Malilong: Kissing drugs | SunStar

Malilong: Kissing drugs

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Malilong: Kissing drugs

Monday, July 17, 2017

TO make sure I understood the meaning of President Duterte’s recent embarrassing remarks about Cebu’s standing in the traffic of illicit drugs in the country, I searched “hot spot” in the Internet. It is, according to Google, a place of significant activity or danger.

Police, drug enforcement and local government officials who had quickly expressed agreement with the president’s dire assessment must have been quicker than I was in clicking the search engines. Either that or “hot spot” is, to borrow a law school acquaintance’s favorite expression, “stock knowledge” to them.

What I cannot understand is why they have allowed the situation to develop to the extent that the president had to call our attention when they knew of the significant activity in the illegal drugs trade all along. News of buy busts, arrests, confiscation and armed encounters with drug couriers had been standard fare in my daily reading menu. And still we haven’t made a dent against the merchants of death?

When “tokhang” was in full blossom (blaze may be more appropriate), I told myself that we were witnessing a huge gamble, much like a cancer surgery. If done with precision and all the affected cells were removed, the patient might be able to live a few more useful years; otherwise, the disease would strike back with a vengeance.

It looks like we lost that gamble and hugely, too. Drug dealers who lay low when bodies began to tumble after Duterte gave the go-signal to run after both sellers and users hammer and tongs have resumed their activities, their network back in full harness.

I am not indorsing extrajudicial killing. But it’s different when the criminals know that the good guys are unlikely to take any prisoners and needed only the slightest hint of aggression to fire their guns. Is it a coincidence that after those guns were muzzled, there has been a surge of activity in the illegal drugs industry?

But there’s really no reason to fret. Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who is also the deputy mayor for police matters, says that when the president tagged Cebu a drug hot spot, it was in recognition of the huge strides we have scored in the campaign against the contraband.

All I can say is, wow.

•••

I have heard of indirect smoking but can an illegal substance be transmitted second hand particularly through kissing? An arbitrator in America believes so.

Gil Roberts was a member of the United States’ gold-winning 4 x 400 relay team in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In May, this year, he was suspended after testing positive for probenecid, a banned substance. He appealed the suspension and the case went to an arbitrator.

In his defense, Roberts claimed that he acquired the drug that was found in his system from too often and too passionate kissing with his girlfriend, who just arrived in India where she got sick and took some medication. The arbitrator ruled in his favor.

Next time you kiss someone, make sure he or she has not smoked grass or sniffed shabu. The judge might not be as understanding-–or romantic-–as the arbitrator.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2017.

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