President Duterte’s war on crime: A nuclear explosion of violence

President Rodrigo Duterte ... launched controversial war on crime. Image: Wionews

OPINION: By Atty. Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno

President Duterte’s war on crime in the Philippines has spawned a nuclear explosion of violence that is spiraling out of control and creating a nation without judges, without law, and without reason.

Do we really want to give the man with the gun the power to judge who are criminals and to kill them?

To decide who is bad and who is good, who deserves to live and who deserves to die?

We might as well disband our courts, dissolve the Department of Justice, and abolish Congress. For there really is no need for law when the barrel of the gun dispenses justice.

The bandwagon that the President has created is a bandwagon of hate – a mob mentality that not only condones but encourages the taking of lives “because they deserve it.”

Yes, drug pushers destroy lives. Yes, criminals behave like animals. But are those who kill them any better? And will the killing stop there?

Mob law
Our people have seen what a mob can do in the hands of a tyrant who knows no law but his own.

Lest we forget, the first person that Marcos executed was a drug pusher. But did he stop there? By the time he was ousted, he was responsible for killing thousands upon thousands of people whose only fault was their belief in justice, the rule of law, and human rights.

President Duterte, do not kill in my name. That is not your mandate, that is not what you were elected for.

Yes, go after the drug cartels and criminal syndicates, the corrupt, the criminals among us. But do it as an officer of the law you have sworn to uphold as a lawyer and a President.

Atty. Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno is national chairman, Free Legal Assistance Group
Trustee, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. This commentary was first published on the PCIJ blog.

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  1. An elected government should not declare war and militarize against its own people. Historically, the use of force to address/prohibit non-violent, victimless activities has produced only negative results.

    Dear people of the Philippines:

    Nowhere on this planet has any nation ever had success with the policy of drug prohibition. Many thousands of you will die. Many of your villages, towns and cities will be turned into killing fields. But the drugs will still be there, the corruption will still be there. Only this time it will be far worse than any of you could ever imagine. Only one good thing will come of it all; the rest of the world will finally realize how dangerous and utterly pointless prohibition (A.K.A. the war on drugs) really is.

    How much worse does it have to get before you’re able to finally understand that drug prohibition has never worked, not once, not ever. You are endangering your own families. This will not end until tens of thousands of you are dead. Your most precious institutions and possessions will be destroyed. People will always want to use drugs and you can never stop them. This is an historical fact. Nothing can change your fate; you are about to destroy your own society.

  2. War on drugs, corruption and criminality is what the people of the Philippines desperately wanted and needed. For decades, lawlessness and disorder ruled the country. Every unbelievable, ridiculous, crooked and corrupt practice imaginable is being done in broad daylight. Drugs are being made inside the penitentiary orchestrated by incarcerated druglords. For decades people are hopeless, uninspired to the point of apathy as they know elections only mean new administration but just same old inutile system. For decades the working class and the poor are victimized and fooled by institutions to believe that there’s nothing better than their mediocre or miserable lives.

    A big resounding YES that the courts, DOJ (de Lima, remember?!) and definitely the Congress might as well have been abolished for the past frigging decades because of inutility and sheer corruption!!!

    It’s about frigging time now to make right things right and wrong things wrong. The way it should’ve been, always is and will be. Two things go hand in hand- Crime and Punishment. Protect the law abiding citizenry, the youth and the new generation. The President is just doing his job, a job that Filipinos tasked him to do and expect him to continue until the end of his term.

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