BACOLOD

Pacete: Drug trafficking

As I See It

NOW that Vice President Leni Robredo is the “drug czar”, can we expect a moral but serious war on illegal drugs? We can only hope and pray. In the provinces, we need the commitment of our public officials ... from the governor to the barangay council. We want the dedication and balls of our policemen.

The parents, schools, churches, social organizations, and the businessmen should put their acts together to counter drug menace. This could be a broken record but we want to play it again and again to penetrate the conscience of good men. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad.

Drug trafficking as a business is so large that no one group can hope to control it. Although there are many international sources of illegal drugs, the three primary centers of supply are: the Golden Triangle (northern border areas of Thailand, Burma, and Laos), the Golden Crescent (areas of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey- the Old French Connection), and Latin America (Colombia).

Illegal drugs are controlled by the cartels that have the capacity to wage war. Even the officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration have a hard time destroying the “narcotraficantes” (narcotic traffickers) because of their connection ... even to the Central Intelligence Agency.

VP Leni as “drug czar” should know the structure of the syndicate crime ... from the boss, to the underboss, to the “caporegime” (captain), to the “soldato” (buttonman) down to the legitimate industry and illegitimate activities. Illegal drug is just one of them. There could be alcohol, labor, racketeering, gambling, loan sharking and extortion.

The way we fight organized crime in our country is from the foot to knee level only. Our law enforcers can most of the time fish only shabu vendors and users navigating in narrow alleys and shanties. The enforcers have a hard time identifying the stock holders. If they are known, they are nowhere to be found.

If our law enforcers will take a harder push to search who are on top, they have no lawyers to back them up. The unknown handlers of the pushers can always provide good lawyers. The lawyers could always argue that the items were planted or police brutality was used to get the information. Policemen are always placed in hot water.

Can VP Leni start a good program for corrections? For convicted offenders, do we have rehabilitation program with risk-focused treatments? For drug-using offenders in prison, do we have therapeutic community treatment programs? We need separate drug courts to handle drug offenders.

Let us support VP Leni. VP Leni is counting on us.


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