Jobs, rehab for druggies; jailing protectors, ‘lords’

>> Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gina Dizon
 BONTOC, Mountain Province -- It is an overwhelming revelation how drug- crazed this country is -- from the jobless man on the street to generals.
While we  have been hearing talks  about generals and barangay captains having their share in the illegal numbers  game  of jueteng, this  shabu industry  has made nagging  impression of  mayors and judges and generals  having  biggest shares in drug money.
It is not surprising when suspected drug protector mayor Cris Mahilac of Misamis Occidental has a mansion of 500-peso bills decorated in their  living room obviously flaunting the wealth of the owner of the house and his lovely wife who often tour the world.
Add other big houses of suspected  big time drug lords and pushers such as  Kerwin Espinosa, the son of suspected drug protector Leyte mayor  Rolando Espinosa,  who is suspected to be out of the country to evade getting killed. 
With this staggering revelation of how well-entrenched this illegal drug business has gotten  its system from the  drug retailer to the big time pusher  to the drug lord to the influential government  official protecting the illegal drug trade, this country has been thriving on  shabu as a source of money with drug lords and coddlers in the bureaucracy  getting  rich for a long time.
That is, getting bloody richer  from the sale  of small sachets of shabu  sealed from  shabu laboratories where  volumes of kilograms are packed worth millions to where these are eventually  sold  by  jobless pushers  to jobless users and to target  sectors such as artists and actors in the cinema industry. 
Shabu laboratories  as traced as owned by Chinese  nationals with laboratories found in big houses in the city or in small structures in the hinterlands or right inside the BIlibid Prison walls where  drug lords  Peter Co and Herbert Colangco are jailed.
On the other side of the equation are the  many poor impoverished users and pushers on the street thousands  of them hooked on this ecstatic drug called shabu which could get the user ‘high’ with  a pleasurable sense of enjoyment for a brief moment of happiness, jack  up their energy or heighten their sex drives. And when taken in higher doses could be fatal as one raping a toddler or an aging  elderly  or go to a killing spree. 
Read the news many years ago till now about drug crazed men raping and killing  their own members of the family and you will see how taking in shabu makes people crazy.
This scenario  had been  going on and on  for quite some time and the public bombarded by  news of  drug crazed addicts raping a child or killing a neighbor or anyone they fancy on the street. It’s a sick society.
But the drug lords and shabu protectors don’t care. All they want is the  drug industry to go on and be protected to thrive and they  happy and get richer.
Its unthinkable how government authorities have turned a blind eye to this sick phenomenon which is killing the community,  ignoring users and pushers while they do their thing, get easy money  and make a sick   community.
Comes now President Duterte’s  anti-drugs campaign  arresting the pushers, killing those who resist getting arrested, making pushers and users  surrender  and naming  drug protectors to shame.
The effect had been phenomenal and bloody at the same time. Nearly 2000 drug users/pushers had been reported  killed by policemen and vigilantes because  accused pushers resisted  or  silenced to cease from squealing. Nearly  700,000 thousand  users surrendered  out from a reported one million plus users in this drug-infested country.
Some pushers who  surrendered did not actually kick their drug dealing but again went back to the streets  making police work double time to monitor if surrenderees  really stopped  selling  shabu or not.
In this fight to end drugs in this country, some innocent persons were killed, caught in the fight to end drugs in this country  relatively a similar condition where an innocent person is killed in the crossfire of  fighting  militia from either the rebels or the Philippine Army in fighting insurgency. One dead innocent child  is a heartbreaking scenario one could cry how  this could happen.
Human rights advocates are crying foul seeing innocent people killed. They see the pushers killed summarily either by policemen or vigilantes and label this as human right violation. They see this as having no due process – that there should first be a warrant of arrest before a suspect is hauled out from his house and dragged to jail or get killed instantly.
I guess they  also see families getting killed by drug addicts, young girls  getting raped by drug addicts, a community  literally living on drugs, a sick community. Human rights advocates have their point. That indeed due process should be served and extrajudicial killings stopped.
But the drug industry equation is utterly and viciously lopsided. Drug addicts, pushers and protectors have swamped the streets and communities as against a snail-paced justice system while babies, children, and families and people getting killed and raped, drug users and pushers getting lazy wanting easy money, getting their brains dependent on nothing else but shabu, making themselves useless to nothing else but shabu, making a community sick and a country sick and seemingly just existing to eat and sleep and work for the day for nothing else but  shabu. 
On the other hand are  vigilante  groups silencing users  or pushers and helping in stopping the drug industry, sowing fear and terrifying pushers to stop the game of drugs. Either the dead pusher did not pay or was silenced to end squealing of his drug connections. Either way, vigilante groups aid the illegal drug industry to stop.
The other side of the equation is are  families  in danger. The community  is in danger of drug addicts roaming  free in public, freely selling shabu and having their day laughing, snorting  making drug lords and protectors happy.
Life goes on with all the selling and the snorting and the senseless killing and the raping making the country a dangerous place to live.
With the rising figure of  surrenderees from  the southernmost island of Jolo to Batanes up north including those who did not  surrender, the country is literally thriving on drugs protected by authorities  in government. A maddening situation it is -- made more complicated by  ecstasy drugs from overseas getting inside the country.
There has to be a better way to make  better things happen with innocent persons  killed, like the  fresh woman  graduate, a promising  citizen for her family and community and the young boy  killed who  was invited by a trike driver to go to town. 
The police or the vigilante who did such a terrible and technical error has to be found out and meted equal punishment  too. Worse if the killing was intentional  to discredit the President or stop his  anti-drugs war.
Indeed, harsh measures have to be instituted. Tough decisions need to be cast. The effect is bloody. And this was exhibited then in dangerous and drug-infested Davao a decade ago with people now enjoying the fruits of a bloody measure to end the drug trade.
Davao is now the  sixth safest city to live in the world along with a community with a vibrant economy, tarnished however with the recent bomb blast in the city.  
Drug addicts and users have to be stopped, cured of their dependency to shabu, reformed or jailed and eventually should be back to normal lives as productive citizens.
The government has to build rehabilitation centers to get these thousands of users  and  pushers cured and trained on  skills for them to eventually land jobs and make them productive members of society.  This country needs a revamp of  attitudes and habits to make it great-  attitudes of industry and patriotism, pakikikipag kapwa sa sariling   kapwa Pipino. 
The government has the Technical Skills and Development Authority ( TESDA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and other government  agencies such as  the Department of  Trade and Industry (DTI) and Agriculture with their intervention on skills trainings  to provide  jobs and livelihood  for drug pushers. The prison cells are just too small and narrow for many a surrenderee and  jailed pushers.
We salute  the  campaign of President Rodrigo  Duterte against drugs aside from  wanting to stop corruption and criminality. With the rest of the sixteen million Filipino people who got him elected to the presidency, we want a state of peace, order, industry, progress  and pagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino.  


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