Killing won’t end illegal drugs


“For me, more than anything, the rehabilitation of victims of illegal drugs, drug addicts and addicts, could be the answer to the war on illegal drugs”

I have repeated to myself, Santa Banana, in previous columns that a Department of Disaster Resilience is urgently and critically needed in a country like the Philippines that is prone to all kinds of natural disasters.

I was not referring to the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Abra and affected North Luzon, especially Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and partially destroyed heritage homes and centuries-old churches and monuments.

The lives lost, my gulay, in this magnitude 7 earthquake were landslides. The destruction of infrastructure and agriculture costs billions of pesos.

What is more tragic is that the Senate, where the DDR bill has long been pending, is still debating the creation of a disaster and calamity department. On the suggestion of President Marcos, what is preferable is an agency under the office of the President.

I have been a journalist for 74 years, I have witnessed history in the making, I have seen disasters and calamities that have claimed thousands of lives, billions of pesos lost due to the devastation of infrastructure, agriculture and people’s livelihoods.

And I still can’t believe our duly elected leaders are still quibbling about the need for DDR. On the suggestion of President Marcos, what is needed is just an agency under the President’s office that should serve as a response to disasters and calamities.

I can’t believe the Senate continues to guard against a DDR, or simply an agency, to manage the three “Rs” (rescue, relief, and rehabilitation) of areas affected by earthquakes, typhoons, and cyclones, storm surges, floods and landslides and to help isolated communities in need of food, water and clothing.

My gulay, whether or not it is a department or just an agency, the Senate and the President should act immediately to replace the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) to deal with relief, relief and rehabilitation and install permanent evacuation centers with all necessary amenities following such calamities or disasters.

Especially now with the onset of typhoons and cyclones, communities in Mindanao, the Visayas and parts of Luzon are facing floods and landslides that are making life so miserable for so many people.

Mr. President, just do it – a department or a DDR, or just an agency under your Office. We need it like we needed it yesterday.


My attention was drawn to the statement by the new Chief of Police, Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr., who said the war on illicit drugs is not about killing and killing.

I thought to myself, we now have a new police chief unlike the old police chiefs who cared more about killing in the war on illegal drugs – not realizing that there is a holistic approach to succeeding in this war: prevention, law enforcement, prosecution and rehabilitation.

For me, more than anything, the rehabilitation of victims of illegal drugs, drug addicts and addicts, could be the answer to the war on illegal drugs.

Building community-based rehabilitation centers could be the answer.

It would be good for our new leaders to realize that, in the problems of illicit drugs, there is the question of the law of supply and demand.

As long as there is a demand for illicit drugs, syndicates and cartels are always there to meet the demand.

New police chief Azurin is right. Murders are not the answer to the illicit drug problem.

This has been the problem of the previous administration where former President Duterte allegedly ordered the killings and other killings of not only drug traffickers and dealers but also the extermination of drug addicts and addicts resulting in the culture of impunity.

While police estimates indicate that only more than 6,000 people were killed in Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, unofficial estimates have numbers as high as 28,000.

Regardless of the number of people killed in Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, the truth is that illegal drugs continue to enter the country because there is a demand.

You read in the newspapers and watch on television the ongoing so-called “buy-bust” operations of the police and the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency).

It just means that Duterte’s war on illegal drugs has failed, and now it’s President Marcos’ problem.

It is interesting to note, however, that we now have a new police chief who will change the mentality of the police in murders and more murders which will not solve the problem of illegal drugs which continually enter the country.

The vicious circle of supply and demand must be broken. The final solution is rehabilitation.

This is where the private sector – the taipans and tycoons – should step in to help the government build community drug treatment centers. Why Community? The rehabilitation of drug victims needs the support of their families.


The affair of the “expensive” and “obsolete” laptops purchased by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) of the Ministry of Education could be an opportunity for President Marcos to show the people that he has a zero-tolerance for bribery and bribery in his administration.

The fact that no less than the Audit Commission informed the leadership of the PS-DBM of the anomaly, which costs no less than 2.4 billion pesos, an amount that is not peanuts, should encourage Bongbong Marcos to act immediately to show that his administration cannot tolerate any form of anomaly in his administration.

BBM may not have mentioned in their state of the nation address that they have zero tolerance for any form of bribery and corruption, but I believe there’s no better time than now to show the people that they would not tolerate any form of monkey business.

The COA’s 2021 annual audit report had reported that the PS-DBM had procured laptops with “outdated” Intel Celeron processors and were “too slow” for online learning.

The COA reports mentioned which vendors were obviously favored, especially since the laptops were already obsolete. This market was useless.

I would also like to believe that Vice President Sara Duterte, who is also DepEd secretary, should act immediately and strongly denounce the purchase of obsolete laptops by the PS-DBM.

It’s an insult to her and also to the millions of teachers and students who can no longer use those outdated laptops.

Certainly, some PS-DBM people have made a heap out of this deal.

To me, that’s a double insult, not only to DepEd, but also to BBM at the start of its administration.

Obviously some of the PS-DBM characters thought that with the new administration they could get away with it as assassins.

President Marcos should not only have the anomaly investigated, but hold accountable those who were responsible.

On the one hand, 2.4 billion pesos are not peanuts, and on the other hand, it is a challenge for BBM to show the people that as president he would not let this anomaly pass.

On behalf of Vice President Sara, who is secretary of the DepEd, she should act now to show that she too has zero tolerance for corruption.


The big question that no one can answer right away is when will the COVID-19 pandemic with all its variants and sub-variants end?

The fact that even OCTA researchers believe that the continued increase in COVID-19 cases may even continue into the “ber” months means that this invisible enemy of the people will continue for some time. Only God can tell.


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