Monday, September 20, 2021

Tell It to SunStar: Presidential “MUST DO” in the war against drugs


China has effectively monopolized the supply of shabu (in the past century it was opium) in the country. The President must convince China, our ally to enter into an executive agreement or a treaty creating a Joint Task Force allowing our PDEA Agents/Police to work hand in hand with the Chinese narcotics to dismantle drug syndicates based in China whose target of operations is the Philippines.


The President must be reminded that it is not the uniform that makes a man upright, it is the man’s core values. The success and failure of the organization is always a question of leadership and never of membership. It is stupidity to claim that the corruption of the bureau lies with its rank and file, the character of the organization is shaped after its leader and never dictated by the members.


It is ironical that despite the strong stand of our President on the war on drugs and being a former public prosecutor, we are a failure on its legal and prosecutorial aspect. Dismissal of drug cases which started to rise in 2011 when Delima was appointed as DOJ Secretary continue to rise for the past two years. This is because no one has been made accountable on this glaring failure, compounded by the recent Supreme Court’s circular on plea bargaining agreements, with thousands of pushers back in the streets. The solution as suggested by Senate President Sotto is the creation of the office. Its mission will be twofold:

1. Legal-Prosecution. Unify in its orientation and focus the PNP,PDEA, NBI and the DOJ, they should work under one orchestra instead of playing different tunes. It must support the anti-drug operatives by the establishment of a Police/PDEA Defenders Office, whose function is to defend them from harassment suits and ensure the allocation of its budget: Court Duty Allowance, for court witnesses (police/pdea operative and crime lab personnel) in drug cases.

2. Treatment and Rehabilitation. Despite the surrender of thousands of drug dependents, up to now the DOH and the DILG failed to address the need on what to do with these drug dependents. The so called Community Based Treatment has remain a myth and an idea, two years have passed yet we have not seen a clear, reasonable and realistic program. The Presidential Office must ensure the realization of community based treatment and practical/doable treatment in rehab centers or outpatient.

ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT/LIVELIHOOD PROGRAM. Street pushers/cultivators of marijuana are in the lowest chain of the drug syndicates, they are dispensable and often victims of poverty. The Government must therefore come up with realistic programs, such as alternative crop support to marijuana farmers or would be marijuana farmers. - ATTY. CLARENCE PAUL OAMINAL


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