The latest PNP statistics show that from July 1 last year to March 31 this year homicide rate in the country has risen to nine thousand four hundred thirty two (9,432).
It is not clear whether the figure is all drug related.
The PNP admits, though, that insofar as its war on drugs is concerned, one-third of the killings occurred during official police operations (the "nanlaban" cases).
"Nanlaban" is in essence a case of "self-defense".
In homicide cases, where the defense of the policeman is "nanlaban" or self-defense, the burden of proof shifts to the policeman (who admits the killing but raises self-defense as a "justifying circumstance").
The policeman who admits the killing must be indicted, as a matter of routine procedure, by the investigating prosecutor before the trial court, where the policeman must prove his defense.
Sadly, as of now, except for a policeman in Pasay City who was indicted for killing two drug detainees inside the precinct, no other policemen have been charged in court by this government.
Aside from the escalating number of collateral damage involving children killed in the crossfire, there is now an attempt by this government to promote a culture of death by reviving the death penalty and by lowering the age of criminal responsibility to the age of nine.
Both attempts violate our duties under international law.
The Philippines is a state signatory to the Second Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which has abolished the death penalty.
The Philippines is a state signatory to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child which has deemed illegal a state act to lower criminal responsibility to the age of nine.
The war on drugs of this government ignores the current worldwide policy trend in favor of "harm reduction" or "public health" approach to the drug problem.
The focus of the war on drugs of this government is "law and order" approach or "policing intervention".
These approaches have been proven ineffective and unsustainable by past experiences of other countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand.
America's war on drugs, which started in 1970 under Nixon, has spent billions of dollars and has incarcerated hundreds of thousands of drug users. The problem has not been solved.
New evidence-based alternatives and sustainable remedies ought to be explored and adopted. This is the new direction the world is taking.
Let us hope that this government would broaden its intellectual horizon by studying the latest world trends on drug policy.