Filipinas: Ya es hora de acabar con la guerra contra las drogas

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Filipinas: Ya es hora de acabar con la guerra contra las drogas

13 junio 2022

Los resultados de la guerra contra las drogas de Duterte pueden medirse en decenas de personas asesinadas, encarceladas, y hechas huérfanas y viudas. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

By Gideon Lasco, Inquirer

As the Duterte administration comes to an end, the change of leadership presents a new opportunity to finally, if belatedly, end the drug war which, by the President’s own admission, has been a failure.

Of course, by “failure,” he likely means the inability to “eliminate” (read: kill or jail) all the people he perceives to be “subhumans” and “zombies,” alongside the inability to stop people from using drugs altogether. Indeed, to the very end, he has insisted on his narrative that drugs are destroying the country and that he took the correct approach—only that the problem was too big. “Now that I won’t be president anymore, nobody can dictate what I do,” he said in Davao days before the election, adding: “I’ll search for drug peddlers, shoot them, and kill them.”

I would define failure differently: the inability to prevent harm to individuals (whether from drugs or from drug war-related violence), and to bring peace, security, and economic development to communities—on top of the inability to suppress the drug trade and the criminal syndicates associated with it. I would add that, for all the good intentions of some of our government officials and law enforcers, the fundamental flaw of the so-called drug war is that it was never meant to help people; it had other goals: to use drugs as a populist trope, to go after political enemies by using drugs as accusation, and to instill fear among communities.