Duterte and his willingness to die in the name of his anti-drugs campaign

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While Duterte is dead serious on his “innovative” anti-drugs campaign, his subalterns and the ones implementing his policies on ground are obviously acting either in defiance of him or in deference to their true “bosses”. Though the issue against Albayalde happened six years ago, the fact that the ones who committed those Ninja moves are in active service in the police force confirms earlier fears that Duterte’s an ti-drugs campaign is really headed to the dogs because even the President is convinced that “two generals” are playing the dangerous drugs game. This just shows that the problem of the state’s campaign against illegal drugs inevitably touches on the state of corruption within the very state agencies that the people rely on to save them from the evil clutches of drug syndicates

Ricky Rivera

In his speech before officials of the Russian Federation, Philippine president Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed his willingness to defend and even die due to his anti-drugs campaign. Duterte even revealed that two generals, possibly members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are actively involved in the illicit billion peso industry which has victimised more than 4 million Filipinos already.

WHY DID THE PRESIDENT SAY THAT HE IS WILLING TO GET THE PENULTIMATE PENALTY OF DEATH THRU FIRING SQUAD FOR HIS CAMPAIGN? Is this again, a dramatic devise employed by the President to highlight the dire state of the anti-drugs campaign that even he, for all his power, is simply useless, nay, ineffective, to say the least? Only state security forces use firing squads in punishing their enemies or as a form of punishment to state criminals? Is the president implying that these corrupt police officials are now in power and the possibility of them eventually catching up with him remains? Or Duterte is in his usual “dramatics” to confuse his political enemies?

Maybe the president said that in the context of recent efforts by the legitimate opposition to picture him as a major human rights violator and mass murderer similar to what happened to former Panama strongman Manuel Noriega whose rule ended when US forces snatched him from his palace due to his involvement in international drugs syndicates. What the legitimate opposition is actively campaigning is for Duterte’s possible incarceration, not execution, as the International Criminal Court (ICC) does not mete any death sentence to anyone even those accused of genocide or any high crimes.

Or maybe President Duterte is just making an allusion to the possibility of these generals assuming power and eventually ordering his execution since he described his “dream” execution as similar to the one which national hero Jose Rizal got at the hands of our former colonisers. Rizal died after being accused of committing treason against Spain, the mother country of the Philippines at that time. That is certainly not in the case of Duterte, unless, otherwise, our President knows better. Is there anything treasonous with the way Mr. Duterte is conducting his anti-drugs campaign?

What is true is that the police organization remains rotten to the core. This despite years of reformative campaigns undertaken to at least limit the level of corruption among members of the police force.

This explains why former PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa first made some measures to weed out scalawags during his first year as head of the organization. The thing is, Dela Rosa wasn’t able to finish his internal cleansing efforts because he had to retire mandatorily. And when the Duterte group chose Oscar Albayalde as Dela Rosa’s alternate, the group failed to account one sordid chapter of his career, and that is now the one haunting him.

I remember when the palace announced Albayalde’s appointment as PNP chief, sources within the PNP told me that that was a wrong choice because of Albayalde’s record as a regional director of Pampanga. There were also rumours that Albayalde’s PMA class had secured the STL franchise in Southern Metro Manila. How true is this remains a mystery.

Calls for Albayalde to resign came from public impressions of his testimony before the Senate. Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson says Albayalde has 38 more days before his retirement. That is sufficient time, says Lacson, for Albayalde to “make amends, ” or “come clean.”

Whatever will happen, the fact is– Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign will never ever achieve its objective of a “drugs free” Philippines WITHOUT the President initiating a top to bottom cleansing of the Philippine National Police organization. This can only be undertaken by decent intelligence work.

President Duterte must probably ask the help of third parties, specifically the Interpol and possibly even by foreign military intelligence. I still believe that the PNP is not as rotten and as corrupt as generally perceived.

Likewise, I think it is also time for President Duterte to rethink his strategy of deploying ex-military or ex-cops in highly sensitive bureaucratic positions to shield them from the culture of corruption. One of the lessons during the Marcos regime was the historical fact that the military organization became extremely corrupt when they were given positions in the bureaucracy. It is not the duty of the military to govern–their duty is to provide security and protection to the Filipino people. That is their God-given mandate and vision.

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