INDONESIA is looking to emulate the Philippine government’s ongoing war on drugs with plans by the republic beef up its police force with additional manpower and heavy weaponry.
Both countries have launched their war on the narcotics trade with the increase in executions of drug convicts in Indonesia, while thousands of bodies of drug suspects have piled up in the Philippines’ bloody crackdown on the illegal activity.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is slated to meet his Indonesian counterpart Joko “Jokowi” Widodo from Sept 8 to 9 after the ASEAN Summit concludes in Laos. Discussions during the meetings in Indonesia are expected to revolve around efforts to tackle the drugs trade in the region.
According to Reuters, Indonesia’s national anti-narcotics agency (BNN) chief Budi Waseso on Tuesday said the government was adding weapons, investigators, technology and sniffer dogs to boost its enforcement.
Responding to a question by a reporter, Budi said the drug menace in Indonesia was as bad as the Philippines and that the war on narcotics in Indonesia could be similar to the neighbouring country.
“Yes I believe so. It can happen because (the drugs problem) in Indonesia is as bad as in the Philippines,” he was quoted as saying.
“The life of a dealer is meaningless because (he) carries out mass murder. How can we respect that?”
More than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.
Some of the drug suspects died at the hands of Philippines security forces. Many others, however, were reportedly killed by death squads and vigilantes, driven by the president’s anti-narcotics message.
Duterte, who won his presidency in May this year on the anti-narcotics platform, has so far ignored condemnation from rights groups and leaders both from within and outside the Philippines, and has pressed on with his campaign.
The intrepid president who has been making global headlines for his harsh stance on the drug menace also vowed to stay relentless despite international concern over the wave of extrajudicial killings sparked by the campaign.