The shocking drug problem
I was a police reporter for many years; even after I became a columnist, I am still on top of the crime situation in the country.
A jaded journalist, I was recently shocked to learn the extent of the drug problem.
The number of drug addicts in the country is staggering―about three million.
There are three million drug addicts or users in our midst.
Three million people who could kill, rob even their own parents and commit petty crimes like steal their neighbor’s chicken or pig―if they haven’t done so yet.
Fathers raping daughters, grandsons raping grandmothers, sons killing their parents: These crimes were practically unheard from 1978 to 1987 when I was a police reporter.
Only drug-crazed persons could have committed those evil, unthinkable deeds.
When retired Chief Supt. Sid Lapeña, the new director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, briefed the National Security Council (NSC) on the extent of the drug problem in the country, former President Noynoy Aquino―who was present at the meeting―was wide-eyed.
The most prominent members of the NSC, aside from the current President, are former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Aquino.
Noynoy’s expression of shock or disbelief meant that he was not informed by his subordinates about the gravity of the problem of “shabu,” the street name for methamphetamine hydrochloride.
It’s understandable why President Digong went ballistic when Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno told the judges linked to the illegal drugs trade not to surrender to authorities.
How can the gargantuan drug problem be solved if government bigwigs like Sereno prevent Duterte and his subordinates from doing their job?
The problem of illegal drugs linger because many judges and prosecutors downgrade drug pushing charges to mere possession.
Drug possession allows the respondent to post bail, drug pushing does not.
Drug pushers return to the streets after being arrested because they or the syndicates they belong to pay off corrupt judges or prosecutors.
Corrupt judges and prosecutors are more to blame than the police for the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.
It’s surprising indeed that only a handful of judges were included in the Duterte drug list.
Prosecutors in Quezon City are talking in whispers about a colleague who had his office renovated at great expense by a litigant.
If that is not corruption, I don’t know what it is.
The same prosecutor, so goes another rumor within the same circle, ruled in favor of the client of a lawyer after the lawyer promised to work for his retention and upgrade his position from “acting” to permanent.
You see, the prosecutor has been holding his position in an acting capacity since the previous administration.
If this “fixcal” would resolve a case because he was promised a promotion, how much more when litigants express willingness to part with a big sum of money?
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, who was a trial lawyer before his appointment to the government, should fire the corrupt prosecutor.
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