Let me attempt to highlight and point out the glaring sinkholes or contradictions in Duterte’s war against drugs.

No less than the three United States senators (Senators Edward Markey, Marco Rubio, and Christopher Coons) aptly described it as “a campaign of mass atrocities.” In a letter dated December 22, 2016, the US senators said, “We write to express grave concern about the campaign of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations by the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte under the guise of his so-called ‘War on Drugs.”


“Mainland China is the country’s main source of narcotics and Philippine authorities say little is being done to stop the flow of drugs.” In his (Duterte) trip to Beijing, October this year (2016), he boasts to the Chinese president his “separation” from the United States, declaring his alliance to China!

Sinkhole – It is no secret that China is the primary source of the illegal drugs known as Methamphetamine or shabu. On the other hand, the US is the primary source of aid and expertise, including intelligence gathering on the country’s battle against the illegal drugs; and Duterte is willing to forego this assistance. Was it consequential as a result of open criticisms of the United States against human rights violations? Or was it intentional due to his closer ties with Beijing?

The United Sates Drug enforcement Agency (DEA) provides training and intelligence to Philippine drug authorities and supports an interagency task group at the international airport. Recently, US DEA helped uncover six separate incidents of cocaine smuggling at the airport (Brazilian connection).

In another surprising twist, china offered the Philippines assistance, to fund a drug rehabilitation center. China made good on its promise, a donation from a wealthy Chinese billionaire investor, Hua Rulung; and put up a 10,000-bed facility in Nueva Ecija, opened last November of this year.

Sinkhole – Is Chin being generous or apologetic? One can always argue and wonder that China supplies the drugs and now apparently China through a Chinese billionaire is funding the rehab center! Looking through the thin glass, “I can’t help you stop the drug flow but I can help you treat your drug dependents”.

Duterte would regularly say he will hunt down the drug lords, but to date, the campaign has almost exclusively targeted small-time, street-level pushers, and users, in the country’s poorest neighborhoods. The country has yet to see a big time drug baron/lord killed or at least incarcerated.

Duterte even accommodated a visit in the palace from a suspected big-time drug lord known as Peter Lim, a Kumpadre; later on validated by no less than the Philippine drug authorities as a big time drug lord in the Visayas.

Sinkhole – As of latest report (rappler), as of December 25, 2016 – 2,150 suspected drug personalities killed in police operations; 4,049 killed by unknown assailants or by extra-judicial killings, a sum total of 6, 199 for only a period of six months, and the killings continued. No big fish yet, except a certain Kerwin Espinosa of Leyte who falls under the category of a distributor if compared to his compadre Peter Lim who still enjoys his freedom to this very day!

Sinkhole – another twist to the story of Kerwin – he is now under the protection of the DOJ, supposedly awaiting the approval for his admission to the WPP (Witness Protection Program); Kerwin is implicating Senator Delima, a staunch critic of Duterte. The DOJ, including Duterte’s allies in the lower house and the senate, is more than willing to accept Kerwin’s word despite the glaring inconsistencies and lack of direct evidence to pin down Delima. To date, the government is only able to come up with a disobedience case, or obstruction of justice against the senator.

Since taking office (June 30), Duterte aimed moderated criticism at China. After the discovery of a shabu laboratory in Pampanga in September of this year, Duterte suggested that “if Beijing considered us a friend, you stop the flow of drugs to our country.” China denied and rejected the report, through its Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua. Duterte’s Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said that the reports (allegation) were based on validated information “as far as we are concerned.”

Sinkhole – a moderated or a friendly reminder to China despite validated intelligence report, whereas in contrast, quick to anger and expletives against the US when reminded of the rule of law, on the unabated extra judicial killings in his war against drugs.

In October, during his visit in Lamitan, Basilan province, Duterte said, I have a “good feeling” that the Philippines will be “OK” with China as long as the Filipinos do not make the Chinese froth at the mouth by claiming Scarborough Shoal. “We cannot win that,” he said, on Monday, referring to the traditional fishing ground known to Filipinos as Panatag Shoal that China seized from the Philippines after a two-month maritime standoff in 2012.

Sinkhole – despite China’s clear dominant role in the supply of the illegal drugs into the country and its aggressive action in the disputed islands in the Spratlys; not to mention that the Philippines have just won the case against China in the International Tribunal Court – Duterte is willing to step backward so as not to offend his friend even at the risk of jeopardizing the country’s legal stand in the disputed islands.

It is good to note that the previous administration (President Benigno Aquino III) took a tougher stand and took the case to the international court and won. It was also unprecedented and historic that a small country is able to rally the international community behind him and took action to support him (Aquino) in its case against China. But with the way things are going, it is apparent that the toils and efforts of the previous president (Aquino) will go down into the sinkhole!

Rodrico Sy



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