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Philippine Drug War

Is the war on drugs worth it?

Since becoming president of the Philippines in June 2016, Rodrigo Duterte has
launched a war on drugs that has resulted in the extrajudicial deaths of thousands of
alleged drug dealers and users across the country. The Philippine president sees drug
dealing and addiction as major obstacles to the Philippines economic and social
progress, says John Gershman, an expert on Philippine politics. The drug war is a
cornerstone of Dutertes domestic policy and represents the extension of policies hed
implemented earlier in his political career as the mayor of the city of Davao. In
December 2016, the United States withheld poverty aid to the Philippines after declaring
concern over Dutertes war on drugs.

When Rodrigo Duterte campaigned for president, he claimed that drug dealing and drug
addiction were major obstacles to the Philippines economic and social progress. He
promised a large-scale crackdown on dealers and addicts, similar to the crackdown that
he engaged in when he was mayor of Davao, one of the Philippines largest cities on
the southern island of Mindanao. When Duterte became president in June, he
encouraged the public to go ahead and kill drug addicts. His rhetoric has been widely
understood as an endorsement of extrajudicial killings, as it has created conditions for
people to feel that its appropriate to kill drug users and dealers. What have followed
seem to be vigilante attacks against alleged or suspected drug dealers and drug
addicts. The police are engaged in large-scale sweeps. The Philippine National Police
also revealed a list of high-level political officials and other influential people who were
allegedly involved in the drug trade.

Duterte start doing this because of many people taking drugs in the country of the
philippines thats why many people die's because the users keep's on killing innocent
people without a reason, their mind gets crazy when they hit a drug, Duterte wants our
country to be safe like Davao and he also wants our country to be a example to other
country's Duterte made no secret that this would happen. All of you who are into drugs,
you sons of bitches, I will really kill you, he said last April, a month before he was
elected. It wasnt just campaign bluster. For 22 years Duterte had served as mayor of
the southern city of Davao, where he took a pathological approach to restoring order to
the citys streets. Under his leadership, the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals
and drug users in Davao by vigilantes was practically state policy. In December,
speaking to a group of business-people, Duterte admitted to personally killing a few
himself while he was mayor. The reaction of the international community has been one
of outrage and reproach: Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for
Human Rights, said on Dec. 20 that Duterte should be investigated for murder.

Dutertes fiercest critic is Senator Leila de Lima, a former Secretary of Justice who has
attempted to wage a war in the legislature against a strongman President who she says
is actually rather meek. Duterte and his allies have struck back, and de Lima fears
impeachment, arrest or worse. But, she says, Will I stop fighting? Over my dead body.

The Presidents promise was kept. At 3 in the morning of July 1, hours after the
Presidents speech, the earliest reported extrajudicial killing of the new regime occurred
along IBP Road, near the corner of Road 10 and the Delpan Sports Complex.

The killing held the rough elements of what would be a pattern of deaths across the rest
of the country in the next 7 months. Blotter number 1675 noted the body found of a
male person alleged victim of summary execution. The unidentified victim, between 25-
30 years old, about 53 tall, had been left with a sheet of cardboard over his body. It
read, I am a Chinese Drug Lord.

The responding officers were members of the Delpan Police Community Precinct
(Delpan PCP), one of 4 precincts under Manila Police Station-2 Moriones (PS-2).

At least 3 more drug-related killings committed by unidentified men would occur under
PS-2s area of responsibility within the next two weeks. They were later reclassified as
deaths under investigation.

A year on from the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte, his war on drugs has
claimed the lives of more than 7,000 Filipinos, according to Human Rights Watch.
Duterte won last years election with promises to rid the country of drugs and crime, kill
every drug dealer and user and to feed their corpses to the fish in Manila Bay. But
despite the death toll, which includes more than 2,500 killings by police and 3,600 by
vigilantes, many Filipinos gloss over the murders, and Dutertes poll ratings remain high.

When Rodrigo Duterte campaigned for president, he claimed that drug dealing and drug
addiction were major obstacles to the Philippines economic and social progress. He
promised a large-scale crackdown on dealers and addicts, similar to the crackdown that
he engaged in when he was mayor of Davao, one of the Philippines largest cities on
the southern island of Mindanao. When Duterte became president in June, he
encouraged the public to go ahead and kill drug addicts. His rhetoric has been widely
understood as an endorsement of extrajudicial killings, as it has created conditions for
people to feel that its appropriate to kill drug users and dealers. What have followed
seem to be vigilante attacks against alleged or suspected drug dealers and drug
addicts. The police are engaged in large-scale sweeps. The Philippine National Police
also revealed a list of high-level political officials and other influential people who were
allegedly involved in the drug trade.

