Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fake news: Save the drug dealers

The kerfuffle in the US news seems to be the Obama minions and the establishment doing their best to destroy Trump. Oh well, politics. Astroturf protests make headines you know.

But since I don't live in the US I'll stick with how the US liberal establishment is trying to destroy Duterte with their "killing of innocent drug dealer" meme.

Latest story hits all the buttons: And maybe someone can tell me why this "report" is in the NYReview of books: it isn't about a book. It's a fill in the blank story that fits the template, i.e. as if the author decided what he was going to write, and then cherry picked stuff to fill in the blanks.

police raids that kill the innocent taxi drivers, check. (e.g. who are in the wrong place at the wrong time because they probably make money by distributing drugs, but never mind).

Child caught in the crossfire. Check. 

what is missing from the story? Comparing the murders now with what was going on before Duterte took over.

druggies who rob people to get money for drugs, including murders in home robberies where the victims were elderly so presumably not trying to fight back. (several of these murders in our neighborhood in the last three years).

Open robbery on the street (Ruby had her golden necklace ripped from her neck in Manila).

Druggie boyfriends killing their girlfriends who dropped them for being crazy (one of these murders disposed of the body in the cemetery near my husband's grave) or fathers or relatives who kill or try to kill their families. One of our nephews killed his brother who attacked him when he was asleep in bed. So far he is on bail, since the dead brother was a known substance abuser and known to be violent in the past...  supposedly he was only drunk, but I suspect his rage might have been fueled by shabu (meth)... 

the article notes the poll taken that says x percentage of Filipinos in a poll worry that someone they know or one of their relatives is at risk. 

What is not mentioned in the article: Everyone is related to everyone here. In the US, it might mean 30 people. Here your extended family/relatives/friends would include a lot more people. So notice I mention cousins and nephews as examples of murders before Duterte took over? Well, we have a large extended family that not only includes cousins, second cousins, cousins by marriage, and compadres/classmates of all of our relative... not to mention those related to those who work for us and are considered "family".... Our cook's family works for our family for over a generation, our farmers who subcontract with us are often also considered "family" since before land reform they worked on our family's land, etc. etc.

Drive by murders under Duterte are blamed on him, yet in the past we read about these weekly in our province (i.e. they were alas common before Duterte took over). The kidnapping by cops of a Korean businessman is in the headlines, but in the past the kidnap for ransom of foreigners was common... which is why my husband ordered me not to go out alone. (the gang doing this in our town was caught two years ago, but if Duterte's law and order culture of killing first and getting evidence later gets taken down, well, they are still out there and we'll see it again).

 and of course murder of reporters (we averaged about 70 a year before Duterte.. link 72 in 2015; in contrast 28 killed in 2016 LINK ). 

and what about Girls who disappear from our rural area; Sometimes we read their dead bodies have been found, sometimes not. Are they kidnapped or merely lured into the sex trade? But usually the sex workers support their families, so when the family can't find them usually it means they are dead...

And the dirty little secret is that politicians have private armies who murder and get away with it because they use court procedures to stay out of jail, and during the delay the witnesses they can't buy off are often killed.

The mayor and his family ordered a hit against his rival that killed our nephew. We knew he was planning this before it occured, but our nephew refused to give up his friendship, so was caught in the crossfire.

The mayor stayed out of jail even after the hit men were arrested, using legal and extralegal means to delay the indictment. When he was finally indicted, years later, the mayor disappeared, only to be found a couple years later living in the Manila area... and the only reason he was caught is that he needed dialysis, and someone saw him and spilled the beans.

The end result? He died in bed, and was buried in our cemetery: Big Catholic funeral, with the Knights of Columbus body guard in attendance. Like the American mafiosi, he was a good Catholic and always gave money to the church. During one fiesta, he and his family were sitting up front in places of honor when the bishop said mass. Our cousin Chona went up to donate money at the offertory, and turned and saw him and waved her fist in his face shouting "YOU....YOU..."... 
Ironically, we could have ordered a private hit on him (local retired NPA friends from our farm area offered this option to the family) but we declined. 

so where is justice when you can delay and delay your case while you remain on the loose, and then you disappear and no one can find you when you can't delay any longer?

it's about corruption of course. In our case about who controls the money of the town's budget.

Nor was this the only murder in politics:

Even that old leftie Bishop Cruz has an article here about the delay in a few of the worst cases.

  To say that the long since obtaining inequity in the Philippine local, regional and/or national Justice System is but imagination, is reserved to people in dreamland, to those playing deaf and dumb – if not those who are immune to the reality and import of injustice usually for reason of ill-gotten temporal wealth and/or ill-obtained political power if not both thereof as some kind of a standard pairing in the Country.  Such is neither a big secret nor a profound reality.  Otherwise, how does one explain but the following well-known and more known glaring misdeeds that to this date and time remain unresolved – if not likewise altogether forgotten?

by leaving out what was going on before Duterte took over, what you are reading now is essentially "Fake news".

the threat of marshal law is about hastening justice. The danger is that it will be abused, of course, but there is abuse in the past, because of the way the law was used to keep the VIP's free.

but when the crooked establishment that sat back while they and their friends stole the country dry via bribery, kickbacks and corruption, you can see why this Establishment is now worried about maybe being arrested for doing so.

The drug money is only part of this corruption, but the alternative to Duterte's war aginst drugs is a narco state like Colombia used to be, or like Mexico is now, with tens of thousands of innocent people dead.


finally as a doctor, this part of the article made me angry:

It implies that because Duterte uses narcotics for pain control, (in the past?) so is an addict. 

Uh, not really. I suspect if he "used fentanyl" it was in the form of controlled relief  patches after surgery, but we docs prescribe this in a patch for pain relief because it delivers an even level of pain relief.

(the alternative is taking pills that sedate you and then you have severe pain when the pills wear off.) Oxycontin is another such long acting narcotic. Patients in pain take it on a schedule an can function pain free. Druggies extract the drug and take it to get high.

The reporter, who doesn't know the difference between abuse and use of narcotics for pain, so he compares post op use of pain killers to celebrities who didn't have pain but a long history of drug abuse who used these drugs to get high and overdosed. This is like comparing drinking a glass of wine with supper to someone downing a quart of rock gut whiskey, and saying the first one is abusing alcohol like the second one. 

  The real problem, treating Chronic pain, is a lot bigger, and the result of trying to stop druggies from overdosing on opiates from Mexico will be people in pain, and some will kill themselves because of the pain. Of course, that might be the backstory, to make euthanasia more popular and save a lot of money, but then I am a bit paranoid on that subject.


UPDATE: STRATEGYPAGE says a lot of what I noted about the war on drugs and the expansion of law and order to eliminate corrupt cops and officials...Read the whole thing.

Duterte is responding to the widespread feeling that some kind of radical solution is needed. Duterte apparently realizes that he has a short period of time to make some fundamental changes before public enthusiasm wanes and his powerful opponents (major drug gangs and corrupt senior politicians and bureaucrats) get organized. He apparently sees the recent police corruption revelations as an opportunity. Catching and punishing corrupt cops is popular but the corruption is a persistent and difficult problem to eliminate.

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