Wednesday, August 24, 2016


photo borrowed from

HE ALSO said once: At kayong mga drug lords, magtago na kayo kasi papatayin ko talaga kayo kapag ako naging Presidente. Something to that effect.
Hmm. At tila nagsipagtago nga. Dahil ngayon, ang tila kawawa ay ang maliliit na drug runners lamang na walang ibang makitang trabaho, sila nalang ang pinagpapapatay. Parang Pilipinas lang din, kung saan ang maliliit na napilitang maging kriminal lang ang naipatutumba at ang biggest criminals ay labas-pasok sa bansa at may mga offshore accounts na nga, may mga libingan pang mararangya na aakalain mong minsan sila ay naging bayani.
You could say one ought not to shed tears for even the smallest drug runners or pushers, approaching all this from a position of retribution against the evils these people have also brought upon their barangays. But if I am to take the same approach, I would actually still say 
“enough with the drug pushers dying, I’d want to see the biggest drug lords heads swinging from EdlSA MRT poles, including those of their brokers on the Ilocos shorelines that have served as these drug importers/exporters ports!
    On this approach of retribution as social cleansing, the National Economic and Development Authority chief socio-economic planning secretary, Ernesto Pernia, recently called the President’s war on illegal drugs “a necessary evil” for long-term economic gains. Well and good. Pero huwag naman evil. Dahil wala namang matinong kritiko ng war na ito ang nagsasabing evil ang Duterte anti-illegal drug campaign. Ang sinasabi lang nila ay tanggapin sana ng Presidente at ng Philippine National Police chief na mayroon marahil nangyayaring execution ng ilang apprehended suspects committed by police, o on-location execution ng mga lower echelon dealers and runners and users committed by police, with links to the illegal drug trade (as police under drug lords payroll or as secondary drug dealers of confiscated drugs), executions all done in the spirit of eliminating possible whistleblowers on these police elements. Kung maluwag daw sanang tatanggapin ang reyalidad na ito ng civilian at police leadership, marahil ay maaari na nilang mabawasan ang lumulobong numero ng drug-related deaths, not to mention deaths due to possible wrongful accusation or mistaken identity or as collateral damage.
    But here’s where the problem is. One thing that attracted a lot of Filipinos to the Duterte team (as against the Mar Roxas team) during the 2015-16 election campaign was its image of being so grounded in reality, its being streetsmart, almost defiant of academicism. But how grounded in reality was it really? It’s been so right about the enormity of the problem, thats for sure! But it also comes as a surprise that PNP chief Bato de la Rosa would now come out surprised at this, to him, news of so many policemen involved in illegal drugs. His attitude surprises us because it’s “news” that the general public have already been treating for a long time as common knowledge! Kung ganito ngang nasosorpresa pa si Chief de la Rosa sa bilang ng mga pulis na sangkot sa using at trading of illegal drugs, aba, hindi nakapagtataka na tila di matanggap-tanggap ni Tsip na may summary execution nga talaga ng lower echelon links committed by cops involved in the drug trade (who’ve also likely used the “nanlaban” alibi and an evidence-planting habit)!
    The intent of the shooter to prevent the suspect from spilling the beans, thats the overwhelming suspicion among critics of the ballooning number of anti-drug-campaign-related deaths. The overwhelming suspicion among these critics is that some of these “operations” have actually been done by police elements trying to erase links or tracks that would lead to them in any investigation. In short, preemptive strikes against would-be whistleblowers.
    The PNP has been defensively arguing that its operations follow the laws of the land to the letter. But heres the thing. All the critics need is one to two anecdotal evidence of extrajudicial killing or vigilante killing, or a simple execution by police allegedly linked to the drug trade, for the critics to qualify the argument that says such killings exist. In contrast, the PNP cannot present an anecdotal evidence of a legitimate and clean arrest, and consequent killing in a shootout, of a dirty narco-cop by his fellow cops to qualify an argument that says all its operations are similar to this operations. The single evidence presented by the former already contravenes the evidence presented by the latter.

ALL THIS actually started when the President introduced a loophole in the law to the most law-ignorant of policemen when he publicly pronounced: kapag nanlaban, you have all the right to shoot the suspect in self-defense. That could have paved the way for executions hinged on the self-defense alibi, which would not be hard for perpetrators to contrive, given that it’s been a PNP personnel habit to plant evidence on unwanted elements of society (or unwanted elements of police scalawags kind of society).
    The problem is also on the bottom-up approach of Dutertes war on drugs, the rationale for which can vary. As of the moment this approach is not giving the campaign the 100% social support it ought to get, even from anti-drug activists. Some among the latter actually could be seeing this bottom-up approach as worrisome for the campaign in that it could work against it instead of gather the much-needed 100% support for it. . . .
    Unless the President is not interested in any 100% support, now that he’s President with so much power. In which case all we can do is wish him and all of us good luck, about all the things that may come in the wake of this carpet bombing when the dust settles. [S / -I]

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