The dominant drug in the Philippines is a variant of methamphetamine called shabu.

According to a 2012 United Nations report, among all the countries in East Asia, the
Philippines had the highest rate of methamphetamine abuse. Estimates showed that
about 2.2 percent of Filipinos between the ages of sixteen and sixty-four were using
methamphetamines, and that methamphetamines and marijuana were the primary
drugs of choice. In 2015, the national drug enforcement agency reported that one fifth of
the barangays, the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, had evidence of
drug use, drug trafficking, or drug manufacturing; in Manila, the capital, 92 percent of
the barangays had yielded such evidence.

Drugs of course can cause a lot of other problems apart from violent crime. In our
country, its a source of corruption, and theres a real danger that drug money may be
used to win political support. Some of the most notorious drug convicts ran their
operations when they were barangay officials. Drug convicts continue to corrupt
personnel at the National Penitentiary.

Duterte must be aware of reports that communist rebels are also suspected of raising
funds from either protecting marijuana plantations or growing cannabis themselves.
Colombian rebel groups also do the same with coca plantations.

Drugs can also fry the brains of youths, with the damage often permanent. Parents of
such youths will probably support Dutertes tough stance on drugs.

Im in this picturesque port city of Colombia, a nation renowned for magic realism and
Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and notorious for drugs and the violence they

Colombia once accounted for nearly half of the worlds cocaine production, but
according to recent reports, it has been overtaken by several other South American

The war on drugs can be expensive; Duterte must be ready with the necessary funds. In
Colombia it has cost billions of dollars, with the United States the top destination for
cocaine bankrolling much of the effort. The US has also ensured the prosecution and
incarceration of drug cartel leaders extradited by Colombia.
Duterte may also have to seek the cooperation of banks in preventing drug dealers from
laundering their money through the banking system (good luck on this). Banks have
been accused of complicity in the global drug trade, unable to resist handling the
estimated $100 billion a year from the illegal but hugely lucrative industry. Cocaine
money reportedly kept banks afloat after the 2008 financial crisis; one writer calls it a
global narco-economy. How much of shabu money is being funneled through our
banking system?

Instead of marijuana, incoming agriculture chief Manny Piol may want to encourage
growers in the Cordilleras and other cannabis-growing areas to plant high-value
alternative crops. Thats what Colombia is doing for its coca farmers, although of course
no crop, with the possible exception of opium poppies, can be more lucrative than coca.
Prices of Colombias other main agricultural export, coffee, cannot top the amounts paid
for coca.

Piol can encourage cutflower production in the highlands; global demand reportedly far
outstrips supply. He can initiate R&D for propagating cacao for the production of
premium, single-origin fine chocolate. The Malagos district, in Dutertes very own Davao
City, is now producing some of the finest chocolates. Vanilla also offers promise; some
Pinoy entrepreneurs have successfully produced beans.

The Colombians are also cracking down on precursor substances used for producing
cocaine. Some of the notorious Colombian traffickers reportedly went legit by setting up
pharmaceutical enterprises and importing the necessary precursors.

Finally, Colombia is putting emphasis on the fact that the drug menace is a social
problem, with harsh punishment reserved only for the notorious traffickers.
In our country, we have a popular saying about saving the user and jailing the pusher. It
still makes sense, and it should guide Dutertes war. Anti-narcotics cops are said to be
drawing up a hit list of drug suspects. Fearing for their lives, neighborhood pushers are
reportedly presenting themselves to police, promising to mend their ways.

Whether the major traffickers will be cowed in the same way remains to be seen. Money
drives the drug trade. Pinoys risk their lives to work as drug mules overseas because of
the big money that can be earned quickly. People will kill or be killed for that kind of

Drug traffickers need to be sustained by a network of workers. Apart from the iron-hand
approach to the war on drugs, Duterte will have to offer that network an attractive
alternative to a life of crime.

And he will have to initiate programs to curb the demand for drugs. This aspect of the
problem tends to ignore the threat of mass execution.

Duterte's War on Drugs

The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was on the defensive after fresh
allegations of corruption were leveled against his deadly drug war, claiming that police
plant evidence at crime scenes, receive cash rewards for committing extrajudicial
killings, and have largely been responsible for thousands of killings blamed on
vigilantes. The new report claimed that Philippine police are behind the extrajudicial
killings of 9,000 people, mostly poor drug users and small-scale dealers.

"There is no truth in the allegation that there is a coordinated effort to kill drug
suspects," the president's office said Thursday, in a written reply to questions from
Reuters. "The so-called officers interviewed must be living movie scenes." The report,
published in April 2017 by Reuters, was based on the testimony of two anonymous
Philippine National Police senior officers critical of the deadly campaign.

