MAGANES:Don’t take the Duterte’s ‘changes’ lightly
The massive crackdown on illegal drugs under the Duterte Administration continues. As of this writing, more than 28,000 drug users and pushers have surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) stations nationwide and it seems the number is still increasing. Along with the surrender of drug personalities, there were almost 300 drug pushers/users who were eternally silenced. They, according to PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, engaged in fighting with police officers or were killed by drug lords and vigilantes.
The spate of killings on drug related activities is not that alarming if compared to the number of surrenderees. Public Attorney Persida Acosta claimed the number was insignificant and he even promised to help the PNP officers on their legal problems, if there would be, in the performance of their duties. While I also believe that the killings are not that alarming, I found it alarming that the drug menace has almost reached uncontrollable level.
I was not expecting that the illegal drug trade in the country has reached an alarming stage, much to the surprise of many Filipinos. Had it not been to the bold actions of President Rodrigo ” Digong” Duterte, the country, to borrow his words, will be run by “narco-politics” in the future.
The strong political will of President Duterte is paying off. It is likely that the issue of illegal drugs could be put to end within six months. But what will happen to those surrenderees? Will they be rehabilitated or they would just roam around in their communities? And what are the guarantees that they will not go back to their old vices of using and selling illegal drugs?
At present, the country does not have rehabilitation facilities. What’s more disturbing is that where will these surrenderees go? They might be victims of vengeance in the near future by their drug-peers who wanted not to be reported to police officers This will be the grim scenario awairing them after the crackdown of illegal drugs calm down.
Although I strongly support the war against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country, I am saddened as well that some innocent persons were killed as claimed by their relatives. This is very confusing because the order of PNP hierarchy is for police officers to follow the full force of law particularly on rules of engagement.
Are the policemen overzealous of accomplishments? Are they not supposed to implement “Operation Tokhang” (knock and plead), which calls for compassion? By all means, in our quest for an orderly crackdown on illegal drugs, human rights must still be respected as every Filipino is protected by the Bill of Rights under the Constitution. Now let’s go back to those surrenderees. What rehabilitation program awaits them? What support will the government give them? They have risked their honor by surrendering to the police authorities.
It’s also mind boggling why the high profile drug lords currently detained at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa are still able to continue their drug trades? Lately, the Operation Galugad conducted by PNP and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inside NBP has yielded nauseating results The drug lords are enjoying their take on illegal drugs. They were found out to have high tech cellphones, wi-fi, telecommunication gadgets, guns and ammunition, etc. so they can connect easily to the outside world.
One inmate was able to construct a swimming pool to the surprise of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and PNP Director General Dela Rosa. The discovered situation of the inmates at NBP has heightened the investigation of the officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). The high profile inmates have undoubtedly used drug money to get protection from government officials. The complacency of the previous Aquino administration on the drug problems is inevitably surfacing and seemed too ridiculous to understand.
With barely a month in his administration, President Duterte’s call for a better Philippines. Drug laboratories have been discovered that even a ship at Subic Bay was used clandestinely to make drugs. Drug lords have been identified including generals of PNP who are protecting them. Next to be named are mayors who won during the election using drug money. How in the hell did this drug situation skip the eyes of then President PNoy? Was it because reports reaching him were either sanitized and “doctored”? Sometimes, I think that Duterte’s ascendancy to presidency was the stroke of the Divine Providence to end once and for all the woes that have been plaguing the Filipinos for years.
While we are all rejoicing at the changes espoused by the new administration, we have to be vigilant also to sustain these changes. It will take a “changed society” to take reforms wholeheartedly. These reforms have to take their due courses and directions. It will take you and me together to ride on the reforms’ rough ebbs and tides.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit my blogsite ” The Roving Pen” at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com.For daily news and commentaries, listen to my radio program “Virgil Maganes sa DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso 1296 KHZ AM Band, 8:00-9:00 in the morning, Mondays to Saturdays)
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