OPINION: Leni Robredo as the drug czar is a big joke
FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Drug cartels are everywhere in the world. These are in places not even known by most Filipinos.

The range of products in the drug cartel market is so varied a newspaper reader cannot distinguish one from the other. The picks include intoxicating substances, from alcohol to narcotics to synthetic marijuana, come from all over the world. The  chemicals are manufactured in China, plants are grown in Afghanistan, and there are home-brewed stimulants made in clandestine labs in the United States.

These drug products proliferate because there’s a vast market of consumers for them particularly in America. Drug cartels based in Central and South America bring illegal drugs across the border and into the US.

It is near impossible to get at those who make these or know how they are traded. One thing is sure though. It is a tough man’s game even in countries with sophisticated and trained government departments to deal with it. Yet it continues and no one can hardly predict when it can be smashed and done away within a limited term.

So it is unbelievable that someone like our dainty Vice President Leni Robredo can even begin to solve it. Yet she has the effrontery to think she can. She has no record of the toughness and determination needed to take up such a demanding job.

The latest newspaper report on her work as Vice President is about how she handled funds to build houses for the Yolanda typhoon victims. The House of Representatives committee on housing claimed to have found substandard housing projects in relocation areas for the victims of super typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

The panel, upon the resolution of Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, recently inspected affected areas and claimed to have found mediocre structures.

Housing committee chairman Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez said he saw “glaring substandard” construction of facilities for the housing projects and noted that during their visit, they met a whistle-blower who testified under oath during their formal hearing that the materials used in the construction of homes were so substandard the houses were falling apart.

And building houses  is not half as bad or difficult about fighting illegal drug dealing. Even big countries with resources to do so have failed to tackle the universal problem. Still it has to be done with a lot of money to be made apart from its being a convenient political tool against President Duterte.

Duterte ran for President so he can do what he can to stop it from growing. It is a big source of corruption ignored by previous chief executives particularly by the Aquino government who, did not give it the importance not understanding the severity of the problem or its implications. Indeed sources who know more about it gave warnings about the threat.

One of them is Victor Corpus who has made fighting it as a passionate advocacy. Because he understands the urgency of killing it before it kills our country he supports the Duterte government’s anti-illegal campaign “100 percent.”

“Kung hindi natin gagawin ito, we will end up worse than Colombia,” he explained.

Corpus was referring to the illegal drug trade in Colombia which reached its peak between 1993 and 1999.

Colombia was the world’s largest producer of cocaine and one of the major exporters of heroin at that time.

The Duterte government as of this writing has to cope with 1,377 drug suspects, 22,503 others have been arrested in 23,549 police operations, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP) update covering the period of July 1 to 6 a.m. of Oct. 4.

The problem with PRRD is not what he says but why he says it. People do not accept words like “I will kill you before you kill drug victims and destroy my country.” Wouldn’t you say that too with the industry that has the complicit cooperation of both politicians and media. As usual it is politics that is getting in the way of dealing with a serious national problem.

Her supporters have advanced the theory that Vice-President Leni Robredo is being made a fall guy by offering her to be the drug czar. If she has the solution given her dismal performance (read: no performance) then indeed let her do it herself.

Robredo has been a vocal critic of the drug war, and she is becoming more and more outspoken nowadays which means this is the field she and the opposition has chosen to bring down the PRRD government. Horrors.

By appointing her as the antidrug czar she can call in outsiders.

In my opinion constitutional change to parliamentary federal government will be a more effective answer against illegal drug dealing because it means cheaper elections and smaller constituencies.

LENI ROBREDO
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