With the resumption of police operations on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, it is obvious that this administration believes that the drug menace is simply a peace-and-order problem.
To them, the problem can be solved by killing everybody involved in the drug trade.
But it’s not just a peace-and-order issue.
Don’t they realize that the drug menace is more pervasive and deeply rooted than they can imagine? Their response to it only exacerbates the problem because it has yielded some consequences. My gulay, even the innocent get killed!
Duterte now tells us that despite his vow that he would end illegal drugs between three and six months, the problem would outlast his term. It is obvious that deep in his heart he knows just how serious the problem is.
Who are the people in his inner circle who could tell him that the poor resort to drugs because they are hungry and jobless? Just look at those children who inhale solvents. They do it to ease their hunger. They become street children because their parents are very poor and cannot feed them.
The root cause is poverty. But it’s also a health issue. Those who resort to drugs have both psychological and physiological problems.
For many years I was involved in drug rehabilitation. I was vice president of Bob Garon’s DARE Foundation. I know for a fact that drugs as an escape because the parents may have marital problems. The father may have become a womanizer or a gambling addict.
A drug addict lives in a shell of his own making. This is why he must be rehabilitated. So long as there is demand, there will continue to be supply.
This is the reason why I keep saying that drug addicts must be rehabilitated. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency estimates there are three or four million.
We can expect more innocent lives lost: Just look at Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz. Who would be next?
In order to prevent our country from being a narco-state, the President must ask: Why, despite the killings, does the problem of illegal drugs persist?
He must also realize that impunity is becoming institutionalized.
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With so many congressional inquiries supposedly in aid of legislation, I wonder how many laws have been enacted in connection with these probes.
The Senate and the House must look into why there is abuse of power among all the branches of government. And how come such probes have not resulted in the enactment of laws?
The investigations just turn into political circuses in aid of the agenda of the politicians who conduct them.
I say stop the coverage of these hearings! Because of television, what is being investigated becomes the news of the day whether or not it is indeed newsworthy!
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I must congratulate the Metrobank Foundation for its annual awards for outstanding Filipinos, teachers and policemen.
For outstanding teachers, Metrobank chairman George Ty made me a member of the panel of judges headed by then-Supreme Court Justice Art Panganiban. I readily accepted because I used to be a teacher myself. I taught English, literature and history at Ateneo High School.
Many of my students have become successful in their own fields. I must say I share their success since I somehow touched their lives when they were teens.
Despite everything that is happening now, there are still many members of the police force who go beyond what is expected of them.
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It’s the wedding of the year!
That’s what the media say about the Paris wedding of Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho, with their 27-year age gap. Reports have it that the wedding cost millions: The ceremony itself, the wardrobe, plane fare and hotel accommodations in five-star hotels in Paris, and a world cruise for the bride and groom.
I really don’t care how the rich and affluent burn their money.
For a Third World country like the Philippines, this is a lot! I wonder what foreigners must think of us.
I’m writing this not because I envy the rich, but because I believe there must be a limit to conspicuous consumption and arrogant display of wealth.