Saturday, August 27, 2016

The amateurish @TIME article on Duterte's "war on drugs" by @Iyengarish

Rishi Iyengar writes for Time magazine and graduated from Columbia University (according to his Twitter profile), but the way he argued his assertion that drugs are not really a serious problem in the Philippines is so amateurish that you would think a college intern wrote his article if you took away the Time logo and hid his "credentials".

Consider what Iyengar wrote:

"When it comes to illicit opioid use, the Philippine prevalence rate is just 0.05, compared to 5.41 in the U.S., and 3.30 in Australia. For cocaine, the Philippine figure is only 0.03. In the U.K., it is 2.40, in Australia 2.10 and in the U.S. also 2.10.

"In other words, the statistics show what any visitor to the country may easily see: Filipinos are not degenerates, who need to be protected from themselves, but are mostly a nation of decent, sober, law-abiding and God-fearing people. The most revealing Philippine statistic is this: 37% of Filipinos attend church on a weekly basis. Less than 20% of Americans do.

"Nonetheless, Duterte has succeeded in convincing large numbers of his people that drug use constitutes such an emergency that the very existence of the nation is threatened, and that only his rule can save the Philippines. It's the oldest autocratic trick in the book."

I laughed so hard when I read this I almost had an asthma attack.

Opioids? Cocaine? Iyengar is so ill-informed he doesn't even know most Filipinos can't afford those kinds of drugs. That's why the usage rates are low. The drug of choice among the Filipino masses is shabu (meth), which is called "the poor man's cocaine" precisely because it is cheap. Did Iyengar show any comparative statistics on shabu? No, of course not. He had something better–church-going statistics! According to him, 37% of Filipinos go to church weekly, while only 20% of Americans do, therefore, it is not true that a lot of Filipinos are hooked on drugs. F*cking brilliant. Let us all now hold hands and pray, and the thousands of homicidal addicts will turn into choirs of angels, just like the addict in the news today who raped his 9-month-old daughter while he was high, and the other addict in the news yesterday who climbed up the bedroom window of a 22-year-old nurse and stabbed her to death 19 times because she woke up while he was digging around for spare cash to pay for his next shabu hit.

Thank you, Mr. Iyengar, for opening our eyes to these marvelous truths that we otherwise would not have known. You really deserve a Pulitzer Prize for this one. I hope President Duterte's press secretary really does get in touch with you and treats you to a free stay at the Bilibid Hilton, because you truly, truly deserve it.

This is a GRP Featured Comment. Join the discussion!


  1. 600,000 druggies surrendering in a matter of weeks. Yup, there's no drug problem in the Philippines.

    What a moron this Iyengar is.

    1. ^^ It's more like 65,000 but still I agree. Iyengar is so horribly misinformed I think he should resign from @Time. Lousy Journalism.

    2. (continued)
      ^^add: as of mid July 2016. I still need verification of the stats this month.

  2. Replies
    1. @Shinobu I see that you are new here. GRP has actually criticized or supported Duterte's actions on a case by case basis.

  3. How old is this Iyengar? He sounds very naive.

  4. Im sorry, i hate to be a wet blanket, but he did compare shabu as well...

    "But how bad is the Philippine drug problem? According to UNODC data, the highest ever recorded figure for the prevalence of amphetamine use (expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 to 64) in the Philippines is 2.35. That is a high figure, but then the equivalent figure for the U.S. is 2.20, and the world’s real amphetamine crisis is among Australian males, where the prevalence is 2.90."

    I still do believe it is a problem because even if only at 2.35 prevalence, the reach of the drug trade is very wide, the syndicates have been operating with impunity for a long time and they have political protection from the politicos and cops that are also involved. But its not fair to say he didn"t compare shabu use in the article, as he did.

    1. Shabu is methamphetamine, not amphetamine.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...