Problem on illegal drugs

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014


TUBURAN town Mayor Jun Diamante deserves praise and should be emulated by the other local government officials for enforcing laws, particularly those against illegal drugs, without fear or favor.

The mayor’s cousin, Lyndon Diamante-Sanchez, 48, was arrested by the town’s Municipal Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (Maidsotg) through a search warrant issued by the court and upon orders of the mayor.

Sanchez was arrested Friday night during a search in his house in Tuburan. Taken during the search were illegal drugs valued at P30,000. The operation was by virtue of the search warrant issued by Toledo City Regional Trial Court Judge Hermes Montero.

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Mayor Diamante told me over the phone that he has to do it to show to his constituents, as well as to the province and the entire nation, that nobody is untouchable in his town.

Tuburan Police Chief William Homoc said Sanchez is a level three drug pusher. Found at Sanchez’s house were a medium pack and 17 small packs of shabu and some drug paraphernalia.

Homoc noted that Mayor Diamante had warned Sanchez to stop his illegal drugs trade long before he was subjected to the search and then arrested for possession of the illegal drugs.

The proliferation of illegal drugs (shabu) in the municipalities is one of the big challenges that local government officials have to face. Illegal drugs, particularly shabu, have reached the rural areas in alarming speed.

Some town officials in Cebu are even suspected of coddling drug lords. This story is unverified, but a highly placed source said that a Cebu town mayor won in the last elections because of the support he got from a drug lord in his town.

Narco-politics is now a fact in our country but nobody, including our Philippine National Police (PNP), could crack it.

This is also true for the men in uniform. Reports that some policemen are protecting illegal drug dealers have hogged the headlines. This after a drug dealer’s ledger was recovered and showed that cops are on the take.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Drugs Agency (PDEA), the local version of the United States’ DEA, should not only concentrate on big time drug dealers but should also conduct surveillance work on narco-politicos.

The illegal drugs trade is flourishing even with the stiff penalties imposed under Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs act of 2002 that repealed RA 6425.

I don’t suppose Mayor Diamante did it solely for media mileage or so he would be labeled as the Duterte of Tuburan. Mayor Diamante is his own man. I know him to be self-made and upright. Keep it up, Mayor!

***

The issue raised by transport drivers, particularly those of PUJs, against the Mandaue City Government--that it has not provided for a PUJ loading and unloading area--is valid. However, their demand for the city council to pass a resolution opposing the new and stiffer penalties for traffic violations is misplaced.

If the transport drivers feel they were singled out (which is not true since the new penalty applies to all drivers of motor vehicles), they should file a petition with the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court questioning the legality of the measure.

Going into transport strike is not the solution. Neither could the transport drivers cow or blackmail the government so it would not implement the stiffer penalties for traffic violations.

It is about time higher fines for traffic violations should be imposed so that drivers, particularly those of public utilities, would start obeying traffic laws, rules and regulations.

And, you know why public utility drivers are strongly opposing the higher fines for traffic violations? Because every day and everywhere, this minority brazenly violates simple traffic laws, rules and regulations.

When there is traffic congestion on the road, believe me, the problem is caused by undisciplined and unruly drivers. And if you mind them, they growl at you.

(atty.ellieE@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2014.

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