ORTIGOZA: Are we winning the drug war?
Skeptics on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs compared Thailand’s war on narcotics where almost 3,000 died in the First Drug War in February to April 2003 and countless died in the Second Drug War in 2005.
Despite the thousands of persons killed in Thailand and those 6000 individuals who died in legitimate police operation and those on Death Under Investigation (D.U.I), in the Philippines war on dangerous drugs, these skeptics say Duterte’s war on narcotics is destined to fail.
But as a radio commentator and journalist who visit regularly city and town mayors and chiefs of police in the 48 cities and towns’ Pangasinan, I could say that the dangerous drugs war launched by the Duterte Administration is picking up and resulted in significant drop not only of drug pushing and using but of index crimes like theft, robbery, and other petty crimes.
In Alaminos City, Police Chief Superintendent Benjamin Ariola cited recently that only two of the 39 villages in this Western Pangasinan city are still not illegal drug free. Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Superintendent Neil Miro declared in January 12 the city as 90.2 percent after narcotics prevalent Barangay Pantal and Pogo Chico of the 31 villages’ city were publicly announced as drug free.
In mammoth Pangasinan which is one of the top five most populated provinces in the country, 940 barangays out of the 1,364 villages are drug free and the police projected it to be narcotics-free in February this year, according to Police Superintendent Jackie Candelario, Deputy Provincial Director for Operation.
The criteria in declaring a village as drug free are mind numbing, according to Mangaldan Chief of Police’s Supt. Jeff Fanged.
“The process for their declaration was tedious. We followed the procedures at the BADAC (Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council), MADAC (Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council ),and PADAC (Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council),” he stressed.
As what Cebu Police Provincial Office’s Director Senior Supt. Eric Noble, a Pangasinense, posted on his Face Book account: “As a requirement prior declaration of a barangay cleared from illegal drugs, cops have to walk muddy roads up the mountains and cross rivers to reach villages in Tuburan, Cebu.
Thanks for the support of Ms. Ivy Durano of Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office. Indeed we are traversing the less traveled road towards a drug-free Cebu!”
Look Ma’, No more robbery of taxi drivers
When I was in Manila last week, I asked Bernard Piedad, driver of the Bawa Taxi, if hold-up or robbery of taxi drivers was still ubiquitous after President Duterte assumed office middle of last year.
Piedad told me, when I was bound from EDSA-Ayala to my hotel in Makati Avenue, that there was almost no more robbery that sometimes resulted in the murder of drivers.
“In July last year three robbers died after they encountered the police. Fortunately the robbers left the driver at Commonwealth,” Piedad said in Pilipino.
When I was bound from Makati Avenue to EDSA- Guadalupe, another taxi driver, I forgot to get his name, collaborated what Piedad told me.
“No more holdups of taxi drivers, robbers are afraid that they would be murdered too by the cops who arrest them,” he told me.
The phenomena in the Cities of Alaminos and Dagupan where I interviewed their chiefs of police and those in Manila, the center of the demographic congestion in the country, are epitome’ of what happened in the entire Philippines.
What can those skeptics say of those robbery, cellphone snatching, akyat-bahay incidents that plummeted to all time low since July last year as told to me by a high ranking cop in Urdaneta City?
The only crime that peaked are murders since the victims are those malefactors, who want to maintain their drug habit, committed crimes like selling drugs.
Are we winning the narcotics war unlike those in Thailand?
Son of a gun, I just cited those dangerous drugs free cities and province and phenomena in Metro Manila that did not happen since Cory Aquino became president of this forsaken country.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at email@example.com)
Entry filed under: News.