Members of the US Congress, European Union Parliament and multiple western funded human rights organisations have an easily understood motivation for promulgating an irrational hatred of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Because Duterte pursues sovereignty minded and geopolitically independent policies regarding trade, investment, security and regional cooperation – he is disliked by those who represent the former colonial masters of The Philippines who continue to seek neo-colonial economic relations and wish for The Philippines to pursue a slavish foreign policy dictated by policy makers in foreign capitals.
This development was inevitable from the moment Duterte was democratically transformed from a mayor to a president. What is more worrying though is how many non-Filipinos, but particularly those in Europe, North America and Australia have a fixation on a single domestic policy of Duterte’s – the war on narco-terrorism, all the while ignoring all of Duterte’s other achievements and policy proposals.
Of course, fighting the scourge of drugs was one of Mayor Duterte’s flagship policies for decades and remains so now that he is the President of The Philippines. But what is most worrying is that these foreign opponents of Duterte hate the President not because of their concern for the Filipino people but because of their fixation with narcotics and moreover, the idea that somehow the illegal use of drugs is normal or even a preferable activity to sobriety.
One would not expect such people to understand the horror that the plague of narcotics has caused in The Philippines. One would not expect such people to know the stories of the women beaten, mutilated, raped, murdered and left by drug crazed criminals to rot like a dead animal on the side of the road. One would not expect such people to understand the wave of murders set off by the drug epidemic that has seen children shot dead in the streets by those on the notorious drug Shabu. One would equally not expect such people to understand that drug users have raped infants, the elderly and committed acts of arson against families sleeping in their own humble homes which is to say nothing of the mass theft and political corruption caused by the drug epidemic.
One might however expect such people to research the realities of the drug plague in The Philippines before making public statements about it. This goes for so-called journalists, politicians, celebrities and ordinary social media users. But the sad reality is, such people are ultimately not interested in the plight of ordinary Filipinos who continue to support Duterte in record numbers. The sad reality is furthermore that such people do not care to realise that the majority of drug users, traffickers and dealers killed in the drug war were those violently resisting arrest. The truth of the matter is that Duterte’s foreign opponents care little if anything for The Philippines or for Filipinos, nor do they care for the preservation of human life. Instead, such people tend to be overwhelmingly motivated by an obsession with drugs.
While some of Duterte’s haters appear to be on narcotics themselves and are therefore projecting their own fears of being brought to justice by lambasting Duterte, others are self-evidently experiencing a form of sadism where their sympathy lies not with the innocent, the law abiding and the masses of decent, honourable Filipinos but with the drug takers of society, with the criminal element, with the mentally deranged and with the violently monstrous.
There is nothing innocent nor accidental about the drug culture that Duterte is fighting. The levels of violence that the drug culture has inflicted on The Philippines is tantamount to a terrorist insurgency against the innocent population. Compounding matters, narco-money is among the top sources of funding for terrorism and likewise, terrorists throughout the world have been documented as using a drug called captagon as well as cocaine in order to intensify their brutality.
Sympathising with the violent rather than with the innocent is a sickness and it is called sadism. Sadism is defined as deriving pleasure from the suffering of others and this is clearly what those feigning sympathy with narcos over normal Filipinos must clearly be.
While there are some genuinely open minded individuals who clearly are not aware of the facts, figures and history of the drug war in The Philippines, far too many foreign Duterte critics appear to fear a healthy society more than they fear the horrors of narcotics. Ultimately, narcotics are a weapon used in the process not only of self-harm but moreover they are a weapon used to harm others. Shabu in particular – the potent meth favoured among the drug takers of The Philippines has the propensity to turn humans into maniacs with no fear or favour regarding who or what they next victimise.
There is no point in Duterte supporters justifying themselves to sick individuals whose obsession is not with health, politics, social functionality or Philippine culture but with narcotics. Those who are obsessed with drugs have condemned themselves to a life of psychological enslavement but one which thanks to the power of the media continues to spread like a virus which psychologically enslaves others.
These sick individuals are a danger to themselves and others in the same way that championing or glorifying terrorism, fascism or other forms of political or religious extremism are dangerous. Duterte and his supporters are in this sense, not only on the right side of history but on the right side of morality. In a just world his opponents would be immediately shamed for glorifying wickedness over righteousness and revelling in sadism rather than supporting safety and peace.