The social uproar over the teenager killed in one of Duterte’s drug raid is systemic to the misunderstanding of my government’s goal. It’s a tragedy, yes, but nothing in the larger scheme of things.
Over the past few days, there has been social media uproar about the death of a 17-year-old who was killed during a police drug raid in the Philippines. It is very difficult to pay attention to all the write ups, as they all end up making the same point: Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is inherently evil. People condemn what happened, claiming the actions were institutionalised overkill and that the victim, Kian Lloyd Delos Santos was innocent. To be fair, there are those who believed that the police are just doing their job, and how unfortunate it was that Kian was just a teen.
What bothers me though, is that those who oppose Duterte are making this issue bigger than it is. Kian is now a martyr. However, it is ridiculous to see these people, who claim the moral high ground, siding with those involved in drugs, conveniently forgetting about the thousands who were brutally raped and massacred, ignoring the victims of drug crazed criminals, and the victims’ families who suffered tremendously because of it. Many victims exist, but we never learned their names. We know Kian’s, and that seems to be the difference.
Equally bothersome is the idea that if you support the President Duterte and his war on drugs, people readily believe that you tolerate killings and defend abusive cops. That is not true. People who seek a drug-free society empathise with the victims of drug related crimes, but these people also understand that along the way toward a drug-free society, people who continue to involve themselves in drugs, refusing to heed the call of the government, will, as consequence, end up like Kian or the Parojinogs of Ozamiz.
What bothers me, is that those who oppose Duterte are making this issue bigger than it is. Kian is now a martyr. However, it is ridiculous to see these people, who claim the moral high ground, siding with those involved in drugs.
In my country, you quickly see that a clear duality exists. You witness the government visiting wakes of slain suspected criminals, replete with media coverage, but they never think to show up at the wake of massacred families. There is enough exhibition that makes you question the sincerity of their act. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that they merely view this as a chance to advance their own political gains. It is truly amazing how useful the dead can be in forwarding selfish interest.
A lot of attention has been given to this matter already. But in the larger scheme of things, Kian is just one life that is lost as a consequence of a bigger cause. People should look at the bigger picture, to how many teenagers like Kian are left and still alive, and subject to the same conditions he was before the door was kicked down. I believe that attention should be focused on his age group, to provide guidance, so that they will not turn to the lifestyle Kian did. These politicians who are busy grabbing every opportunity to discredit the present administration should, if they are serious public servants, find appropriate ways that respond to the problems befalling education and other social services.
After all, what’s more important? The prevention or the cure?