OFWs support Duterte's war on drugs but bothered by killings
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte's war against illegal drugs, but many have expressed apprehension over how it is being carried out on the ground, noting the increasing body count of drug suspects.
"I stand side by side with Duterte in his stand against drugs. Drugs can ruin lives, families, careers, morals, sanity, and almost everything that you have," noted Alijan Tatel, a radiographer in United Arab Emirates.
He added: "Duterte's straightforward stand on drugs may shock people, but there has to be someone to do this otherwise we will never solve problems in drugs ever."
Christopher Tevar, a sales manager in Singapore, echoed the same sentiment, saying the ongoing campaign shows "our government now is doing it for the benefit of the many Filipinos under his (Duterte's) care."
"This is for the future of the young generation of today and the future of our country Philippines," Tevar added.
"Over the past 15 presidents na natin, ngayon lang naging seryoso sa [paglaban sa] droga," opined Bobby Gabad, a 38-year-old engineer in the UAE.
Rule of law must still prevail
But even though they favored an intensified campaign against illegal drugs, some OFWs interviewed by GMA News Online said the killings of drug suspects seem to be getting out of hand.
"We cannot build nations by killing citizens without legal process and basis," said Roldan Beltran, 28, a massage therapist in Qatar. "We believe in the rule of law, in due process, and in international human rights."
As of Monday, August 22, almost 2,000 drug suspects have been killed since Duterte took over, most of them by unidentified men. Of this number, over 700 were killed in legitimate police operations.
Gabad said the summary killings show that drug syndicates "are cleaning their backyards."
"Drug syndicates themselves are cleaning their backyards now bago pa umabot sa pinakamataas nila. Kaya palagay ako na sila rin ang nagpapatayan," he said.
Bill Salazar, who is also anengineer in the UAE, meanwhile, appealed to the police to be careful in their operations to prevent "collateral damage."
"The police must just be careful in their operations to prevent any collateral damage. Because it's unfortunate and not acceptable if the lives of others would be lost due to wrong identification or allegations," he said.
Strengthen family values
Aside from going after drug users and pushers, Tatel suggested that the government also include in its anti-illegal drug efforts the strengthening of the core family values in order to dissuade the youth from using illegal substances.
"I also would add one more important thing: strengthening core family values because individual character starts in the family where one belongs," he said.
On the other hand, Raquel Pasamba Hsieh, a manufacturer of control panel wafers in Taiwan, noted the role of family members in the campaign.
"First sa family, dapat open communication. Suportahan at bantayan ang bawat member ng pamilya financially and emotionally para maiwasan gumawa ng masama," she said. —KBK, GMA News