La guerra contra las drogas en Filipinas no acabará con Duterte en la cárcel

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La guerra contra las drogas en Filipinas no acabará con Duterte en la cárcel

10 marzo 2024
RJ Naguit
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Más allá de la culpabilidad del ex presidente, el país debe emprender un proceso de rendición de cuentas y cambio para garantizar que esta tragedia no se ciontinúe repitiendo. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.

Tides are turning against those who instigated the war on drugs under the previous administration. Despite President Marcos’ pronouncement that he will “not lift a finger” to assist the International Criminal Court in its probe on former president Rodrigo Duterte’s crimes against humanity, recent events have pointed to growing apprehension in the Duterte camp. The ongoing rift between the Dutertes and Marcoses further creates a fragile situation that will keep the drug war instigators constantly on their toes.

Undoubtedly, the arrest of Duterte and his ilk would be a big step toward justice for the drug war victims and their aggrieved families. But beyond Duterte’s arrest, there are critical issues fundamental to moving past the war on drugs. First, we must have a thorough accounting of the harm caused by this war; second, a progressive drug policy alternative must be laid out, and finally, we need to change the narrative toward a more humane approach to substance abuse.

Any effort for reform must start with a clear and honest assessment of what happened previously. The death toll is a common way to start. The number of deaths alone is enough to trigger outrage, although as the corpses piled up, the staggering numbers slowly lost their shock value. Near the end of Duterte’s term, only the organization Dahas continues to keep tabs on the death toll. Sadder still is the fact that the killings are just a sliver of the harm done. Children have to bear the trauma of seeing their fathers shot. Distrust prevails in barangays where neighbors and local officials listed “drug suspects” in their own community. Professional groups who were expected to push for an evidence-informed health policy fell silent, with some subscribing to the hegemony on substance use.