Editorial: They do not see the joke was on them


There is a song by the BeeGees which was quite popular here in the country in the 70s which goes, “I started a Joke, which started the whole world crying, but I didn’t see that the joke was on me, oh no, that the joke was on me…”

We are reminded of the idiomatic expression in that song when minions around a “butangero” boss try to tone down or pad the fall of the cusses and grave threats their boss spews whenever he chooses to push his weight around those he perceives as lesser people or to threaten critics away.

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Though warnings were made that it was not possible to solve the drug menace with the use of violence, the promise of the present dispensation to solve the drug problem in the country was to wage the ‘War on Drugs’ with the police and soldiery at the forefront; and now it has been accused of having arbitrarily or extra judicially killed some 12,000 suspects (Human Rights Watch) since 2016. Most of its victims were from the poor sectors of the citizenry.

There were wealthy personalities who have been identified and arrested on the suspicion of being involved in the drug trade who were recently exonerated or released from jail including a self confessed drug trader. Even the president’s son was implicated in a case of smuggling some P600 million plus worth of drugs which, for delicadeza, has forced him to resign from his position as vice mayor.

Sections of the mostly poor survivors of the drug killings have organized themselves and have taken to the street their protests and to the courts to seek and demand for justice and a stop to the “war on Drugs”. Instead of listening to advice, criticisms and protests, the President himself chose to disregard, insult and threaten critics of his bloody war on drugs.

In reaction to an inquiry on the basis of a complaint filed with the International Criminal Court of a charge on crimes against humanity in relation to the War on Drugs, the administration hastily announced its withdrawal as a signatory to the Rome Statute which created the ICC and even encouraged other countries to do likewise, instead of facing the request for an inquiry like the statesman expected of his position.

Before this, peoples’ progressive organizations continue to hold the president to his other campaign promises which includes: agrarian reform or land reform, free education for all, better health care services, an end to contractualization, higher wages, among others. All of which to this point, the second year into the presidency, the administration remains unyielding to the Filipino people’s demand for an improvement to their socio-economic well-being. Instead the administration has imposed tax systems, among others, the widespread forced take over of ancestral lands and people’s communities for big foreign investors that put the population at the loosing end and further deprive them and the nation of a sustaining livelihood and stability.

Being deaf and uncaring for the welfare of the nation and its people could result in a failure in the war on drugs, the loss of more lives and eventually, like what has not yet ended for the last dictator, the people shall hold these tyrants accountable for their crimes against humanity and the Filipino people forever. # nordis.net


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