The war against drugs declared by President Rodrigo Duterte is there for all to see.
It is not just about the nearly 3,000 people dead in drug-related incidents. No, it is not about extra-judicial killings as many journalists put it matter-of-factly but which many people dismiss as pure sensationalism.
No, it is not to denigrate the memories of those killed. It is just that the war is far too big than the figures Duterte’s critics want to harp on.
Indeed, it is not all about more than 700,000 confessed drug users who have flocked to their nearest local government unit to announce their addiction.
The families and loved ones of these people whose lives are forever scarred by this evil social menace and the agony they are going through make enough sob stories to flood this country but still there is more to this.
It is not so much about the past and the present that have been hobbled by this man-made scourge that knows know boundaries although no one can really tell how much we have lost because of drugs.
The amount of money lining the pockets of people involved in the drug trade – those who have sold their souls for the devil because of profit – cannot be quantified.
The rich probably can afford to throw away a large amount of their earnings but it tugs at the heart to consider how precious amounts that should feed a poor family is sucked into drugs instead.
Let us not even talk about the man-hours lost because users hie off to steal a trip while working or more so the creativity that could have made a difference but which has been flushed down the drain.
The drug problem confronting this nation is more than the proverbial sum of the parts. Indeed, it bigger than all of this put together.
And yet, some continue to deny that there is a war going on. These people are scandalized why it has to be fought in the first place just because they only read or hear about it.
They have not felt how it is to have a drug-crazed toughie who terrorizes the neighborhood when he is high or a friend or associate who won’t hesitate to go inside your room or sort your things when the craving gets irrepressible.
No, they don’t know how it feels to have a junkie for a sibling or a parent.
Let’s just pray they won’t. I won’t wish anyone that – no matter how hard they try to stop the war.
The invisible war is right inside one’s mind – everyone’s mind. It is fought between those who want Duterte to win and those who want him to lose at all cost. The former – about 7 out of 10 Filipinos – watch and read the news and realize many of those who report it want Duterte to lose. The latter – about 11 percent – watch and read the news and wonder how 76 percent are that stupid.
This is a war where everybody – whether they want it or not – is a combatant. More than that – it is a winner-take-all affair.
If Duterte wins, the nation wins.
If he loses, guess who wins?
The first battles are fought in an individual’s mind.
It is an invisible war. But just because it is invisible does not mean it is not being fought.
And just because it is invisible does not mean it must not be won.