FGF Op-Ed
A VOICE FROM FLY-OVER COUNTRY
March 30, 2017

Philippines’ President Wages A Real War on Drugs

by Robert L. Hale

[MINOT, ND] – Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the U.N. Human Rights Council, and various international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are up in arms at the assault by Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, against drug dealers and criminals in his country.

These groups are urging the United Nations to launch an independent international investigation into President Duterte’s efforts to eradicate the illegal drug trade and violent crime in his nation.

Duterte was elected in May 2016 as the 16th president of the Philippines. He has a degree in political science and is an attorney. He was a prosecutor and served for 22 years as mayor of Davao City (population 1.44 million).

In 2005, at a National Crime Summit, Duterte stated, “Summary execution of criminals remains the most effective way to crush kidnapping and illegal drugs.” In 2009 he stated, “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination.” In 2016 during his campaign for the presidency he opined that if elected president, he might kill up to 100,000 criminals.

Following his election to the presidency, he announced his domestic policy that focused on combating illegal drug trade by initiating the “Philippine Drug War”. In declaring war, Duterte has voiced support for extrajudicial killing of drug users and criminals. The U.N. experts immediately condemned his declaration.

The U.N. aristocracy ignores criminal violence as well as the worldwide drug trade. It does all in its power to see that criminals are coddled and that efforts to eradicate growing criminal violence are, intentionally or not, inhibited.

The U.N. aristocracy ignores criminal violence as well as the worldwide drug trade. It does all in its power to see that criminals are coddled and that efforts to eradicate growing criminal violence are, intentionally or not, inhibited.

President Duterte’s declaration of a Philippine Drug War and his support for extrajudicial killing has, for the first time, acknowledged that his war on drugs is a real war, not cheap political rhetoric.

War by definition is the exercise of extrajudicial killing of combatants. This has terrified the prissy agencies, phony dignitaries, and politicians who see world problems in terms of meaningless rhetoric and nothing more. The U.N. is one of the worst. President Duterte, to the horror of the white-gloved, silver-tongued, and designer-clothed politicians and dignitaries, is having nothing to do with these phonies. Either you are at war or you are not. Duterte has declared war and is engaging in it. The U.N. is horrified — too bad.

More than four decades ago the U.S. government announced it was declaring war on drugs. That announcement, as everyone knows, has proven to be nothing more than pure meaningless political rhetoric. In fact, it turned the meaning of war upside down.

Since that declaration of “war,” the U.S. legal system has endowed the drug dealers and the corrupt officials who are complicit with them endless legal protections. At the same time our courts have imposed endless limitations and restrictions tying the hands of prosecutors. In short, criminals are now freer than ever to poison our children and wreak havoc in our communities.

Our legal system has built a web of legal hurdles that effectively protects criminals and hinders justice. Our justice system has created layers upon layers of legal protection for the guilty.

In actuality, the scourge of drugs in American society has gotten significantly worse, not better. The broken, hamstrung U.S. judicial system coddles drug dealers, vicious criminal violence, and the corrupt elected and paid public servants who shield them. Thus, while not openly encouraging criminals, lawlessness has continued to grow.

President Duterte understands the concept of war. He understands war is absolute. Either you engage to win or you lose. Finally there is a national leader willing to address illegal drugs and vicious criminals on their terms. His declaration of war is real.

More than four decades ago the U.S. government announced it was declaring war on drugs. That announcement, as everyone knows, has proven to be nothing more than pure meaningless political rhetoric. In fact, it turned the meaning of war upside down.

He has made it clear that those taking on the drug criminals will be pardoned, if necessary, when they eliminate them through extrajudicial action. This is war; to let one side kill with impunity and handcuff the other is irrational. No longer are criminals in the Philippines getting a free ride.

President Duterte said criminals have declared war on good and honest citizens. He has declared war on drug criminals. They are terrorists and enemies of the state. Innocent citizens will no longer be easy or cheap pickings.

Duterte has declared that the price to be paid by drug pushers and violent criminals is the ultimate — eradication. It’s about time.

The status quo political class squeals, wrings its hands, and expresses shock and horror at the fact that an elected national leader is actually engaging in a real war on drugs and violent crime. This same political class cares little for the suffering of innocent citizens at the hands of criminals.

I think the shock and horror emanating from the political class isn’t that someone is actually going to exterminate the criminals. Its real shock and horror comes from the realization that if President Duterte is successful, its members will be exposed for the frauds they are.

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Copyright (c ) 2017 by Robert L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation.


Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.

See Mr. Hale's biographical sketch.

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