Duterte likens drug addicts to zombies

COMMONSENSE - Marichu A. Villanueva - The Philippine Star

Shabu addicts were initially described as the “living dead” by President Rodrigo Duterte when he made an impassioned speech last week in defense of his administration’s deadly – literally – campaign against illegal drugs.

A few days later, President Duterte called these shabu dependents as the “walking dead” in our midst. Perhaps, the President was able to watch last week the first episode of the popular “Walking Dead” TV series now being locally carried at TV5 every Thursday night. “Walking Dead” is a fictional apocalyptic weekly series in US setting where zombies, or the undead, prey and feed upon human beings.

Based on official statistics of the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), President Duterte cited there are over three million Filipinos who are into drug addiction, or dependents on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, shabu and other narcotic substances.

On the other hand, the number of illegal drugs suspects killed in the on-going anti-drug campaign of President Duterte rose to 1,916 dead as of yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa reported this to the Senators at the resumption of the public hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights.

The latest total increased by 137 new deaths less than 24 hours after the first public hearing of the Senate last Monday that started its inquiry into alleged rampant cases of extra-judicial killings by the law enforcement authorities.

Of the latest 1,916 total of casualties, 1,160 were classified as deaths under investigation (DUI), or those who were killed outside any official police operations. These included killings allegedly perpetrated by vigilantes, the PNP chief maintained. Dela Rosa said the balance of 756 deaths was the result of legitimate police anti-illegal drugs operations.

The Senate public hearings were initiated amid concerns raised by human rights advocates here and abroad on the spate of alleged summary executions of illegal drugs suspects. The President’s tough-talking speeches were blamed as inciting these alleged summary killings that started weeks before he assumed office at Malacanang Palace last June 30.

Irked by these criticisms, President Duterte took pains to explain anew how substance abuse, especially those who are hooked on shabu, are medically considered already as having damaged brains. Speaking before the 117th anniversary of the police service, the President lamented how the public might be deceived by those taking up the cause of slain drug users while glossing over the real dangers they pose.

“And what is really very unsettling is that a year or more of shabu use would shrink the brain of a person, and therefore he is no longer viable for rehabilitation,” the President explained.

“Let us now say that there are about 400 drug addicts no longer eligible for rehabilitation for they are really crazy and out of their senses and no longer have the cognitive value of that person or their talents. So what do we do with 300 dead living Filipinos?” the President rhetorically asked.

Unlike the poppy derivative – heroine and cocaine – these narcotics are all grown from an organic plant, the President explained.

But “meth,” short for methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, is something else, the President pointed out.

“It is a deadly mix of chemicals, and even the water used in mixing the shabu itself uses the battery, the acid water of a battery we use to fill up a battery, to run our motor vehicle,” the President pointed out.

This is why, he said, many of these shabu users are paranoid to explain why they could be dangerous and resist arrest by fighting back at lawmen. This is how the President justifies his “kill” order against suspects if there is clear and present danger to lawmen themselves.

“You must remember that those who are already in shabu for almost one year, they are dead. They are the living walking dead. They are of no use to society anymore,” the President stressed.

Thus, President Duterte strongly took exceptions to “a lot of ranting about human rights” in his campaign against illegal drugs without fully understanding the gravity and extent of this social menace that threatens the fabric of the Filipino nation. “A lot of bleeding hearts, including senators of this Republic, are complaining about the death rate in the fight against drugs,” President Duterte rued.

“In my generation, especially now, we are seeing our country devastated by drugs, and it has not only affected millions, but a lot of them are no longer viable as human beings in this planet,” the President warned.

It was the same extemporaneous speech last Aug. 17 when President Duterte virulently attacked an unnamed “immoral woman” who he rued are among those bewailing the rise of alleged extra-judicial killings. In the impromptu press conference that followed, President Duterte no longer held his peace and named Sen. Leila de Lima.

The President let out a mouthful of accusations against De Lima, including what he termed as “sordid” personal life for keeping a “driver-lover” while she was the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary. He accused her “driver-lover” as collector of money from the illegal drugs trade right inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) at Muntinlupa City. The NBP is supervised by the Bureau of Corrections which is a DOJ attached agency.

In a press conference she called in Quezon City last Saturday, De Lima emotionally took offense to the presidential tirades on her personal life. She vehemently denied any alleged drug links while she was DOJ chief.

A visibly irate President Duterte strongly took exceptions over De Lima’s denials and rebuttals. The President called for his own press conference at his Malacanang extension office in Davao City. The government-run PTV-4 extended its airtime way past its normal operations as the President appeared in such ungodly hours around one o’ clock before dawn Sunday.

At his press conference, the President pointed out anew the three million drug addicts in the country were recorded by PDEA more than two years ago. By extrapolation, the Chief Executive placed conservative incremental increase of about 700,000 more drug addicts added to the PDEA record, or it stood now at 3,700,000 drug addicts all over the Philippines.

As to how many zombies there are, we could only dread at the thought of the danger they pose to our public safety.

vuukle comment
  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with