The spike in the number of deaths as a consequence of the war against drugs by the Duterte administration has either sent people to heave a sigh of relief or raise hell over it.
Those who see the drug menace as a war that threatens the country’s very foundation applaud because after years of shameless neglect, the government finally found the guts to wage war against the drug syndicates.
On the other hand, some people feel so scandalized at the thought of drug personalities dying instantly because they worship due process. Of course, what is not reported in the media is the over-all count of the number of victims of the drug-related killings and muggings, but that’s a different story.
There are very few times when Filipinos are unanimous about anything and the drug problem is not going to be one of them. For one, did you honestly believe the drug syndicates will allow the no-nonsense campaign of the Duterte administration to go unchallenged?
This is not a carpet-bombing of all the critics of the anti-drug war because there are decent and honest people who sincerely believe due process takes precedence over internal security.
But certainly there is no denying the fact that drug and crime syndicates are busy discrediting not only the anti-drug war but even the Duterte administration itself. Obviously, they see no less than Pres. Rody Duterte as the man who can almost single-handedly drive them out of business.
There is no intention to put an end to the debates over the justifiability of the deaths in the drug war. It cannot be imposed on those who insist that due process is god. So too it cannot be imposed on the majority who just gave Pres. Rody an excellent rating in spite of the daily bombardment from a critical media who never wanted him to win.
This war is going to drag on for as long as human rights advocates in all their sincerity and advocacy to due process wittingly or unwittingly share the bed with drug and crime syndicates.
On the other hand, expect the majority of Filipinos weary of the social evil that has ripped families apart and destroyed millions of lives to fall in line behind the government and not let this rare opportunity to win the war go to waste.
In the midst of this divisive war, there is just one little detail that must be looked into – the plight of the confessed drug addicts who have turned themselves in.
The government – considering its meager resources – cannot address this problem alone. Its best intentions can never sufficiently confront a problem that transcends physical, psychological and even religious boundaries.
The plight of drug dependents is one area where Filipinos can unite.
Drug abuse does not discriminate. It can be a neighbor, a friend, or even a family member.
Time was when only the out-of-school, the adolescents, the jobless and the dirt poor were into it. Today, no sector or unit can claim immunity.
Young and old, rich or poor, unschooled and intellectual, atheist and religious, there is someone somewhere who is into drugs.
Indeed, this is a problem of our own making whether we confess to it or not.
That being the case, we should all be a part of the solution.
To borrow the words of contemporary Turkish novelist and playwright Mehmet Murat Ildan, “concentrate on the road ahead, not on the road behind.”