While Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has been receiving tons of criticism from fellow countrymen who do not agree with his ways of eradicating illegal drugs in the country, the chief of Indonesia’s anti-illegal drug agency has hinted about copying his anti-narcotics style.
Duterte, nicknamed The Punisher, has been criticized both by Filipinos and those abroad for his illegal drugs campaign. Local and international human rights groups slammed Duterte’s war against illegal drugs at the expense of human rights violations, which Duterte strongly denies.
Lauded Duterte’s Anti-Narco Campaign
Faced with the same narcotics menace as its Asian neighbor the Philippines, Budi Waseso, Indonesia’s anti-drug chief, eyes replicating the campaign of Duterte government’s against illegal drugs, BBC reported.
This, despite hundreds of deaths linked to illegal drug trades in the Philippines since Duterte assumed office in May. The United States as well as the United Nations have issued statements condemning the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines as the country battles local drug problems.
“The life of a dealer is meaningless because [he] carries out mass murder,” Waseso was quoted as saying by BBC, adding that Indonesia would be as aggressive as the Philippines in its campaign to curb down illegal drugs.
Change of Heart?
This statement from Waseso immediately generated mixed reactions and strong criticism. As a result, Slamet Pribadi, a spokesperson for Indonesia’s anti-illegal drug agency, said the Indonesian government would be less aggressive and would base its punishment on existing national and international laws.
While U.S. President Barack Obama recognizes the problem of illicit drugs and the complexity of addressing it, he thinks it should be done in the right way. Obama recently cancelled a meeting between him and Duterte when the latter allegedly issued harsh statements against the American president over human rights sentiments.
“But we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that’s consistent with basic international norms. And so, undoubtedly, if and when we have a meeting, that this is something that’s going to be brought up, and my expectation, my hope is, is that it could be dealt with constructively,” Obama said at a press briefing in China on Monday.