MAGANES: War on drugs, doomed?

October 31, 2018 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment

It seems that the Duterte’s war on drugs is already doomed with the discovery that P11 billion of shabu ( formerly valued at P6.8 billion) has slipped into the country unnoticed by the Bureau of Customs (BoC), which is under the watch of Chairman Isidro Lapeña. At first, it was the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) headed by Aaron Aquino that revealed that the bulk of shabu was hidden in the magnetic lifters as it entered the BoC port in Cavite. This was belied by Lapeña and even President Duterte.


Now that bulk of shabu was missing and believed to have been circulating in the entire country.

However, there were turn of events. During the hearing at the House of Representatives by the Committees on Dangerous Drugs and Good Government, former BOC X-ray chief Lourdes Mangaoang criticized Lapeña for not doing his job at the BoC. She said that the X-ray staff did not follow the protocol or standard operating procedures, otherwise the bulk of shabu could have been detected and confiscated. She called for the ouster of Lapeña.

Lapeña on the other hand changed his hard stance that there was no shabu inside the magnetic lifters. He is now saying that there might be shabus inside them.

Because of the controversy, President Duterte was hit directly on his face. His earlier denials on the existence of shabu on those magnetic lifters proved to be true. He directed all commissioners at the BoC to be sacked including Lapeña. Who will be replaced immediately.

By sacking Lapeña, does BoC will be more efficient now with the new head?

By golly, sacked Lapeña was rewarded with a higher position. He is now the head of the Technical Education and Skills Authority (TESDA) with a Secretary portfolio.

There is something fishy about the promotion of Lapeña, who is a pride of Pangasinan being a native of Urdaneta City. Here’s an official who figured in a very controversial issue but instead of separating him from the government service, he still enjoys the trust and confidence of President Duterte. Does Lapeña know of many transactions at the BoC under the nose of President Duterte? Why is it that he is a sacred cow in the Duterte Administration?  Many people are raising their eyebrows on the action of the President.

So, where are those shabus? PDEA opined that they are now in the market. Maybe, they are already under the hands of the drug lords and have been peddled in villages clandestinely. P11 billion worth of shabu is no joke. It’s double than the P6.4 billion of shabu that also slipped under  the nose of BoC when it was still under Nick Faeldon and on which former Davao City Vice Mayor Paulo Duterte, son of President Duterte, was implicated.

PDEA and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have to double time their efforts to recover these shabus. And what are the village officials doing? They should have already alerted the communities and strengthened their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC). The drug surrenderers should now be tightly monitored as these will apparently be used again by drug lords and drug dealers.

It’s a pity that in spite of the massive war on drugs in the country where drugs have spilled from thousands of alleged drug users during police operations, the end is not yet near. Yes, it will still continue and perhaps even after the administration of President Duterte.

Duterte has three promises to the Filipino people during his presidential campaigns.

First – to end the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. He started with a “big bang” with the PNP’s “Operation Double Barrel” with two major operations-Oplan Tokhang and Oplan High Value Targets. The said operations claimed many lives and yet big drug lords have not yet been nabbed and imprisoned.

Second, end all forms of corruption. While he sacked many government officials even only a whiff of corrupt activities, there are still much to be done. He has to mobilize his anti-corruption task force to penetrate the local government units where the height of corrupt activities are present.

Third, to end all forms of criminalities. While the PNP is bent on pursuing all their efforts on these aspect like anti-gambling, anti-smoking, enforcement of local ordinances and national laws, the PNP could not do it alone. The village people, particularly the village officials should do their work, too.

And going back to the war on drugs, when will it ever end? Not in the near future. Let’s brace ourselves for an intensified Operation Double Barrel. Hopefully, innocent lives will be spared.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.comor at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at


Entry filed under: News.

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