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Cash wash

WITH thousands of dead bodies moving the conscience of a nation, how explain the sense of relief – felt by your shy and silent neighbors – that greeted General Bato’s announcement that the war on drugs will soon be on again?

Was the stand-down that broke the momentum a mistake? It had to be. Crime was back on the streets (up 20 percent by DU30’s account), because shabu was back. When Oplan Tokhang was suspended after PNP suffered two well-deserved black eyes, the trade picked up. PDEA took over, their agents bought and busted, but there was no lull in the trading, no stop to ambushes and riding-in-tandem executions. The trading and pushing continued, with no one mourning the 40 cops and soldiers killed, as if they had asked for it. Parents and the elderly who have a right to worry about the safety of their young prayed (would their prayer sound like “Give us this day our daily peace”?). And prayed.

A CPA (certified public accountant) who analyzes politics from an economic perspective crunched out some heavy figures, enough to hit level-headed citizens with an anxiety attack: What if good cops fighting the good fight are permanently forbidden to do battle with the demons of the night? For if one shabu factory produced 400 kg a day at a factory price of R1,000,000 per kilo as reported, or a daily output of R400 million, we have four million addicts hooked on a daily habit of R100, more or less.

“With that kind of money going to the drug lords from just one source, the question has to be asked,” Mr. CPA asked, “what does the Anti-Money-Laundering Council know about where such money is being laundered?”

The obvious answer is banks and casinos, art and real estate, but vice lords are better than making themselves obvious. If the AMLAC watchdogs haven’t figured out the gamut of the lords of the drug rings, we’re in trouble. If they’re still as dazed as they appeared during the Senate hearings on the hacking of the Bank of Bangladesh last year, we’re in trouble. Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile all but popped a vein at the way the AMLAC reps provided nonchalant non-answers to the simplest of his questions. (Jullie Y. Daza)

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