We did our own "survey" of our readers, posing a question on our Facebook account about whether or not drug proliferation had actually gone down in their communities.
While it may not be statistically bankable, almost 95% of the almost 200 commenters affirmed that, indeed, in their experiences, the drug menace had whimpered.
We even received three private messages sharing how this happened, and how their locales were transformed. Those who sent messages asked that they not be named.
We did this in order to validate whether or not the drug war has delivered palpable benefits to communities. Having read the comments and tallied the responses, we were surprised at the outcome.
For in contrast to many opinions saying that it has not delivered, and the detractors’ statements accusing the drug war of many things, accounts of the people say otherwise.
This gives us a qualitative understanding about how they have felt the change. With this, it is clear that they do.
Reading recent Social Weather Stations surveys on the same, we are brought some compelling survey data that three in four Filipinos fear being victims of so-called EJKs.
At the same time, however, surveys also show that four in five Pinoys agree with the drug war. Seems ironic or contradictory, yet analyzing such an outcome need not be a tedious exercise. We only have to go through recent history of law enforcement to know why.
Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao's deeper explanation brings us to a hard reality: "Filipinos have been so fed up with the proliferation of illegal drugs—how it has made the streets so unsafe, how it has made men so crazy as to do horrible things as rape and murder, how it has ruined families, how its main victims are the poor—that they support the executions of suspected drug dealers by the police.
“Anyone who really knows the situation in our urban slums, or our rural hinterlands would know that Filipinos are so convinced that our legal processes aren’t working, that if the police stick to the judicial process, the war against illegal drugs will never be won. “
Worse, the respondents, having known of the killings of drug suspects, may not exactly disagree with such an action, even if they rightfully fear that it may happen to them.
For decades they have known the harsh reality that police at high levels have aided, abetted, benefitted from, and therefore protected this trade.
Little wonder to them that shabu is openly traded the way it’s been—in front of their children. That sordid and despicable reality is compounded by the despair many parents feel about not being able to do anything about the proliferation of this evil in their midst. Go to the police and they may be the next targets of the same drug dealers—among the police.
As realities have played themselves out over the past year, the fact that there are those that have been caught killing drug suspects are proof for many that the drug business is pervasive and insidious, far from the image of isolation it may have been seen in the past, which has led many to downplay its significance.
Deep inside many of our countrymen, justice has indeed caught up with a long known evil that has terrorized communities and turned morals upside down.