Lessons Unlearned: Thailand’s failed War on Drugs and why the Philippines is doomed to repeat it

By |2018-09-12T19:05:36+08:00September 12th, 2018|inFOCUS|

President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called war on drugs greatly mirrors that of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which began in early 2003 in response to a surge in methamphetamines usage. Given a striking level of similarity, it would be prudent for the Philippines to pay heed to the experience of Thailand under Thaksin’s anti-drug campaign. Specifically, two aspects - and lessons - stand out as particularly informative. These are, first, the collapse of rule of law initiated by the anti-drug policy and, second, the ultimate failure of the policy. In fact, these two aspects have already begun to take shape in the Philippines. Does the Philippines then want to go down this same path, losing tens of thousands of lives along the way?