Mina-anud: Catching fish to fishing cocaine

Contributed photo

SOME of us lived a life not so good that we have spent days praying for a miracle to happen, a miracle huge enough that it could transform misery to comfort. And sometime in 2009, for a group of fishermen in Eastern Samar, a billion dollar luck was washed ashore.

Surely though, it did not come from the heavens but from one of those sailing yachts owned by drug cartels operating worldwide. There were more cocaine bricks that ended at the coast but the authorities were only able to recover 591 kilograms of the illegal drug and it was still worth P3.58 billion.

Cebuano filmmaker Kerwin Go’s debut film Mina-anud features the real-life story of locals in the not-so crowded surfing town in Samar whose lives and principles changed after being confronted by an opulent opportunity.

It is also a thrilling chase between the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and fishermen, surfers turned cocaine peddlers -- and the latter in a bad position to choose whether to continue with the dangerous moneymaking activity or go back to a peaceful yet completely unadorned existence.

To hit the cinemas on August 21, 2019, the film also offers a good sneak into the truth that PDEA have always warned the Philippines about -- becoming the center of this conveyance of illegal drugs.

“These drug triads are making the Philippines their playground. They are resorting to drug smuggling, either a finished product or raw materials, and cook shabu in high seas because of the dismantling of several major shabu laboratories offshore lately,” PDEA chief director general Aaron Aquino said in a previous media interview.

Aquino believes the rise in the number of cocaine coming into the country this year may be a diversionary tactic. He said the shift of focus to cocaine could allow drug syndicates to ship more of other illegal drugs.

PDEA data in 2016 showed that cocaine remained a distant choice for Filipinos. Based on drug-related arrests, shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) remains the top choice at 94.93 percent, followed by marijuana at 5.23 percent, and other drugs, including cocaine, at 0.34 percent.

But then again, cocaine is the preferred drug of the wealthy, which might explain the supposedly low demand in the country. One kilo of cocaine costs P 5.3 million or approximately $101,000. (Joice Cudis/Contributor)


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