Socioeconomic planning secretary Solita “Winnie” Monsod said that by looking at Thailand’s long enduring drug war, it could be said that President Rodrigo Duterte could not beat drugs in just six years.
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In her Philippine Daily Inquirer column published Jan. 7, Monsod pointed out certain similarities between Thailand’s war against drugs with Duterte’s, proving that an iron fist could not eradicate narcotics.
“The first war on drugs was started in 2003 by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, at the behest of the King (the late Bhumibol Adulyadej). Thaksin said he would do it in three months, and then extended the time frame to eight months, but then was waging it all the way until he abruptly left office. Does that sound familiar?” she asked.
The Unoversity of the Philippines Economics professor said that 90 percent of Thais support their leader’s war which killed 2,800 people in three months.
Over half of the casualties were believed to be innocent.
After two years and thousands of dead bodies, Monsod said 74 percent of Thais still remained supportive of Thaksin’s war against drugs although 68 percent “did not think it would be successful.”
After thirteen years, the drug problem remains unsolved.
The number of metamphetamine laboraties even increased from two in 2010 to 193 in 2012.
Monsod warned of the consequences of Duterte’s drug war.
“Even if we achieve “success” (rather doubtful), there will still be negative long-term impacts: the return, or at least the reinforcement, of the culture of impunity, particularly in the police force, and, relatedly, the isolation of the police and military from the people, with the latter’s growing suspicion and resentment of the former,” she said.