How Duterte’s exaggerations worsened the Philippines’ drug problem

We’ve come to a point where drugs can be literally fished out of our waters. How can anyone hear these stories and reasonably claim them to be signs of success?
Rappler (Philippines)
Thursday, February 28, 2019

We’re nearing the midpoint of the Duterte administration, yet we’re nowhere near solving the Philippines' drug problem. By all accounts, things even seem to have gotten worse. For example, Duterte proclaimed, “There are seven to eight million Filipinos reduced to slaves to a drug called shabu. Seven to eight million lost souls.” Later he said, “We are facing a serious problem… The Medellin Cartel of Colombia has entered the country so we will be seeing a lot of cocaine.” Painting an ever-direr picture of the country’s drug problem is part and parcel of Duterte’s overall political strategy: by exaggerating the drug problem's extent and continually framing it as a national security issue, he is able to justify his war on drugs. (See also: PH drug war not a model for any country, says UN rights chief)