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Sharp Edges

Impose death penalty on foreign drug traffickers

The rampant smuggling of illegal drugs is inflicting very serious damage on our nation.

The seizure last Tuesday of 166.5 kilos of “shabu” from a mall parking lot and a house at the posh Ayala Alabang Village, plus the discovery three days later of 276 kilos of shabu worth P1.8 billion in a plastic resins shipment at the Manila International Container Port, are eye openers. According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the confiscated drugs belong to the Golden Triangle triad.

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On March 12, a “top ecstasy supplier” in Metro Manila identified by the PDEA as Steve Pasion was killed in Manila. His live-in partner was arrested. A total of P6.075 million worth of liquid ecstasy and party drugs were seized from the couple whose customers included young students, millennials and yuppies.

In Cebu province, the police says a businesswoman from an affluent family who is known in social circles runs a 15-member drug distribution channel. Around 11 members of the ring have been arrested and are now giving the police information. The PDEA believes the group’s drug supply came from the Sinaloa Cartel.

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PDEA director general Aaron Aquino says our country is a favorite destination of foreign drug syndicates because they could “buy everyone” here. Aquino is pushing for Congress to revive the death penalty but only for foreign drug suppliers. Sadly, his agency’s 2019 budget was slashed by 40 percent by our feuding legislators.

I think it is about time we revisit the proposal to execute foreign drug suppliers. If his numbers are correct, President  Duterte says 1.6 million Filipinos are using shabu in urban areas. Even high school students are now couriers while more and more couples, with the knowledge of their children, are getting involved in this illegal “cottage industry.”

The Philippines, along with Cambodia, is one of the few remaining countries in the region that have abolished the death penalty.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Brunei, Laos and Singapore have executed foreign drug suppliers, thus discouraging the “open entry” of drug cartels.

Let’s cut off the supply and cut it cleanly. We must impose the death penalty now on foreign drug suppliers.

If the Duterte administration is dead serious in protecting us from bad water service and spiraling water bills, he should kick out the present leadership and change the “culture” at the Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

For the past 22 years, the MWSS has been a “stamp pad” of the two water concessionaires, contrary to its mandate to uphold people’s interest.

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And the biggest sin perhaps is the declaration of an “MWSS technical group” that Manila Water Co Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. are “agents” and not “public utilities.” As agents, they are not subject to a 12-percent profit cap and their operations cannot be examined by the Commission on Audit.

The President could simply overrule this MWSS technical group and declare both concessionaires public utilities.

Another option is to place the MWSS Regulatory Office under the Office of the President and move the agency out of the MWSS compound to give it real independence, clout and credibility in regulating Maynilad, Manila Water and MWSS.

Tune in to the “Banner Story” radio-TV show, 6-9 a.m., Monday-Friday on dzIQ (990AM).

E-mail [email protected] for comments.

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TAGS: Death penalty, drug traffickers, Jake J. Maderazo, Sharp Edges
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