Shifting gears in the war vs illegal drugs
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - August 18, 2016 - 12:00am

President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte will soon be shifting gears when the war against illegal drugs moves to the next phase - celebrity drug users. Last Tuesday, the Philippine Star came up with two reports, the first one about Quezon City Councilor Hero Bautista, the younger brother of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, who finally admitted he was the elected official who was tested positive for shabu and marijuana use. He has confirmed that this was the truth in his privilege speech during the 4th session in Quezon City and has now officially gone on leave.

Then the next targets by the Duterte administration in the war against drugs are the high-end nightclubs in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and in Pasig City. The victims of the drug menace here are the scions of the Manila rich families, many of whom are hooked into drugs but have more than enough clout to keep their names from the prying eyes of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.For the earlier part of this war, many of the poor drug users have been killed trying to run away from the law or their drug lords. So this next phase will certainly be worth watching.

Also reported in the front page of last Tuesday's Philippine Star was the arrest of FM Radio Station disc jockey Karen Bordador and her boyfriend, Emilio Lim who was arrested in a buy-bust operation in his condominium unit at the Skyway Twin Towers in Pasig City.They are suspected of drug trafficking, selling drugs to nightclubs which should be a huge blow to the crème dela crème who are hooked on illegal drugs. All I can say is,it's about time that the Philippine National Police did this. For too long, the rich scions coming from the well-heeled families in Metro Manila have been spared from being collateral damage in this war against drugs.Now this war has reached their turf and if their parents do not force their drug addict children to surrender. They might just end up dead on the streets! 

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Finally, the Department of Justice has recommended the indictment of 88 commanders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups for the killing of the 44 Special Action Force on that infamous January 25, 2015 Mamasapano massacre that shocked the nation. What we all saw was what these bloodthirsty killers uploaded on their Facebook page where wounded SAF troopers waiting for medical help ended up being hacked to death by these killers.

Equally shocking is the way former president Benigno "PNoy" Aquino reacted to this report which today is still a mystery. I would like to believe that Aquino had the benefit of seeing this massacre via an America drone. After all, he was at the drone center in Zamboanga City to be on top of Oplan Exodus. After the Sunday debacle, Aquino went missing for three days, surfacing later at the blessing of the Mitsubishi assembly plant instead of attending the arrival ceremonies of the fallen 44 troopers in Villamor Air Base. A year after, no one has been indicted by the Aquino regime for the dastardly deed that happened to the 44 SAF.

It had to take the DOF under Duterte to have all these criminals indicted for the Mamasapano massacre and all we can say is it's about time. What I would like to know is what really did Aquino know and kept from the Filipino people on the Mamasapano massacre? I would like to believe that he was not entirely truthful with regards his role in this debacle. 

Meanwhile, last Tuesday the Philippine Star came up with an editorial on this case entitled "Toxic."Allow me to reprint some excerpts of this editorial for your perusal. "The killers laughed and were fully aware that they were firing at government forces. This was one of the findings of the Department of Justice as it recommended yesterday the indictment of 88 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups for murdering 35 of the 44 commandos of the police Special Action Force in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last year.

The Department of Justice finished its investigation in March but held back the release of its findings, reportedly because of the sensitivity of the case in connection with the peace process with the MILF. By then, however, the talks were in limbo together with the Bangsamoro Basic Law, so the bigger concern must have been the impact of the DOJ findings on the May elections.

With the elections out of the way, the search for justice for the so-called SAF 44 should be able to proceed in earnest, even as the Duterte administration picks up the pieces of the peace process with the MILF. The two need not be incompatible; no genuine peace is possible with the MILF unless the truth is ferreted out and justice is rendered in the slaughter of the SAF commandos."

Well, at least with Aquino no longer in power, justice can now prevail.

vsbobita@mozcom.com.

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