Marcos Jr. likely to continue Duterte’s war on drugs

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PRESUMPTIVE President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. is likely to continue his predecessor’s deadly war on drugs, according to political analysts.

“We can speculate, given that he does not have clear plans about the issue, that Marcos Jr. will likely consider the continuation of the war on drugs,” Arjan P. Aguirre, who teaches political science at the Ateneo de Manila University, said in a Facebook Messenger Chat.

Mr. Marcos in January said he would expand the country’s drug rehabilitation facilities to the provinces if he is elected president. He also said he would go after big-time drug dealers.

Mr. Duterte’s anti-illegal drug policies echoed the regime of the former senator’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, said Hansley A. Juliano, a former political science professor studying at Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development in Japan.

“Much of the tactics that the police have used against illegal drug traders were pioneered during the Marcos dictatorship,” he said in a Facebook Messenger Chat. “We should remember that Lim Seng was subject to a firing squad by Marcos, Sr. in 1973.”

In 1973, Chinese drug lord Lim Seng, who was found to be in possession of heroin worth P3 million, was publicly executed by firing squad as ordered by the martial law president.

Mr. Marcos fled into exile in Hawaii with his family in February 1986 after a “people power” street uprising that ended his father’s autocratic 20-year rule. He has served as a congressman and senator since his return to the Philippines in 1991.  

“There’s a direct continuity and relationship between Marcos’ extralegal attempts at curbing crime in tandem with martial law up to Duterte’s war on drugs policy,” Mr. Juliann added. “Just from that, I expect Marcos to do more of the same, especially if allied interests with him benefit from that.”

The dictator’s son is set to clinch a remarkable comeback for his family, which is still facing court cases involving ill-gotten wealth and unpaid taxes.

He will be the first candidate to win a majority in a Philippine presidential election in recent history.

The Commission on Human Rights in a report last week said internal investigations of anti-illegal drug operations that led to deaths have been inaccessible and nontransparent.

The International Coalition for Human Rights said in March it would sanction the architects of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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