On Duterte, Drug Killings, and Foreign Relations

Photo source: www.philstar.com
Photo source: http://www.philstar.com

Philippines’ tough-talking president, his anti-drug campaign, and tirades against his critics have put the country in the global limelight once again.

As Filipinos witness it and the world hears it via media, the Duterte administration imposes intensified drive against illegal drugs and criminality. This led to a number of good things: tens of thousands have surrendered and efforts to rehabilitate them began. Sadly, it seems the number of casualties on drug-related police operations and their human rights received greater stress than their unwanted acts. And even greater than the effects in the lives of youth and future generations. Yes, killing is a sin and it won’t solve the long-standing problem on drug addiction. But we can’t compromise the lives of innocent people over those with “devilish” mind.

Maddeningly, some politicians are behind the illegal trade. High-profile inmates still earn from it behind bars.

While bribes and threats are a part of local politics and parts of laws have loopholes, the wheel of justice seems to have lost people’s trust. Tired of these social problems and eager for new beginnings, millions of Filipinos believed in the promises of Duterte. Can the administration eliminate illegal drugs in six months? We’re halfway there, I believe.

As I view it, Duterte’s election is a signal of new hope for a change we Filipinos seek. Despite the impressive economic growth, many Filipinos’ socioeconomic status remains the same—below the poverty line. Isn’t it ironic how poor “Juans” can take illegal drugs amid their financial problems?

Our war on drugs made global headlines, reaping both praises and criticisms. Recently, various news banners tackle world leaders’ reactions to this campaign and call for human rights protection.

US President Obama’s and United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s bold statement on such issue got nothing but curse and profanity. The same thing happened to European Union (EU). Yes, these are influential personalities and groups but PHL is a republic with its own sovereignty. These foreign institutions should address their concerns with diplomacy and not publicly.

Today, major local news sites carry similar headlines about President Duterte’s invitation to UN and EU to probe alleged summary killings. Applause for gesture toward reconciliation and understanding of the matter!

The news says President Duterte would write a letter to the UN chief, EU, and UN rapporteurs to invite them to come to the PHL. But the President has set a condition—that these officials and agencies give him a chance to air his side. For him, he wanted to keep the “time-honored principle” of hearing both sides. He even hinted at asking them via a forum after knowing the country’s current state.

What would be his first set of questions to the rapporteur? “I killed thousands? What was the name of the first victim? What happened? Where, for what reason, how was it done? What time was it?'”

There’d be no better way of learning what really transpires in the PHL than to come here, see drug addict’s craze for notoriety, and ask for Filipinos’ opinions. This way, they can grasp the real situations and not mere hearsays and feeds from biased entities.

Sure we don’t want to lose our allies with this kind of war. We need the support and understanding as we strive to make the country better. Let’s work to mend our foreign relations. As a huge Catholic nation, PHL remains pro-life and we, too, regret the deaths from this drug “cartel.” This fight is for majority’s sake—majority hoping for a better tomorrow.

With these current happenings, I still trust the President and his will to resolve social problems. Indeed, change has come and we all need to support him toward reaching his goal—see Filipinos living in paradise.

We’re one on this war against single enemy. Let’s do this!

Share your thoughts on this blog post in the comments section.


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