A well-known hatred for drugs?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - February 17, 2020 - 12:00am

In the early days of President Duterte's term, to be on his "narcolist" would be tantamount to a death sentence. Many on past lists have fallen either to so-called "deaths under investigation" or summary executions packed in tape with warning signs around their necks. Some would be rounded up in their homes and then end up being killed because they supposedly fought back against the police. The term "nanlaban" suddenly became a household word. In other words, the terms due process and innocent until proven guilty were practically non-existent for the poor.

So do we expect the same treatment be given to Police Lieutenant Colonel Jovie Espenido, a known favorite of Duterte whose name now appears on a narcolist along with and several other high-ranking police officers? Of course not! Every effort is being brought to bear to protect those on the list which, by the way, is the president's list. The Palace says Espenido continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of the president. PNP Chief, Police General Archie Gamboa, can't seem to wrap his head around how Espenido's name got on the list, playing it safe by saying they would validate it first. Who came up with the list in the first place?

But the truth is there are 357 police officers on that list including a police brigadier general. Again, the special treatment for these possible errant cops comes in the form of early retirement with full benefits. So what's to keep them from continuing with their involvement in the drug trade after retirement if they were indeed involved? I thought this administration was all fire and brimstone when illegal drugs are involved. Where is the fiery speech from Duterte about rogue cops?

I'm really curious as to who came up with the list which I'm sure makes its way to the president. I am also sure that the list is checked and vetted before reaching the eyes of Duterte. If there are those saying Espenido's inclusion is simply to derail the administration's war on drugs then they should prove it. Why even offer "a way out" in the form or early retirement? Were those offers made to those rounded up in drug raids, or is this because these are policemen who deserve courtesy and respect? And I thought they were supposed to serve and protect.

If the list is indeed verified, then this whole war on drugs by the administration is nothing more than a show at the expense of the poor and defenseless. The president has given the police the salaries that nurses and teachers have been asking for. They enjoy so many benefits nowadays. This offer of early retirement for those allegedly involved in illegal drugs takes the cake. That President Duterte seems okay with the arrangement is surprising, considering his well-known hatred for drugs.


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