File photo of the Philippine National Police.

SEVEN months into the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, it realized that 40 percent of the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were corrupt.

To think it was this agency which was entrusted to implement the most important program of the President, the anti-drugs campaign, since the project began in June last year.

Reports say that over 2,000 poor Filipinos, suspected of using or trafficking drugs in the country, were already killed in police operations under the campaign.

President Duterte announced Monday that the anti-drugs campaign will be stopped while the government cleanses the police ranks of corrupt members.

The Duterte Administration should have cleansed its police first from the start.

The stoppage of the campaign came at a time when the Catholic Church and an ever increasing number of citizens, including supporters of Mr. Duterte, have demanded that extrajudicial killings be stopped.

March for Life is scheduled on Feb. 18 in Manila and, presumably, around the native country.

Face-saving grace.

So, the much ballyhooed campaign will stop and change horses in the middle of the stream without a sign of success after all the killngs.

GMA Television in Manila came out with the following intelligent analysis: “...the question is, could Duterte or Bato really wipe out drugs in the entire country? Duterte imprudently declared his bloody war against drugs without carefully studying and analyzing the drug problem in the land; without meticulously and judiciously planning on how best to implement or execute the resolution; without thoroughly planning for the aftermath of his campaign and without reviewing and critiquing the outcome of the project.”

“There was no monitoring system planned or established to continue to scrutinize the program, or to check the progress and how to deter potential abuses. There were no reassessments of what went wrong; no guidelines or policies provided to ensure positive outcome.”

“Duterte failed to include the cooperation and corroboration of other agencies and departments and other sectors of the government and of course failed to solicit the help, cooperation and support of the Filipinos on his anti-drug campaign with humility.”

Forbes magazine has its own observation.

“President Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads didn’t kill corruption in the Philippines last year. But they killed freedom and democracy, and will kill the country’s economic growth and equity market.”

We feel President Duterte and his advisers should start listening, instead of castigating well-meaning critics from the media, Catholic Church and the citizenry.


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