Thailand Knows What a Blood Soaked Anti-Drug Policy Means — Unlike the Philippines, Bangkok Now Treats Drug Abusers and the Addicted With Compassion, Not Anger

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By DJ Yap – Reporter / @deejayapINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer /
07:30 AM July 08, 2017
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President Duterte’s bloody drug war may not be a suitable template for Thailand, as the country’s strategy is not to fight drugs with anger but compassion, according to the Thai secretary general of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (Aipa).After the failure of Thailand’s own violent crackdown on illegal drugs in the early 2000s, Aipa Secretary General Isra Sunthornvut said his country would now rather focus on rehabilitating drug addicts.

“What works in the Philippines might not work in Thailand and what works in Thailand might not work in the Philippines,” he told a media briefing early Thursday evening at the close of the meeting of Asean lawmakers in Manila.

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Credit: Raffy Lerma—Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sunthornvut added, however, that Thailand and the Philippines could still learn from each other’s experiences.

“It’s a watch-and-learn and we’ll see how it goes, as long as we’re serious in this fight, as long as there are examples for us to adapt to,” he said.

Aipa’s fact-finding committee, composed of parliamentarians from Asean’s 10 member economies, had a meeting in Manila hosted by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other Philippine lawmakers to discuss regional cooperation to combat the drug menace.

Each country gave a report on its campaign against illegal drugs, as concerns were raised over drug trafficking activities in Southeast Asia. The Philippines boasted a substantial drop in the narcotics trade and the crime rate since the start of the drug war.

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Philippine drug war. Credit: Alecs Ongcal

Mr. Duterte has waged an aggressive campaign against illegal drugs since his assumption to office last year, leaving thousands of suspected users or pushers dead in police operations and vigilante-style killings and triggering accusations of widespread human rights abuses.

But Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Barbers, chair of the House dangerous drugs committee, said there was no discussion of human rights violations during the Aipa meet.

“I don’t see any reasons why we should connect the issue of human rights to the campaign of the Duterte administration in the war against drugs,” Barbers said at the same briefing.

Sunthornvut acknowledged that his country had gone through a similar phase as the Philippines, launching an all-out offensive against drug dealers and users.

“There was a time when [the campaign] was to stand and yell at the drug users. And then they changed that to ‘let’s have compassion, let’s understand them,’” he said.

Image result for King Rama the Ninth, photos

King Rama the Ninth

“But it’s always been alongside the policies and ideas like King Rama the Ninth when he said, ‘You can’t fight drugs with anger, you have to be compassionate because it’s your fellow countrymen, so try to find ways to help understand,’” Sunthornvut said.

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Photos also from TIME:

‘I Am Seeing My Countrymen Die’

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 (The Philippines seems to be siding with China, Russia and Iran)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kine also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

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