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Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Target: Helpless solving drug menace


On Target: Helpless solving drug menace

The drug problem in the country has become a big headache for the Philippine National Police which seems helpless containing it.

The enormity of the drug problem was brought closer to home  with the discovery of drug dens right in the backyard of Camp Crame, headquarters of the PNP!

If the government continues to treat the drug problem like any other crime, the Philippines might become another Colombia, where drug lords are feared by authorities rather than the other way around.
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We need a leader like Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte who was able to solve the drug problem in the once turbulent city.

I had a long conversation with Duterte who visited the wake of my deceased aunt, Consejo Veradio, at the Cosmopolitan funeral parlor in Davao City a week ago and I asked him how he would solve the drug problem if he were the President.

The controversial mayor didn’t bat an eyelash and said: “I would have all the big-time pushers and drug traffickers killed. I would build rehabilitation centers in every city and town for drug addicts.”

There should be no mercy for professional pushers (as opposed to persons who push drugs to support their habit) and drug traffickers, Duterte said.

If our next President is the namby-pamby type, mindful of what international and local human rights groups say, the drug problem will reach a point beyond solution.

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If the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would totally ban political ads on radio and TV and, in its place, require presidential candidates to attend town hall meetings or debates throughout the country to be covered live by radio and TV, perhaps our next President will not be beholden to anyone but the electorate.

This method of electing our leaders  is being proposed by former Sen. Dick Gordon, chair of the Philippine National Red Cross.

Our next President would be chosen by the electorate based on how he is able to articulate his platform and answer questions on how he will deal with national and local issues, such as peace and order.

That way, people will choose their leaders based on intelligence, not on popularity or monetary consideration.

Candidates will no longer be spending hundreds of millions or billions of pesos for their campaign as the cost of the town hall meetings or debates, covered live on radio and TV, will be shouldered by the Comelec.

Gordon’s proposal, if adopted by the Comelec to the letter, will encourage highly qualified but financially challenged individuals to run for President, Vice President and senator.

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Retired Chief Supt. Napoleon Estilles, former chief of the Firearms and Explosives Division (FED), is unfairly being criticized for the unclaimed gun shipment at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The Bureau of Customs says it has turned over the “abandoned” gun shipment to the PNP which came in during the time of Estilles as FED chief.

The shipment has never been abandoned.

Cel Yulo approached this columnist to complain that the Naia customs collector at the time, Ding So, refused to release his shipment.

Yulo said So had ignored his pleas to release the shipment which was covered by pertinent documents from the FED.

I remember writing in this column about So’s stubbornness  in releasing Yulo’s gun shipment, as well as other legal gun shipments, prompting then Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez to intervene.
So, a member of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo, stood his ground.

It’s a good thing that under Customs Commissioner John Sevilla’s term, So and other problematic customs collectors have been transferred to the Department of Finance.