Success in the drug war?


"It"s fake news."


We all know that the ultimate casualty of fake news is the truth—plus of course, the person who is the subject of the hoax. An example would be my good friend Vicente Tan and his wife, Helen.

During the early days of martial law, people woke up to the shocking news that businessman Vicente Tan was nabbed at the Manila International Airport for trying to smuggle out of the country a suitcase full of money from his own bank—Continental Bank.

A follow-up news item said he was detained at Camp Crame. And then it was reported that his wife, Helen, had also been arrested and detained by military forces under Fabian Ver.

But who would be so stupid as to have a suitcase full of bills, knowing he would have to go through Customs? And why would anybody physically smuggle out money when it was easy to remit money to any bank abroad, through the wires?

Later reports said that after some months at Camp Crame, the Tans were transferred to Camp Laur, Nueva Ecija, under isolation.

Tan detailed what truly happened in his book, “Greed and Injustice.”

After 1986, the persecution did not stop. The Cory Aquino government seized all his assets and properties. Vic could not understand why all this happened to him when he never committed any crime.

The last time I saw Vic and Helen, they said they were thinking of migrating to New Zealand. I wonder where they are now.

* * *

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde's “relinquishment” of his post after President Duterte advised him to go on terminal leave, and even the appointment of an officer-in-charge in the person of Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, will not really change anything.

Albayalde still has to face charges for intervening in the case of the 13 ninja cops accused of recycling illegal drugs. During that 2013 raid, he was the chief of the Pampanga police.

The challenge to the next PNP chief is how to restore the people's faith and confidence in the police institution. The rank-and-file must be so demoralized.

Just how Albayalde can get of a hole of his own making is a matter of speculation. He even hired an expensive lawyer!

What is important now is that the next PNP chief should be able to make the people trust the police again.

* * *

The PNP now claims it has succeeded in President Duterte's war on illegal drugs.

Succeeded, when illegal drugs worth billions of pesos are still smuggled through Customs?

Succeeded, when people are still getting killed during supposed raids?

The President's war against drugs is a futile exercise. He is treating the drug menace as a law and order problem. It is not. It is a health issue.

So long as foreign syndicates and cartels smuggle drugs into the country, because of our porous borders and a corrupt Customs bureau, it will always tell us that the demand remains high.

I have always said this but let me repeat myself: Even if Duterte and the PNP kill the last pusher, the drug problem will not end!

Police data peg the number to 6,500 death, but some estimates place the number to as high as 28,000.  After three years of a killing spree, they should know by now that the drug problem will outlast Duterte.

* * *

Was Mocha Uson qualified for her new post as deputy administrator of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration?

No less than elections commissioner Rowena Guanzon said she was not, because it has not been a year since the elections where Uson's party-list organization ran—and lost.

The spokesman of the Comelec, though, says Uson can get appointed because “candidate” referred to in the law refers to the party-list group and not the nominee.

So whom are we to believe?

If Guanzon is right, why did Malacañang go ahead and appoint her, anyway? Doesn't the Palace know the law?

* * *

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board has no choice but to ban the cartoon “The Abominable.” The Palace tasked the MTRCB with deciding whether or not to show it here.

Vietnam banned the movie because it showed the nine-dash line, which China uses as its basis for claiming territory in the South China Sea.

For the MTRCB to allow the showing of the movie will be to accept China's claims.


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