The enormity of the drug problem also correlated to complexity of the historical, social, cultural and most importantly economic conditions that created the problem in the Philippines. The rise of killings of 'supposed' drug suspects warrants the question:
- Does the scope of the drug problem warrant the decision of sanctioning death to whoever fits the stereotype of a pusher/user/trafficker? (Given that majority of the killings happen before arrests were made hence not providing sufficient space for forensic investigation, and judicial processing based on rule of evidence and due process.)
- Should we condone vigilantism and support actions that make another person as judge, jury and executioner without legal authority to do so?
- Have we exhausted other measures such as jobs and decent living conditions for all; properly funded rehabilitation centres, drug exchange schemes and support for all addicts, whether of legal or illegal drugs; resources to be provided for youth facilities?
A proportional response to the drug problem goes beyond intervening in the supply and demand chain of the drugs itself and definitely pointing guns based on anyone based on suspicion does 't make the mannace go away I think the current strategy of shoot now ask questions (if at all) later approach delivers little the change, reaps multifold body counts and a whole lot of collateral damage not only to those of mistaken identity but also to the spouse, parents, children, sibling and friends of those killed without the due process of law.
Beyond all that is the challenge to hold responsible the President for sanctifying killings as a necessary pre-requisite for his promise of 'change'.