It looks like the kidnapping, in the guise of anti-drug war, that led to the brutal murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joon and eventually the disappearance of his ashes, which was reportedly flushed in one of the toilets in the crematorium, has made President Rodrigo Duterte realize that his war on drugs, violent that it has become, is not going anywhere and far from being a success.
It will be noted that Duterte promised the Filipino people that he will eradicate illegal drugs in the country in six months of his presidency.
Well, it was not as if Duterte did not make a difference in his war against drug, but it has dawned on him now that the enormity and monstrosity of the problem made worse by the complicity of rogue and corrupt members of the police force in all ranks of the hierarchy is making his efforts futile at best, and at worst an avenue for political and public condemnation.
“You policemen are the most corrupt. You are corrupt to the core. It’s in your system,” the enraged Duterte said.
This being the dismal picture of police scalawags sustaining the drug proliferation instead of preventing it from becoming a plague in our society, it is only fitting and proper that Duterte has to change tact in his war against drug by declaring war first against police criminals existing in the Philippine National Police (PNP) organization.
PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa echoed Duterte’s sentiments when he issued the following statement to his people, saying: “We have to focus our efforts towards internal cleansing … and by the time we have cleansed the PNP, the President will determine that and instruct us to go back (to) the war on drugs.”
Needless to say that the existence of illegal drugs and the presence of corrupt policemen is a recipe for failure if one has to wage war against the former.
Hopefully Duterte’s change of tact on his war against illegal drugs also changes his perception about giving support and protection to cops involved in the killings believing them to be truthful, like in the case of the murder of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in his cell at the Baybay Sub-Provincial Jail, which has been thought by many as a rubout, but which Duterte assured the operatives involved that they won’t go to jail.
It is not too late to change tack. In fact it is a welcome move, a humbling move on the part of Duterte, to recognize and acknowledge that there is another direction to take and a better way to carry on the war on drug to success without generating much controversy.