War on Drugs

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One day president-elect Rodrigo Duterte may want to explain in detail why he hates the illegal drug trade so much he wants to have traffickers executed.

While a number of heinous crimes have been committed by individuals high on drugs – little girls raped and killed, or mothers murdered by their sons, for example – many more can be traced to poverty.

Drugs of course can cause a lot of other problems apart from violent crime. In our country, it’s a source of corruption, and there’s a real danger that drug money may be used to win political support. Some of the most notorious drug convicts ran their operations when they were barangay officials. Drug convicts continue to corrupt personnel at the National Penitentiary.


Duterte must be aware of reports that communist rebels are also suspected of raising funds from either protecting marijuana plantations or growing cannabis themselves. Colombian rebel groups also do the same with coca plantations.

Drugs can also fry the brains of youths, with the damage often permanent. Parents of such youths will probably support Duterte’s tough stance on drugs.

Duterte seems to be putting the war on drugs front and center in his presidency. But how pervasive is the problem? Is he overlooking other priorities?



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