The Sham “War on Drugs”!

The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) fully supports Vice President Leni Robredo’s recent call for an end to Duterte’s war on drugs.

The revelations in the course of the Senate hearing on the issue of the so-called “agaw bato” by PNP “ninja” cops bared the long-running furtive rift among the PNP generals over the reactionary government’s drive against illegal drugs. Gen. Magalong and Gen. Aquino’s spilling the beans on Gen. Albayalde’s erstwhile complicity in the vicious shenanigan has rocked the very foundation of PNP hierarchy and the fascist Duterte regime’s sham “war on drugs”, forcing Albayalde’s early resignation.

The conduct of so-called PNP anti-drug operations against a Chinese syndicate is clearly the handiwork of a police drug syndicate itself. Out of the total 200 kilograms shabu haul in Pampanga some years back, only 31 kilograms was reported and presented by the 13-man PNP raiding team. The missing 169 kilograms shabu was believed to have been resold/”recycled” in the drug market and/or used as planted evidence in subsequent raids on target suspects. The Chinese drug lord was allowed to get away with his crime after paying Php50 M, and in his place, some other innocent Chinese nationals were imprisoned. After their “successful” operation, a brand new expensive car for each of the so-called “ninja” operatives and the big boss was obviously an understated booty.

A stark note of grave injustice is aptly highlighted in this case. Under Duterte’s regime, the more than 30,000 ordinary and suspected street user and/or pusher “tokhang” victims were expediently salvaged for a mere few grams of shabu. While in contrast, these “ninja” cops and their higher ups were not only remiss in the proper custody of the prohibited drugs and material evidences but actually and willfully appropriated among themselves a large volume of the shabu haul. They are actually operating as a drug syndicate, big druglords and pushers themselves. And the irony is, instead of being punished, they were promoted to head sensitive units and functions under this Duterte regime.

A similar thread is the case of Bureau of Customs officials who allowed shabu shipments worth P6.2 billion to disappear mysteriously out of the ports. Even as the Senate hearings exposed the Duterte family’s ties to suspected drug lords doing business with the customs bureau, President Duterte promoted BOC chief Nicanor Faeldon and company to key positions in government. Following the customs scandal, Faeldon was later handpicked to replace former police chief Ronald de la Rosa as head of the Bureau of Corrections until he was sacked on account of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) fiasco. His foiled attempt to free convicted rapist and murderer ex-Mayor Sanchez and others

similarly convicted of heinous crimes stirred national outrage, a pandora’s box that led to the ongoing string of Senate investigations on the corruption-stricken bureau.

After more than three years of the bloody “war on drugs”, the braggadocio of Duterte to end the drug menace within just the first three months of his term, although extended several times until today, present no clear resolution to the problem.

In fact, this “war on drugs” is a sham! Why?

One, anti-drug operatives including the so called “ninja”cops are making a good monkey business out of this war on drugs, and are protected by their patrons in the PNP organization.

Two, even while the PNP establishment presents a glossy year end report that the drug problem is nearing closure at the expense of 30,000 lives, this is again negated by reports of large volumes of shabu confiscated in raids of shabu laboratories and boxes of cocaine retrieved by fishermen floating in the open seas. Clearly, the wheel of justice runs selectively under this reactionary government as it is harsh against the poor and lenient for the rich and powerful. It is a smokescreen to cover up the big time drug syndicates being controlled by Duterte’s family and his ilk.

Three, it is common knowledge that even in the distant past, government security forces themselves have been in control of the marijuana trade in the Cordillera region. Cordillera is one of the most publicized source of marijuana. The names of then Col. Rogelio Aguana and later on Col. Eugene Martin were bywords in the marijuana business in the region who have protected syndicates for this trade. Later, promoted as a subordinate to Gen. Ver of the Presidential Guard Batallion (PGB), Gen. Aguana personally supervised elite troops dispatched to Abra to quell the people’s opposition to the Cellophil Resources Corporation (CRC) logging operations. On the other hand, Martin was assigned as regional director of the Cordillera Police Regional Office, before being promoted as General to head the PNP Intelligence service. Gen. Martin was also a jueteng lord and controlled a carnapping syndicate in the Cordillera. It is not surprising therefore that “anti-drug” forces from the PNP know exactly what time of the year marijuana plants are ripe for harvest. Hence, the swooping down season is calendared on hyped “operation green gold” and the like. For publicity purposes, they would burn some uprooted marijuana plants complete with photo ops, while the rest of the “harvest” from tens of hectares of plantations largely controlled by the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA), the conscripted paramilitary forces of the AFP, are apportioned among the “boys and their boss”.

The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) and its allied revolutionary mass organizations have always advocated that propagation, processing and marketing of marijuana and similar plants and their derivatives are symptoms of a decadent social system. The present semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine society, controlled and perpetuated by the three evils of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism breeds this drug menace. Only by waging and bringing to victory the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective can we totally eradicate this social menace. ###

The Sham “War on Drugs”!