In a desperate attempt at easing public outrage over the dastardly murder of 17 year old grade 11 student Kian Lloyd de Los Santos, Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa held a press conference and presented a witness who said that the teenager was a drug courier for his father and uncles who peddle drugs in Caloocan. Bato even tried to besmirch the reputation of the victim’s father by accusing him of being the barangay “toughie.”
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sir, I am sorely disappointed by your defenses.
So what if Kian’s father is a neighborhood toughie? Is that enough justification for your men to just nab Kian in exchange for his father’s life? Who gave you that idea of just snuffing out lives of people? That’s disrespect to this Republic and its laws. And to think that you and your backers are thinking of supporting your bid for the Senate. I cringed at the thought of what kinds of laws will you be legislating there in that august chamber. A law authorizing police to arrest suspects without warrants? A law allowing the killing of relatives of drug suspects? Probably, a law authorizing the mowing down of neighborhood toughies?
Dela Rosa is going around town, casting a new net, trying to trap those who think that violence is the ultimate answer to violence and disorder.
I felt your pain sir when you cried before members of the Senate when one of them asked you how do you intend to solve the problem of corruption within the PNP ranks. Those tears were not those of crocodiles. Those were real, honest tears shed out of personal feelings of inadequacy.
It has become an irritating refrain reading those online reactions from paid Duterte trolls raising non-sequiturs as air covers everytime cops commit these crimes themselves. ” What about those raped by drug addicts? How about that family massacred by a drug addict?” These strains just do not work anymore.
A life lost is a loss not of one, but of a generation. Chief, you are snuffing out the lives not just one but of many. Kian, who dreamt of becoming like you, would have become an honest cop. Of course, the possibility of 50/50 but getting even 50% is more than enough.
What had happened this past week revealed to us that these killings are state-sponsored, deliberate and systematic. Of course, even with a Freedom of Information Law, we will never secure that signed order instructing chiefs of police districts for the deployment of operatives against known drug personalities in these poor communities. It’s possible that there is no order here.
What happened is obviously, worse than martial law. Under martial law, operations against enemies of the state and criminals were covered by special orders (S.O.). Now, state forces kill in wanton fashion. There is simply no order, no clear standards followed, no process considered. Shoot when the subject is armed. Kill when a suspect is not armed; provide the gun later. Of course, the suspect must be a certified poor guy, a guy the neighborhood need not miss even for a second. A dumb sonofabitch.
That’s the S.O.P.
Unfortunately for those cops who committed this murder in the dark, Kian is not just a poor teenager. He is definitely not just some boy whose absence the neighborhood will even welcome.
Kian is one of many Caloocan boys who tried fighting poverty by sweating it out in schools. Was he a courier? Irrelevant. Did Kian profit from the sale of drugs by his father and uncles? Even if he did, Kian made good use of drug money by his study.
And this leads us to a major point here— assuming that Kian’s family is into drugs, but what compelled them to do such peddling? Had God gave them enough to live a decent life in the urban jungle, do you think Kian, his father, and even his uncle would even dare sell illicit drugs? Of course not.
Probably Kian’s death is God’s way of telling General Bato and his bloodthirsty boss, Mr. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, that the problem of drugs cannot be superficially curbed by just killing people. Like what I wrote in my blog, the drug problem is neither a health or crime-related issue–it has become an economic one. The drug problem is economic because it is market-driven.
People consume drugs out of many psychological & sociological reasons. Addiction is curable. Getting drugs is a supply distribution issue, linked with markets. Cut supply while there is overwhelming demand does not solve the problem, because drug dealers will always find a way, even exhaust all possible means just to make that supply reach the intended market.
The best solution is to influence the perception of the market about the product. Publishing news items saying that the prices shot up are not sufficient to decrease demand. The market will always find a way to absorb losses due to price adjustments, out of their addiction.
What if authorities peddle the rumor that products being sold in the streets are contaminated with, say, cyanide, would that be enough for the market to discontinue patronizing illegal drugs? Yes.
If I’m the chief of the PDEA, what I’ll do is ask permission from my bosses to re-create a substance just like shabu and then, give it to the different drug networks existing in Metro Manila for them to sell. Of course, what I’ll give are shabu-like products which, when consumed, poisons those who take it. That would probably solve the drug problem.
Killing an innocent is just one costly mistake that does not even make a dent in the war against illicit drugs.