MAGANES:Illegal drugs and poverty related?

December 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

Despite the escalating deaths related to the government’s war against illegal drugs, there are no action on those recorded as ” death under investigation” supposedly perpetrated by the vigilantes. As of December 1, the reported deaths on illegal drugs campaign reached 5,800 with 1,800 claimed as under legitimate police operations. Drug surrenderers have reached the 800,000 mark and still increasing as of this date.
The government’s effort under the Duterte administration to eradicate the illegal drugs all over the country is highly commendable. The menace has to end so that every Filipino could move  towards the “planned reforms and changes” as espoused by President Duterte. However, fear seemed to have been instilled into the senses of the Filipinos.
The spate of killings that outnumbered the legitimate police operations is sending shivers down the spines of every Filipinos. The victims could not be ascertained whether they are or were into drug using or pushing, to the delights of the real drug lords in the country. It could be surmised that the “death under investigation” could be instigated by the drug lords themselves to sway the efforts of the government to pinpoint them as well as to mislead the authorities on the supposed “real targets” on the war against illegal drugs.
Lately, President Duterte repeated his call to go after the drug lords to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). He said he will not stop until the last drug lord would have been annihilated. He placed the PNP command under his authority saying that many policemen are into the operations of the illegal drugs in the country. But then, how can the government pursue vigorously on this illegal drugs campaign when the politicians that are listed in his “thick list” could not be known? In my last article on this column, I suggested that the names on that list should be known publicly and that a parallel operation of OPlan Tokhang and Oplan High Value Target (HVT)shall be undertaken. Those killed are just the remnants of the bigger problems in our society. The real culprits here are the drug lords and the “narco-politicians” who are making these poor guys as their preys to amass wealth and be in power.
There is now a recommendation from Vice President Leni Robredo, who resigned lately as the Secretary of Urban Housing, that President Duterte should shift the war on illegal drugs to war against poverty. I don’t know if Vice President Robredo is aware that illegal drugs have something to do with poverty. Drug users are not poor. They lack direction. They indulged in illegal activities like robbery, drug trading, gun for hire, snatching, illegal gambling, etc. not because they want to feed their families. They are doing these activities to finance their vices, and in the end the proceeds of  will go to the politicians and drug lords.
Poverty in this country has become an excuse for those who are lazy to find  decent jobs. They are using their families as  reasons for their their illegal activities and if we really want to look into this, financing their vices is the bottomline. Ergo, to stop poverty, illegal drugs should also be stopped so that the government could focus its efforts to help those who are really in need.
It’s good enough that there is no research study yet on how the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are using the cash given to them. If the government is keen on finding how these moneys are spent, I presume that most are spent on vices like gambling ( bets on jueteng), illegal drugs, tong-its, etc. and a little amount are really spent on their children’s school needs. Those are the realities this government must look into.
A friend asked me if I have already moved on after the incident on November 8, which is now a month as of this writing. I told him that hatred is still within me. I hated those who made fun on my life. I hated them because I know I have not done wrong against them. My onIy fault is my desire to have a clean society in this part of the world. It was all work for me anchored on truths. They could not swallow the realities they are into. I pity those people they used to silence me. I pity them because they were not aware that they were being used. Maybe, they did that for a modicum amount of money not knowing that a middleman who used them had amassed greater amount than them.
I am now looking back to the many events that led to that fateful day. I could not share with you some of the details as the case has yet to be decided by the Office of the Prosecutor whether there’s a probable cause against the suspects that I have identified. I am praying too that the hatred in my heart shall pass because I believe that God should be the sole provider of vengeance. Physical scars are embedded in my body but the emotional scars have yet to heal. Maybe, it will in due time.

In my solitary moments, I feel emptiness deep inside me. There are lot of questions toying on my mind starting with the question “what if?” What if I did not survive that shooting incident? Perhaps, the masterminds are already feasting on the idea that I died  as a perceived “drug pusher” as they placed a placard bearing about it at the crime scene.
What if I died? Would my media colleagues  visit my wake? Would they be afraid to be associated with me? How many of them will really fight about my death as what they are fighting for other journalists who were killed by unscrupulous politicians? What if I died, would my “friends”  visit my grave? In reality, those “what ifs” are morbid questions designed to appease my wounded “soul”.
But I am alive. Thank God for the second life. My family are happy that I survived that incident but frowned upon by my “enemies”. But God has let me live to give the full story, which has not yet ended. There are other episodes of the story that have to be completed and I guess will take many years to end. I am now one month old on the new lease of life.
Life has to be spent for the better. I will leave everything to God who has not forsaken me for many years. I felt His love on that very day when my life was almost taken. And I felt sorry to those two guys who were used to kill me. No alibis of mistaken identities could escape you from your dastardly acts. You have to pay the crime.
To the master minds, these I have to say:
When November 8 comes along your way every year of your lives, you must remember that you have almost destroyed one soul because of your sinister acts. You must remember the day when you planned the murder and that your consciences will bother you no end.
When you look up to the skies on a full moon every month, you must remember that you have almost killed someone who will no longer witness the coming of full moon.
Every time you look up on a starry night, you must remember the number of the stars that lost their shines as what you have almost deprived me of seeing their beauty.
Every time you look at your children, grand children and other members of your families, remember that the karma you have started will visit them 14 times of your generations and the story about the November 8 incident will hound them forever.
Every time you look at your faces in the mirror, you must remember the face of who you wanted to be silenced and almost deprived of breathing the freshness of life.
And, every night when you go to sleep to rest, you must remember that you almost took the luxury of good night’s sleep from him and in your dreams you will see his face smiling at you.
Yes, I have forgiven you. This is a time for healing, but forgiveness has to be paid throughout your lives.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at

Entry filed under: News.

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