Of Kian and Condoms

One camp says an innocent life was lost, another said he could’ve been a pusher. But until an investigation is completed, we can’t tell for sure.

However, I think that more than just the potential death of an innocent, which is in itself already an appalling prospect, Kian’s case resonates more widely than the usual drug war casualty because it reminds of a basic concept in Mathematical Statistics: that an outcome, no matter how improbable, can be achieved given a sufficient number of attempts.

Take the condom, for example. Condom makers claim a condom is 98% effective in preventing pregnancies. That rate is pretty good in itself, but it also means that condoms fail 2% of the time. That is, 100% – 98% = 2% of the time, sexual intercourse is likely to result into a pregnancy even while using a condom.

I think the same logic applies to Pres. Rody Duterte ‘s War on the Drugs, or at least the part of it which involves police operations.

What’s frustrating, however, is that the opposition has used this card so much and so often that they have long since become the boys who cried “Wolf!” so that now, when they may finally have good reason to object, nobody listens to them anymore.

So this time, I’ll do it for them: I do not want to be the hypocrite that I often accuse them of being.

Fourteen months into the anti Drug campaign, and given the corruption in the police that even pro-Duterte camps are likely to acknowledge, statistical theory strongly suggests that there’s bound to be something wrong that’ll happen.

That is, statistical theory strongly suggests that a corrupt cops must have, at the least, taken one innocent life.

Note that I am just as appalled at drug addicts victimizing innocent civilians, but compassion and introspection is not a zero sum game. Just because I sympathize with one loss doesn’t mean I feel nothing for another. It doesn’t work that way.

This is not to say that the killing is state-sponsored or widespread. For one, I think Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella’s comment about this being an “isolated case” is not without justification, although it could’ve benefitted from more nuanced wording.

I believe that the language for such a delicate situation could have been handled with greater care. You see, sometimes, the Public needs to provided reassurance without having to be told the obvious.

Should we stop the War on Narcopolitics? I do not think so, not because I think we have a perfect system, but because we have no other viable course of action.

Nevertheless, I think we should take more pronounced and more definitive measures in combating abuse of power on the part of the police force.

After all, even Steph Curry, in all his 3-point shooting glory, misses shots… and it’s hard to believe that the PNP can shoot three pointers – – without missing – – for fourteen straight months.

Stop the War? No.

Correct the War? Yes.

So let’s set aside our prejudices for now and look at the problem straight in the eyes.

The system is imperfect, but we can do something to make it less so. | THINKING PINOY