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Toxic times

Five generals, three of them in the active service, deny their involvement in the lucrative drugs trade, politely rebuking President Duterte’s sources as tainted (“black propaganda”) or outrightly mistaken. Could Digong be wrong on all counts? If one or two were truly guilty, would he or they have honestly, openly, publicly admitted their crime as “protectors” of drug lords?

In the meantime, as we live in toxic times, the three generals plus one who has retired and one who’s been elected mayor will take the heat off “drug personalities” – what a term to use! – including pushers and users, specially those being rounded up, killed, surrendered by others or surrendering on their own in fear of their lives. But where are these many, many criminals and abusers being detained? Any big fish caught with the small fry? If we have identified the generals by name, rank, and position, shouldn’t PNP tell us who, if there be any outside Bilibid, are the lords of the drug ring who have been reeled in?

A city mayor has promised jobs to the “personalities” who showed up at a basketball court if they will submit themselves to rehab and treatment. Jobs for ex-addicts? That should take the cake away from nonaddicts who are physically, mentally fit but cannot find employment. Rehabilitation is a matter of motivation, medication, counseling, money, from R1,500 to R6,000 a month in privately run rehab centers. Depending on the degree of addiction and tolerance for drugs, an abuser may recover after months or even years. Cel Casas Gonzales of One Algon Place in Cabuyao describes their condition as “toxicated.”

Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, describes toxicated souls in her latest novel, Career of Evil:

“All four were unkempt, their jeans and T-shirts filthy, their age hard to gauge because each of them was sunken-faced and prematurely wrinkled. The mouths of two of them had collapsed inwards into gums that had lost teeth XXX His yellow face looked freeze-dried like an old apple, the flesh wasted, the skin shrunken against the bone, with cavities beneath the high cheekbones. (He was) stinking of crack fumes, his heretic priest’s golden eyes now set beneath wrinkled, sagging lids.” (Jullie Y. Daza)