Congressman Treñas’ Message
By Hon. Jonas Antonio A. Bellosillo
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Our country continues its protracted battle against substance abuse. The production, sale and use of illegal drugs are prevalent problems that continue to plague our nation. Our law enforcement officers and government officials are at a loss as to how to combat this menacing social caner which continues to threaten our society.
Our lawmakers have already passed stringent laws in order to deter and punish criminals from engaging in any illegal drug-related activity. The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 is a powerful statute that could penalize drug offenders. Unfortunately, the perpetrators of drug-related crimes have also used other laws in order to shield them from the reach of the law. In despicable fashion, drug lords now use under-aged children to act as drug mules since minors are immune from suit. They also take advantage of stringent rules on evidence in order to evade conviction, which is best illustrated in the acquittal of the so-called Alabang boys.
Aside from hiding behind substantial and technical rules in order to continue proliferating illegal substances in the Philippines, the drug lords also take advantage of the inability of our law enforcers to properly enforce the anti-illegal drug statutes. There are drug dens in numerous barangays in the country; and these drug havens are known to almost all of the members of the respective communities. Yet most of the operators of these drug dens continue to trade with impunity. Our youth can still easily access drugs near schools and dormitories. Yet our law enforcers turn a blind eye on these atrocious activities.
There are numerous reasons why drug pushers operate with impunity. Our legal and law enforcement systems are engulfed by corruption, the perpetrators of these crimes benefit from their deep pockets, and the political connections of the culprits are powerful deterrents against zealous police officers and prosecutors.
Indeed, the situation is quite dire. The global drug business is estimated to be worth 400 Billion Dollars. According to a report of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime which was cited by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines is ranked number one in amphetamine and synthetic drug abuse among the countries in East, South, and Southeast Asia. Currently, there are at least 630 Filipinos abroad who are in jail because of drug trafficking.
But despite these grim figures, we must never be dissuaded from maintaining our vigilance against the pushers and users of illegal substances. Congressman Treñas and the rest of Iloilo City truly appreciate the efforts of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council in order to curb drug pushing and usage in our city. Through your efforts, our citizens, especially our children, are insulated from the insidious drug pushers.
The fight against illegal drugs must start at the grassroots level. By organizing barangay anti-illegal drug councils, your communities will be assured that a local group of volunteers who know the personalities involved in drug trade will serve as a tireless watchdog against drug pushers and substance abusers. By standing up, as a community, against these sinister individuals, you can protect your families and friends against the dangers of illegal drugs.
Thank you very much, and may you continue to guard our communities against drug abusers and pushers.