Recent news of stashes of drugs found in a UK government office are stories that many in The Philippines can relate to. One of the key elements of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has been targeting public officials who are involved in the criminal narcotics black market. As of February of 2018, 454 public officials in The Philippines including elected politicians, corrupt police officers and 218 state workers have been arrested due to their ties to the drug trade.
The amount of public officials throughout the world both dealing in the narcotics trade and purchasing narcotics for personal use is staggering. Even in the private sector, I have personally witnessed people from so-called respectable professions take drugs behind closed doors in a shocking display of disregard for all things decent and normal.
One of the highest profile public officials to be jailed in The Philippines for her involvement in the narcotics trade is Senator Leila de Lima. But while some blame Duterte for allowing proper law enforcement officials to arrest and jail de Lima for her crimes, the question that many should be asking is: “Why isn’t this happening in every nation”?
Duterte has been a pioneer in tackling drugs from the high halls of government to the streets that drug takers and dealers have turned into war zones. A proper culture is one where people of all levels in society are afraid to take and sell drugs where right now, in too many parts of the word but particularly in North America and Europe, it is those who are opposed to drugs who are afraid to speak out for fear of retribution and social ostracism in a places where drugs are considered normal and actual normal behaviour is considered deviant.
While many ignore the fact that the narcotics trade is among the top sources of income for terrorist groups like Daesh (aka ISIS) and while many also ignore the fact that most terrorist atrocities are committed by individuals on drugs, public figures must be scrutinised for their lax approach to one of the world’s most horrifying problems.
Governments throughout the world must begin to mandate regular drug tests for all elected officials, appointed public servants and law enforcement officers. These tests can be easily conducted on a weekly basis and what’s more is that those who are found to be on drugs must be immediately relieved of their duties and placed under arrest in accordance with appropriate local laws.
The term ‘Orwellian nightmare’ has come to signify a reality where individuals are so out of touch with the facts of the real world that they succumb to thoughts and actions that are incompatible with that of a rational mind. More than anything else, the proliferation of drugs and the normalisation of drug use in certain cultures has led to a widespread phenomenon where many otherwise “respected” officials find themselves subjecting normal people to a dystopian hell where in the words of Orwell, “War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength”.
Who else but someone with such a twisted view of reality could criticise President Duterte’s war on drugs? Duterte is tackling one of the universal evils of the modern age in order to give normal people a healthier, safer, more functional, more peaceful and more prosperous existence. Thinking that such a development is anything but positive is a perverse re-interpretation of objective standards of right and wrong.
Therefore, far from condemning Duterte, from the UN to every national government in the world, drug tests for public officials should be mandatory. If such a proposal were implemented, many officials might end up voluntarily resigning so as to avoid being exposed for their connections with dangerous drugs.