On its face, this looks good and an apparent improvement on paper. It sounds too good to be true but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
We hope that matters of course like respecting human rights and faithfully following rules of engagement in any police operation will actually be observed on the ground.
The problem before was not only the slothful shortcuts or outright violations in due process nor the brutality and cruelty, if not unreliability, in the methods of neutralizing the suspected or labelled drug users or pushers.
The problem also was the unequal application of the law and the discrimination between the poor petty hoi polloi and the rich powerful lord.
And impunity for such lapses, excesses and abuses should be addressed. There must be credible and certain accountability for past transgressions by anybody.
For after all, it is the State that has the legal, political and moral responsibility to protect its citizens against abuses and attacks on the rights most especially of the multitudes who are innocent and the hapless victims.
We do hate drugs. There can be no two minds about this. We despise and abhor its pernicious effects on our youth, on our communities, on our schools, on our nation, on our society.
Ultimately though, without a holistic approach to the drug problem, any mere police response will not decisively solve its roots and prevent its recurrence like a hydraheaded monster that refuse to die. #
Atty. Edre U. Olalia
Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General