There is little doubt that certain people are out to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs.
They dominate the news and opinion columns and commentaries.
They make mountains out of molehills, deriding each misstep as though it was the norm, the exceptions as the rules.
It does not matter that for every supposed overkill, there are scores of legitimate kills. It does not count that while there are indeed bad eggs who kill indiscriminately and apply excessive force, there are hundreds if not thousands who observe the rules of engagement.
If you stop to listen to them, this is a country where everything is going right so the few that went wrong should be placed under the microscope.
It is in fact a desperate effort to distract people from the more horrifying fact that thousands have voluntarily confessed to drug abuse even as suspicions are high that millions more are in a similar bind but are not just as forthright and sincere.
The champions of human rights are raking law enforcers as though they are the ones who have committed dastardly acts against society. And they desperately make out a scenario that everything has gone wrong just as the government is finally doing what is right.
If this was not about the hundreds of thousands of lives killed, mangled beyond recognition, or forever lost to drugs, it would be convenient to casually dismiss them as nothing more than the rantings of attention-seekers.
Let us not even talk about the millions in pesos seized either by unknown intruders or unsuspected insiders, the man hours wasted by drug users or the creativity and productivity given up by those possessed by its evil effects.
Indeed, something is wrong in this country when Sen. Leila de Lima struts like a peacock to bamboozle Gen. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, the first PNP chief in a very long while to go full throttle against drugs and criminality.
Something is out of place when the Commission on Human Rights is more concerned about how foreign institutions would frown upon the Philippines for going after drug syndicates when it never lifted a finger when the innocents were systematically terrorized and brutalized by these same drug personalities they now coddle with kid gloves.
Something is very wrong when de Lima, under whose watch the drug problem worsened while she serenaded drug lords in prison and her driver routinely collected money from the latter as though it was the most normal and legal thing to do is rewarded with a Senate seat for it.
Something is very, very wrong when de Lima shows very little hesitation in calling for an investigation not only of the handful of alleged overkills – even without the benefit of formal complaints – but refuses to be subjected to investigation herself.
Indeed, there is little doubt that powerful forces have conspired to discredit the war against drugs for reasons that need no elaboration.
For sure, the people now lining up themselves with drug lords, criminal syndicates, disgraced oligarchs and displaced politicians do not lack the resources to do so. In fact, they have millions, perhaps billions of reasons to do so.
Disheartening and discouraging as this may seem, the desperate effort to discredit Pres. Duterte and his war against drugs is bound to fail.
First, because all the arguments – legal and otherwise – fall flat in the face of reality. In erstwhile terrorized communities, people who now experience law and order don’t need strangers to tell them what’s right for them.
Second, because those raising those arguments do not have the credibility to prove their concern for the people because they were either completely silent while the massacre of the innocents were perpetrated or, worse, sang and danced with the enemy in their heydays.
Third, because more and more people have realized that Pres. Duterte does not personally benefit from it. His pockets will not be deep enough to build his driver a home(s). He won’t be getting any recognition from the United Nations, that same body that is inutile in preventing wholesale massacres of the innocent in many nations.
If ever, all that Pres. Duterte will get is a visit from its functionaries that have already prejudged and condemned him.
All hope is not lost, however.
The people who voted for Duterte in spite of his foul language, his rough manners and his unconventional methods, who chose him over rivals who enjoyed superior machinery, logistics, firepower and government resources are not going to take this sitting down.
In a few weeks, they will let their voices resound to let the world know they have had enough of hypocrites who cry for the criminals but not the helpless, the prostitutes who sell their souls for a pittance, and the dreamers who preached of laws while the lawless ravaged the law-abiding.
The minority can be as noisy as they want, that right is guaranteed under a democracy. But this time they will have to contend with a majority that has awakened to assert its right to rule.
The few discrediting Pres. Duterte’s war against drugs applauded by the many?
These people must be dreaming.