On December 28, improvise explosive devices blasted one at a time in a crowded Rizal Park in Hilongos, Leyte leaving at least 32 persons injured, five seriously wounded. Easily, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in his talk with the press declared the bombings were related to illegal drugs and fake money. Easily, the administration found a convenient possible suspect in the bloody incident. Although the police disclosed such suspicion after Pres. Duterte publicly declared a possible motive in the cruel incident.
More astonishing was an initial inference that the IEDs and the materials they were made of were similar with the IEDs that exploded in Aleosan, North Cotabato about thirty minutes after the Hilongos incident. What is this telling to the Filipino nation? That drug lords are now retaliating and violence are going beyond proportion? Pres. Duterte was quick to deny that this spate of violent incidents most recently the one in Hilongos and Aleosan are part of a feared masterplan to declare martial law in the country.
Notwithstanding the insinuation, PNP spokesperson S/Supt. Dionardo Carlos clarified that the police will treat the two as separate incidents, unless “there will be information that these are connected.” Assuming for sake of argument that these two were connected, is it proper to pass the blame so fast on those involved in illegal drugs trade without a full blown investigation having been concluded and evidences point positively to it?
The war on drugs is taking so much of the people’s mindset. A new year has set in yet the mindset remains nailed on Pres. Duterte’s war on drugs, as if the war will not end unless his 3 million target is met. He earlier pronounced that per information given to him, there are about 3 million Filipinos who are hooked in drugs in whatever manner. Or could he just be using this as an excuse for fear of blaming his the people who have no fear of killing innocent civilians – the Muslim militiamen whom he erstwhile promise an autonomous turf and semi-independent government? This the conflict Filipinos could expect in 2017.