A poll released 20 April 2017 by Social Weather Stations found that 73 percent of
respondents are worried that they or someone they know could fall victim to an Extra-
Judicial Killing, often referred to on the archipelago by its acronym EJK.

The Philippine police paused the controversial anti-drug operation in response to the
kidnapping and brutal murder of a South Korean businessman by anti-narcotics officers.
National Police Chief Roland Dela Rosa said 29 January 2017 that local anti-narcotics
units would go through a period of "internal cleansing" to get rid of rogue officers, whom
he described as "scalawags." Dela Rosa's announcement came after President Rodrigo
Duterte openly accused as many as 40 percent of policemen of corruption, as he dealt
with the fallout over the death of Jee Ick-joo in Manila in October 2016. The suspected
officers were accused of kidnapping Jee for ransom. More than 7,000 people had been
murdered since Duterte launched a brutal and deadly crackdown of illicit drugs shortly
after taking office in June 2016. Duterte vowed to continue with his anti-drug crackdown
across the archipelago until he leaves office in 2022, discarding an earlier promise to
end the operations in March of this year.

Rodrigo Duterte, dubbed 'The Punisher', won a landslide victory in the May 2016
presidential election, promising to rid society of drugs and crime in six months by killing
tens of thousands of criminals. y late August 2016, seven weeks into the campaign, the
death toll by police killings of suspects and illegal vigilante murders had reached 1,800.
Police operations alone had resulted in 718 deaths, while more than 1,080 people were
killed by various syndicate groups involved with illegal drugs".

"The killing spree must stop even as we also demand a stop to the proliferation of illegal
drugs," Renato Reyes, secretary-general of the left-wing Bayan (Nation) movement,

"A long-term and thorough solution is necessary. A fascist solution is doomed to fail."

Reyes urged Filipinos to join a protest organised by a group of artists in Quezon City,
saying in a flyer on social media: "Let us condemn the recent spike in the killings under
the Duterte regime".

Police say there has been no instruction from higher authorities to step up their anti-
drug operations and they are only doing their job.

"The president did not instruct me to kill and kill," national police chief Ronald dela Rosa
said on Thursday. "I also don't have any instructions to my men to kill and kill. But the
instruction coming from the president is very clear that our war on drugs is unrelenting.
Those who were killed fought back."

Duterte indicated this week that the escalation had his blessing, saying it was good that
32 criminals had been killed in a province north of Manila and adding: "Let's kill another
32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country."

On Thursday, he said he would not just pardon police officers who killed drug offenders
during the anti-narcotics campaign, but also promote them.

Critics maintain that members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are executing
suspects and say it is likely they have a hand in thousands of unsolved murders of drug
users by mysterious vigilantes. The PNP and government reject that.

Although the violence has been criticised by much of the international community,
Filipinos largely support the campaign and domestic opposition to it has been muted.

By early December, nearly 6,000 people had been killed: about 2,100 have died in
police operations and the remainder in what are called deaths under investigation,
which is shorthand for vigilante killings. There are also claims that half a million to seven
hundred thousand people have surrendered themselves to the police. More than 40,000
people have been arrested.

Although human rights organizations and political leaders have spoken out against the
crackdown, Duterte has been relatively successful at not having the legislature engaged
in any serious oversight of or investigation into this war. Philippine Senator Leila de
Lima, former chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights and a former
secretary of justice under the previous administration, had condemned the war on drugs
and held hearings on human rights violations associated with these extrajudicial killings.
However, in August, Duterte alleged that he had evidence of de Lima having an affair
with her driver, who had been using drugs and collecting drug protection money when
de Lima was the justice secretary. De Lima was later removed from her position
chairing the investigative committee in a 16-4 vote by elected members of the Senate

The war on drugs has received a high level of popular support from across the class
spectrum in the Philippines. The most recent nationwide survey on presidential
performance and trust ratings conducted from September 25 to October 1 by Pulse Asia
Research showed that Dutertes approval rating was around 86 percent. Even through
some people are concerned about these deaths, they support him as a president for his
position on other issues. For example, he has a relatively progressive economic
agenda, with a focus on economic inequality.

