Consensus on drug menace

The number of deaths attributed to the drug war is piling up – and no end is seemingly in sight. The latest of which, in a span of weeks, included three teenagers 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, and 14-year-old Reynaldo De Guzman, who was found lifeless in a Nueva Ecija creek with 30 stab wounds in his body.

Two truths are clearly emerging and undisputable: The drug problem is serious and it must be arrested, lest the future of this country is compromised, and the ongoing war on drugs is getting bloodier and some if not many (or most?) of the deaths were unjustified.

Also, the number of alleged drug users in this country already reaches 5 million, while the number of victims related to the war on drugs rises to 7 thousand deaths, according to the latest estimates.

Both estimates give enough reasons for government and all of us to act immediately. They are threatening! Can we imagine what happens if drug addicts or narco-politicians run this country?  They can do everything, including weird ones and buy even the souls of people or destroy those who disagree or reject, respectively.

The challenge, indeed, is how to stop or at least minimize the drug menace and do it justly and correctly.  

Is there such a flawless approach?

The problem in this view is that success is more measured by the least number of victims and the high volume of drugs confiscated or destroyed. Ideally, this is a good barometer but on practical consideration, it is more in the realm of imagination. The larger volume of confiscation the more people, nay drug traffickers, are involved – and the bigger number of people falling or victimized.

This grim scenario is rendered more terrifying if among the law enforcers there are drug pushers or protectors. Expect a hellish situation in order to cover the traces of their criminal or evil participation.

Despite the seriousness and assertiveness of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his anti-drug campaign, he is getting all the criticisms, left and right. We are not saying he is doing it wrongly or rightly. We disdain passing judgment! The policy is internal to government.

But what we can only say that no plan or program is perfect. The room for improvement is always wide and open.  Consensus-making is always preferable.

However, in this country, consensus-making, except among party mates, is very difficult to achieve. In the name of democracy, people are already split right at the start. It is a system that thrives on so-called freedom and stresses the pursuit of right first, rather than obligation first.