug industry is greatly affected by the president’s declaration of war against illegal drugs.
    This is the principal reason why they kill with so much impunity because they are tremendously angry with the president.

    And they utilize the evil invention , extra-judicial killing , to divide and destroy the president.
    They murder without let-up , and say from within themselves , CHARGE THIS TO THE PRESIDENT!

    Everyone could have understood by now that every good citizen should help in thwarting the onslaught of these devils in our society.
    Support the President because he is the only one you have got!
    No other leader will have the courage to ward off the enemies as he has been doing!
    Support the President by acquiring this knowledge.

  2. aladin g. villacorte on

    “President Duterte on Tuesday ordered all police to stop prosecuting his deadly war on drugs as he shifted attention to cleansing the PNP of widespread corruption and abuse.” That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that it will take a monumental effort, an iron-clad determination, to clean the PNP. The age-old barnacles of corruption, culture of violence and abuse that have settled within, yes, evil personified, would make the government’s job extremely difficult.

    Let’s unite in prayers for the success of the government clean-up exercise. There is one stronger than Hercules who can cleanse the Augean stables of accumulated dirt and slime. The Almighty One whose atoning sacrifice can conquer sins and make the country whole again.

  3. now that killing of drug personalities will stop, I’m wondering Mr. Makabenta how many killings of innocent law abiding citizen will these drug addicts will register…in night 1 of halting drug operation, in our community I’ve witness the resurgence of drug users and peddlers in our streets. there nakatambay nanaman sila mula gabi till madaling araw, nag iingay palakad-lakad at pinatatahol ang mga aso…it’s a long night dahil sa pangamba na kung anong kademonyohang gagawin nanaman ng mga animal nato ngayon at free na sila ulit…PUTANGINA!!!sabi ko sa sarili ko bakit hindi napatay ang mga ito!!!!ito yung sinasabi nyong mga POOR na usually namamatay sa operation ng pulis(mahirap na nga nag-aadict pa, ang gusto lang kasi tumambay at pa-shot shot lang ng GIN or EMPE)..and why they have the most casualty???simple lang ang sagot Mr. Makabenta, kasi ang poor addict ay automatic nagiging pusher para ma maintain nila ang kanilang bisyo at pag wala na silang pagkukunan ng pera mang hohold-up at mang iisnatch worst papatayin pa nila ang victims nila…

  4. DU30 started this war by believing the PNP, who had their hands untied, could act quickly and decisively to finish this was. Then it became evident the protectors, the crooks, and the corrupt within the PNP were using the drug war to their own benefit. So it is smart and it is logical that the drug war cannot be fought by the PNP at this time. The PNP must be cleaned up to be a force to serve and protect the people. Then it can be used to decisively win the drug war.

  5. The suspension of Oplan Tokhang does not necessarily mean that Duterte’s drug campaign is a bust. On the contrary, the operation has exposed what we Filipinos have known for the past almost 50 years now – THAT THE RANKS OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE IS RIDDLED WITH CORRUPT AND INCOMPETENT CRIMINALS WHICH IS A DIRECT RESULT RECRUITING MEMBERS FROM THE ILLITERATE MASSES!

    • The Great Defiant on

      and this is what the oligarchs controlled mainstream wanted to be…to remain poor and illiterate.
      and here’s Yen a journalist who says nonsense for a living….

    • Renato Irlanda on

      101% kang correct.
      Mga illiterate nagiging pulis, paano, sa entrance exam palang lagayan ng katakot takot.
      Hindi pa pulis dami ng utang, paano nya ito babayaran kung aasa lang pulis sa sweldo nya