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Drugs to riches

OF all the reasons given to postpone the barangay and SK elections, including that of election fatigue, the best was one given by policemen. That it was almost a certainty that drug lords would have bought the elections by funding their candidates as the next step toward establishing a narco state.

Intrigued and horrified, I listened as two police chiefs, Col. Roberto Fajardo of Camanava and Gen. Romulo Sapitula of the Eastern Police District, told broadcasters Gus Abelgas and David Oro how barangay officials gave them the names and addresses of dealers, suppliers, and users in their area – only for police to discover that the information turned out to be mostly fabrication, “as good as trash.” Names, as were addresses, were fake, nonexistent.

Now that those officials have exposed their duplicity and the cops are on to them, how much longer will they be allowed to enjoy “due process” before they are kept in jail with the 16,000 arrested “personalities”? Does their crime qualify for obstruction of justice, economic sabotage, or treason?

Because she was once commissioner of immigration whose job, among others, was to deport foreigners who were involved in the drug trade, Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo is a keeper of facts, stats, and footnotes about the drugs-to-riches lords of the underworld. Until the war started in earnest when Gen. “Bato” de la Rosa became PNP chief, who knew how insurmountable the problem had grown, how the cancer that had become a deadly epidemic was no longer a matter of statistics – 92 percent of barangays infected – but of national survival and safety among neighbors?

How did we get from there to here? According to Ms. Domingo, smuggled drugs began to proliferate in the late ‘90s when government cut its contract with SGS, the French system of pre-inspection of cargo; it did not help that a “green lane” was opened for “express” cargo inspection. The poison spread, and spread, accelerating like a curse of the millennium, “and now, they have two (of three) precursors needed to manufacture their drugs here!”
(Jullie Y. Daza)