The war on drugs is not targeted at any particular segment of society. However, the most prevalent drug in the Philippines is shabu, dubbed as poor man’s cocaine.
The supply, largely from outside the Philippines, is in great demand from users and distributors both coming from poor families.
Poverty, however, does not justify the use and selling of shabu. As the President said, he has to clean up the streets of drug users, pushers and dealers, regardless of their socioeconomic status in life.
Nothing can be farther from the truth than the HRW accusation that President Duterte has “contempt for lives.” In fact, eight out of ten Filipinos living in Metro Manila now feel safer and more secure under his administration.
HRW and similar other organizations should therefore be more circumspect about meddling in the country’s domestic affairs. Their lack of appreciation of the context and local reality show a deep insensitivity to other cultures.