But the bloody and violent method the government has been employing to implement the campaign against drugs has drawn flak. One of its critics was former Sen. Rene Saguisag, a long-time human rights lawyer. He said the government was doing the right thing, but it was not doing it right.
Saguisag said the government was merely scratching the surface of the problem. What the government needed was a more comprehensive plan and long-term solution to address illegal drugs, not a campaign that seemingly affected the poorer segments of society the most, he said.
“You can minimize it,” he said, “but you cannot boast na, give me six months and I’d eradicate this problem. Ang in-e-eradicate niya—mga pobre e, riffraff, mga hampaslupa. E kung ang tinepok niya dyan ay isang senador, isang taipan.”
No case vs big fish?
Until now, he added, the government has not filed a single case against suspected big-time druglord Peter Lim and against the five alleged narco-police director generals.
Quoting news reports, Saguisag said majority of those killed and arrested in police operations were poor.
“Ilang biktima, buried like paupers,” he said. “In other words, ang pamilya walang pantubos. E, talagang ‘yung mga pobreng pobre. Pero‘pag pumunta pa sa (rich men’s)enclaves, “Tao po, tao po.” Meron po ba kayong shabu yan. They are gentle.”
Saguisag said the hardline policy against drugs has never been a success anywhere in the world.
“Many living personalities have concluded, the hardline policy is a failed one and should be replaced by another policy,” he said. “Ang attitude sa Portugal ay nagdadrugs ka, hindi ka masamang tao e. Hindi ka criminal. You’re sick, they are not imprisoned. They are treated in rehab clinics."
"Kaya to me, dapat we sit back and review kung it’s really the way to go: (It’s) kill, kill, kill! To me naman, heal, heal, heal. We are one family,” he said.