MAGANES: The continuing war on illegal drugs

August 7, 2017 at 7:04 am Leave a comment


vir

It’s a bloody war and the Philippine National Police (PNP) did it again with fashion. Last July 30 at pre – dawn, the police operatives of Ozamiz City (Misamis Occidental in Mindanao) together with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) conducted a raid in the house of the Parojinogs.

 It was a simultaneous raid and the police operatives were armed with search warrants. After the raid, 15 persons were killed including Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and his wife Susan. Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and her brother Councilor Reynaldo Parojinog Jr. were nabbed and brought to Camp Crame for inquest proceedings.

 After that bloody raid, many speculations came out. Many were saying that the incident was an “over kill” without observing the rules on engagement. Some observers were saying too that the Parojinogs’ camp did not engaged in gunfight as what the police operatives said. Ozamiz City Chief of Police Jovie Espenido, however, was firmed on his stand that their operations were legitimate and they followed police protocols in conducting the raid.

 The Parojinogs were part of the narco-politicians identified by President Rodrigo Duterte. They were under surveillance for many months and did not heed the call of the President for them to surrender and clear their names. They have been allegedly involved in drug trading with hordes of armed men who were believed to have been their goons. The worst part was that the village officials in the 44 villages were also under their protection.

There’s now a move for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Senate to investigate the raid of the Parojinogs. Has there been really violations on the part of the PNP? They said that the raid was the same as what happened in Albuera, Leyte when Mayor Rolando Espinoza was shot dead inside his cell in early November last year.

Espinoza was also tagged as narco-politician including his son Kerwin who is at present detained at Camp Crame. The semblance of the operation could be traced back to Police Chief Inspector Espenido, who was then the chief of police of Albuera, Leyte and now in Ozamiz City.

I have been very vocal in this column that the PNP should now level up their operations against high-value targets on drugs. I often asked why the small time drug users and pushers are the victims of the OPlan Tokhang when in fact the drug lords are to be blamed on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country?

The Parojinogs and the Espinozas are but few of the narco-politicians who have been silenced for life. There are many more who are still scot-free and maintaining their illegal drug trading. Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said that a lot more will follow the Parojinogs. I hope he will to totally put an end to the bloody war on drugs.

Many lives have been claimed by the war on illegal drugs. Human rights advocates were one in saying that President Duterte was wrong on such move. They opined that those victims were extra-judicially killed. But we have to be realistic in dealing with this war on illegal drugs.

The drug lords, drug pushers and drug users were not thinking about human rights when they killed innocent people, raped even newly born babies and old women, and destroyed the lives of  millions of young people due to the use of drugs. Human rights is not for the selected few. It has to be encompassing to include all people, whatever walks of lives they are into. If the price of this war on drugs is to totally eradicate the drug lords, so be it -be it bloody or not.

While the war on illegal drugs continues, President Duterte has positively counteracted its ill effects in the communities. Last August 3, he signed Republic Act No. 10931 o ang “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act ” in defiance to the recommendations of his economic managers to veto it. This law is to ensure that all youth will finish their college education in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

The free tertiary education law is also a move to make the youth productive and be part of peaceful communities. There are millions of young people who were “tokhanged” and after rehabilitation, these could go back to the colleges and universities to pursue their education. This is a wise act of President Duterte to invest on the youth and to help eradicate the use of illegal drugs.

Education is liberating. Poor communities are oftentimes the dens of illegal drugs. By investing on the youth’s education, we will be certain to have more educated people in our communities.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com or at virgilmaganes42@gmail,com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at http://www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Read the online edition of Northern Watch at http://www.northwatch.wordpress.com.)

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Entry filed under: News.

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