From July 1, 2016 to June 26, 2022, or during the term of former president Rodrigo Duterte, close to 60,000 drug personalities were arrested and a little over P4 billion worth of shabu and nearly P300 million worth of marijuana were seized in more than 40,000 anti-narcotics operations.

Looks impressive? Wait till you see the death count.

According to estimates of the International Criminal Court, an intergovernmental and international tribunal seated in The Hague, Netherlands, 12,000 to 30,000 civilian deaths could be attributed to the government’s war against drugs.

Of course, these figures may be exaggerated, considering Duterte wasn’t exactly popular with certain “human rights” sectors. They would have jumped at the chance to bloat the numbers to vilify him, using “selective” investigations as basis.

Not that it would have mattered since, as we all know, Duterte was immune to such criticisms. Or maybe “immune” isn’t the right word since he did go after vocal detractors, placing some of them behind bars on questionable charges. At any rate, he didn’t care what the international community thought about his anti-drug policies, which I thought was only right. After all, he was answerable to the Filipino people and not to the hypocritical West.

Speaking of “answerable,” Duterte did vow to eradicate the illegal drugs problem within three months if he was elected president. Hubris may have gotten the best of the controversial former mayor of Davao City when he decided to take on such a herculean task. When he realized it couldn’t be done, his chutzpah turned to exasperation.

During his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte jokingly hoped for the Big One to come as a final solution.

“The Philippines is so corrupt, it’s so lousy that if you kill all congressmen, the senators, the president, we’ll have a new day. I pray if the earthquake comes, it comes now,” he said in a CNN Philippines report.

Thankfully, his prayers were left unanswered. Unfortunately, the problem persists.

In fact, I have a feeling that 60 percent of Filipinos who didn’t vote for him had turned a blind eye on his many shortcomings because they secretly hoped he would succeed in getting rid of the bane of society. I mean I did.

Still, something good did come out of this fiasco.

According to a SunStar Cebu report, crime volume in Central Visayas dropped 22 percent every year, from 2016 to 2022.

So what then?

On J. Urgello St. in Sambag 1, minors defy the city’s curfew until the wee hours of the morning doing God knows what.

If local police and the barangay cannot address that, how can you expect them to deal with a much bigger problem like illegal drugs?