By: Erik Espina
THE drug war was long tardy. Previous administrations unmindful of the extent of harm to society and danger posed on the republic due to illegal narcotics. President DU30 exposed the personal peril confronted by every family, as well, governance via “narco-politics”. The commendable program, could have been further elevated with a declaration of policy, drugs being officially a “national security threat”, as pre-cursor to the drug engagement.
This was one modest suggestion written in a previous column prior the presidential elections. Reverting the main effort combating drugs to the PDEA (Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency) favors public perception, the Palace is sensitive to legal requirements under RA 9165 on searches and raids e.g. presence of media and barangay officials. The police with PDEA as lead agency, may still be tapped to augment buy-bust operations etc., especially serving warrants in dangerous communities.
Bringing the fight to Customs is another diagnosis that hit the nail on the head. Malacañang is cognizant, drug smugglers have become smarter, taking the easier route of bribing Customs to directly facilitate bringing in their “stuff”. It is not rocket science for enterprising drug-suppliers to realize, if the Bureau can be “persuaded” turning a blind-eye on rich business paying exact duties and taxes, it is small step to include drugs to the pervasive scheme of corruption, for a higher price. Another approach is the creation of Barangay Anti-Drug Unit (BAD-U) and the Pook Drug Watchers (PDW), deputized by PDEA as eyes, ears, & nose vs. suspicious persons and activities. While, case build-up and suspension must be the norm against incumbent politicians entangled with drugs.
How about drug test in schools with parental consent? Remember the execution of Lim Seng by firing squad during Ferdinand Marcos? The people, including the great masa (common folk) supporting this Administration are calling for “Sampol, sampol” (example). They refer to foreign vendors, cooks & chemists in shabu laboratories, including high profile personalities identified in the National Penitentiary.