Cardboard Killings: Not The Way To Go

By now, we should be informed or at least aware of the killings happening around the Philippines. The victims are alleged drug users or pushers and they are left lifeless on the pavement or the street, wrapped in duct tape or tied with plastic, with a cardboard sign that says, “Pusher ako” or “Pusher ako! Wag gayahin!” While some are in support of this kind of system, it is also causing disbelief and reproach from a part of the community because these deaths are in the assumption that a person uses drugs, but with no solid evidence presented to prove their guilt. Some of the people who were killed have been proven guilty of drugs, but there are quite a number who have been examined and were clean of any form of illegal substance. Even though these are becoming more rampant, we should not turn our heads and ignore the issue because the next victim could be someone close to us. As a nation, we should be unified in fighting against drugs, but we should also be unified in protecting human rights and following the correct judiciary process that justice may be served for all.
It has been made clear by the newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte that he is in opposition of illegal drugs and all who are involved in its trade. He has presented his thoughts and plans of action even before being elected into position, and is now implementing the measures to fight illegal drugs. In one of his speeches, he declared a shoot-to-kill demand against anyone who is using and selling these substances, but this is after he announced a nationwide campaign to give chance to drug users who wish to surrender and withdraw the use of drugs. His goal to completely eliminate drugs in the Philippines is one for the betterment of the country, but some of the measures being done to pursue this cause is being done outside of the due process stated in our judiciary system. This is when it becomes dangerous to a common citizen.
The president’s justice process in eliminating drugs is direct, surrender or be killed. He set up events where users can surrender and stop using drugs to help the people. As we know, drugs have been a big issue and a cause of criminal cases in our country like rape or murder. Getting rid of drugs all in all will help the people be in a better state to think critically and make logical and rational decisions. Duterte, even in his mayoral position in Davao, has taken extreme measures to cut off illegal drugs from its source and there is a group called the DDS or the Davao Death Squad which takes care of any concern regarding this matter. The president is very serious and is aggressive in addressing this issue as he knows the consequences of the use of illegal substances. Lives become in danger, not only of the drug user but of everyone around them. That is why it is also important that we value how much Duterte focuses on the war against drugs.
Though the goal of the elimination of drugs is for the betterment of the Philippines, the end will never justify the means. Taking the lives of people without proper investigation will endanger the lives of many innocent Filipinos. Yes, some of those who are killed are confirmed drug pushers, users, and sellers, but what happens to those killed who turn out to be simple human beings? Though not directly done by the people under the administration or police, the people have been triggered to become vigilantes to kill who they think deserves to be killed. This has also become an excuse for drug lords to kill off those under them so that they themselves will not be caught. A recent video showed a pair who were hired as hitmen to kill for a few thousand pesos. Duterte’s words are being used against him but he still isn’t careful in releasing them. What he doesn’t seem to understand is as the president, everything he says will affect the country, the economy, and the people, and he does need to be watchful of what he releases as orders because that is what the people will follow. He should implement a more humane way of eliminating drugs, follow the justice system or adjust it to make the process faster. But killing off people with no full proof will only do more harm than good.
As for the community, we should do our part in retaining the proper justice system while still fighting against drugs. Drugs is a big deal and should be stopped, and we should do our parts by reporting suspicious activity happening around us. We should let the authorities handle the situation properly because it is not for us to decide who gets killed based on suspicion. Let us not grow callous in situations concerning life and death. We are all humans, so let us use our humanity and make the world around us a better through unifying as a nation in the right and moral way to fight illegal drugs.

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