Duterte is also supporting a range of anti-poverty programs and policies. The most
recent World Bank quarterly report speaks positively about Dutertes economic plans.
The fact that he wants to work on issues of social inequality and economic inequality
makes people not perceive the drug war as a war on the poor.
The Philippine judicial system is very slow and perceived as corrupt, enabling Duterte to
act proactively and address the issue of drugs in a non-constructive way with
widespread violations of human rights. Moreover, in the face of a corrupt, elite-
dominated political system and a slow, ineffective, and equally corrupt judicial system,
people are willing to tolerate this politician who promised something and is now

There are no trials, so there is no evidence that the people being killed are in fact drug
dealers or drug addicts. [This situation] shows the weakness of human rights institutions
and discourse in the face of a popular and skilled populist leader. It is different from
college students being arrested under the Marcos regime or activists being targeted
under the first Aquino administration, when popular outcry was aroused. Drug dealers
and drug addicts are a stigmatized group, and stigmatized groups always have difficulty
gaining political support for the defense of their rights.

Its never been a genuine partnership. Its always been a relationship dominated by U.S.
interests. Growing up in the 1960s, Duterte lived through a period when the United
States firmly supported a regime that was even more brutal than this particular regime
and was willing to not criticize that particular government. He noticed that the United
States was willing to overlook human rights violations when these violations served their
geopolitical interests. He was unhappy about the double standards. [Editors Note: The
Obama administration has expressed concern over reports of extrajudicial killings and
encouraged Manila to abide by its international human rights obligations.] For the first
time, the United States is facing someone who is willing to challenge this historically
imbalanced relationship. It is unclear what might happen to the relationship under the
administration of Donald J. Trump, but initial indications are that it may not focus on
human rights in the Philippines. President-Elect Trump has reportedly endorsed the
Philippine presidents effort, allegedly saying that the country is going about the drug
war "the right way," according to Duterte.

The European Parliament expressed concern over the extrajudicial killings after a
resolution on September 15, stating: "Drug trafficking and drug abuse in the Philippines
remain a serious national and international concern, note MEPs. They understand that
millions of people are hurt by the high level of drug addiction and its consequences in
the country but are also concerned by the 'extraordinarily high numbers killed during
police operations in the context of an intensified anti-crime and anti-drug campaign."In
response, at a press conference Duterte made an obscene hand gesture and called
British and French representatives "hypocrites" because their ancestors had killed
thousands of Arabs and others in the colonial era. He said: "When I read the EU
condemnation I told them fuck you. You are doing it in atonement for your sins. They
are now strict because they have guilty feelings. Who did I kill? Assuming that its true?
1,700? How many have they killed?"

Many innocent people dies because of the war on the drugs or in the extra judicial killing
but our lovely president decide to have a war on drugs for our safety, Because our
president wants our country to be a peaceful country not a drug country, that's the main
reason of having war on drugs. But many innocent people dies because of the bad
police they want only money and kill peoples.There should be a close interaction
between teachers and parents to see any behavioural changes in adolescents and go to
the root cause than try to get rid of them superficially. Time is the biggest gift that
parents and teachers can give to children in this ever modernizing world.

It is very strange that on one hand are so many people fighting for their lives, hoping to
live a little longer, living with unimaginable problems and hardships, living bravely and
positively in spite of physical handicaps, and on the other hand are people who have all
of life's gifts but are so weak that they become the slaves of drugs. Drugs are not worth
giving up your life for. You are stronger than you think. If life is a battle, fight it!
This reminds me of the famous lines from the poem, 'Psalm of Life', by Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow-

"Be not like dumb, driven cattle

Be a hero in the strife".

So people don't be curious when it's about drugs because it can ruined your life your
curiousity will kill you because taking drugs once will push or urge you to be addicted
theres a lot of people expirience it and their family don't like it so be a good people not a
user because being a good people can make the country peaceful. Don't take drugs!
And just take a Bible because bible is a life transforming once you get attached to a
thing it will last forever. The Church was initially silent about the anti-drug campaign, but
has in recent months stepped up calls for its end because they don't like the police that
kills innocent people many innocent people dies because of that war on drug that issue
is not the problem but the problem is the crazy police or a fool police because they
break the rules. Don't be crazy in things because being crazy will lead you to ruined
your life just attent in churches and praise the Lord because it's better than taking a
drug if you dont know what to do don't take drugs because that's not the answer for
your problems, user only says that because they want you to become one. "Don't ruined
your life in stupid Things"

because of Dutertes war on drugs, there has been a decrease of criminal activity,
criminals now fear the law more than ever. Philippines has become a little bit safer and
better, but the result is not always good. The War on Drugs has led to the deaths of
over 7,000 Filipinos, some people are fearing for their lives and their loved ones. It has
affected many Filipinos, even drug users are sent to jail, they should be treated to
overcome their addiction.
Human Rights Activist are criticizing Duterte on his war on drugs. Every action has
consequences, Duterte knew that his war on drugs will have two outcomes good and
bad, it made the country safer but it also led to deaths of innocent people and children.

Submitted by: Chris Evidente, Marc Cuya Grade 11/FVT3 UCSP