There are only two sides in war
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - December 2, 2019 - 12:00am

Judging by what I have read so far about the three years of President Duterte's war on drugs, whether in news reports or in political commentaries and opinion pieces, I can say with a fair sense of objectivity that most, if not all, of the critical ones have been biased, one-sided, and therefore utterly erroneous and wrong.

In virtually all of them, the focus has always been on the death toll, about how many have already been killed in anti-drug police operations. What is being conveniently left out are the figures on the other end of the spectrum. There is almost never any mention of figures detailing how many lives have been saved as a result of the war on drugs.

All things being equal, for every human rights expert or politician masquerading as one, there ought to be a media person or politician acting like one who possesses a passable knowhow of basic arithmetic or even just plain common sense to realize that for every pusher, addict, or drug-addled jerk neutralized, there must be dozens or even hundreds of lives spared from the pernicious influence of drugs.

And yet nobody talks about the positive aspects of the drug war. All our lives we keep getting admonished at home, in school, in church, by media, by politicians, that it is always best to think positive. And yet in the drug war, which has become the single most contentious issue in the country today, nobody is thinking about the positive.

Everything is always about the negative, always about the killings of drug pushers and drug crazies. It is as if no one has ever heard of killings before. Every killing crybaby seems to have forgotten or completely ignored the fact that killing is as old as time. In the very first few pages of the Bible a killing already occurred.

This is not to say I approve of killing. All I am trying to say is that it is a fact of life, as ironic as it may sound. In a police operation that turns violent, it goes without saying that people are bound to get killed. The thing is, the bellyachers grow strangely quiet when it is the policemen who lose their lives. Between a policeman doing his duty protecting my community and my family, and a drug crazy trying to destroy them, I choose life for my cop.

There is no middle ground in war, least of all a drug war. Even the United Nations of Agnes Callamard knows this. When its Security Council okays any action, whether a mere economic sanction or actual military intervention, it knows people can get killed directly or indirectly. Even good old America knew thousands of innocent lives will be lost and yet it went ahead and dropped the bomb anyway, to save lives back home.

Here is an unassailable fact: For every pusher that lives, at least 20 lives will be infected, their families affected, their futures compromised. In time, if they do not get killed in some crime, they will become the walking dead. Vice President Leni Robredo was quoted as saying if she can save one life, she would do it. Whose life would that be, ma’am? The pusher's? The police operative's? The young boy with his full life still ahead of him?

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