Wake up! Kian’s death shows us drug wars can’t be won

This anti-poor drug war thwarts the nation’s pursuit of inclusive growth and development.

But at a more basic level, the way it doesn’t discriminate between poor adults and poor children, this drug war has turned into a virtual genocide of the poor, and must be stopped.

Before more Kians die, stop the drug war now

Kian’s death showed us that the President’s war on drugs has snowballed into a full-blown humanitarian crisis, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

But did we really have to witness Kian’s death before we learned our lesson?

Instead of heeding the global experience – that drug wars do not work and demand-side interventions work better – we deluded ourselves into thinking that we can do a better job at this drug war. Now, just 13 months later, we’re paying a heavy toll for such a mistake.

Even more troubling is that – despite their supposed outrage over Kian’s death – our leaders seem unwilling to stop the war on drugs, even just momentarily to re-evaluate it.

This is a grave mistake. Insanity, they say, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Pushing through with this drug war, and expecting the senseless deaths to stop, betrays our leaders’ insanity.

Let’s stop pretending that we can ever win this war on drugs, or that there’s such a thing as a non-violent war on drugs.

Instead, let’s move on and demand that our leaders pursue alternative strategies, such as attacking the drug problem from a public health perspective.

Otherwise, more children will only suffer Kian’s fate, and blood will be on the hands of every Filipino who will consent to the drug war’s continuation. – Rappler.com

The author is a PhD candidate at the UP School of Economics. His views are independent of the views of his affiliations. Follow JC on Twitter: @jcpunongbayan.

JC Punongbayan

JC Punongbayan is a PhD candidate and teaching fellow at the UP School of Economics. His views are independent of the views of his affiliations.