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Dead cop or dead drug suspect? Take your pick

  • Written by Itchie Cabayan
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 348

Some personalities are recently voicing out their supposed concerns about the recent spate of killings related to the no-nonsense campaign being waged by the Duterte administration against perpetrators of illegal drug activities.

Funny thing is, some of them are sort of lecturing on how the policemen involved in such operations should handle the situations so that they won’t result in drug personalities ending up dead. 

Some of them who recently gave an interview on the matter and offered unsolicited advice have said that the policemen carrying out the anti-drug operations must only maim or disable a drug suspect to render him defenseless and then effect his arrest, instead of inflicting mortal wounds.
   
This, to my opinion, is easier said than done. It’s a whole different kind of thing if you happen to be in the shoes of the said policemen.
   
Doubts being raised by some quarters -- including President Duterte himself -- that some drug suspects may be victims of summary execution even by unscrupulous policemen themselves, particularly those who fear that the said suspects may end up implicating them in their (suspects’) drug activities, are not without basis at all. 
   
In the same breadth, there is also reason to believe that there are police operations ending up with drug suspects getting killed that are truly legitimate. In short, there is always the so-called presumption of regularity on the part of our law enforcers.   
   
I have countless friends from various law enforcement agencies -- both active and retired -- and they all have the same story.   If you are a cop, you are faced with the day-to-day possibility of not making it through the day alive. 
   
When faced with situations like a drug-bust or an operation against notorious drug suspects, that possibility becomes much slimmer.
   
In such instances where an upholder of a law is pitted against a notorious law violator, every fraction of a second counts. Specially so if the said law violator is one who is constantly under the influence of drugs and therefore knows no reason and has no qualms about killing.
   
A friend narrated how he once got hooked on shabu. While high on drugs, he nearly shot his brother dead because to his eyes then, he was a ‘dog’ ready to attack him.  Once sober, he learned of what happened. That was when he stopped using drugs.    
   
Now, should cops heed the advice of detractors that they should shoot only to maim, the question is, do the suspects have the same line of thinking? When these suspects pull out their guns knowing fully well that the one they will be firing at is an enforcer of the law, is their aim also to merely maim? Of course not. The determination to kill is there. 
   
Would we rather have a dead cop than a dead drug suspect? In the Senate inquiry held recently on extra-judicial killings, note that the witnesses or families of those killed in police operations admitted that their lost loved ones were, indeed, into illegal drugs. This is not to disrespect the dead.
   
The said witnesses also sort of justified that the suspects got involved in selling illegal drugs to make ends meet. Just like many others who are similarly situated, the witnesses presented in the Senate claimed that their loved ones have already resolved to change their ways when they were ‘unjustly’ slain.
   
In the light of their admission, one would think twice about empathizing with them. Imagine how many lives these suspects destroyed by getting people hooked into drugs. 
         
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