Punchline

Shabu behind rape cases

 

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

THE briefing that the P/Sr. Inspector Ria Tacderan, chief of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, gave local newsmen during the KBP Forum baffled me some.

Indeed, we have reason to be alarmed that rape cases are on the rise. Then she went on to attribute causes that led to the rape of young girls – poverty, drunkenness, pornographic sites on internet and use of illegal drugs.

However, the statistics indicated that none of the reported cases were due to illegal drugs.

I am not sure how her unit interprets “use of illegal drugs” when evaluating complaints of victims. Do they actually expect a rape victim to discern if her rapist is under the influence of drugs?

Drunkenness is obvious to the victim but influence of shabu is not. But in fact, a shabu-affected brain finds getting drunk as a way to have the blind urge and courage to rape a young girl, a daughter, a student even an old woman, and in some cases kill the victim.

President DU30 minces no words when he attributes rape cases to men affected by drugs. Clearly, he means that rape cases are induced by use of illegal drugs, an effect which is not easily discernible to a victim and neither to investigators days after the rape incident.

I, therefore, find it incredible that Ms. Tacderan’s office did not find a single rape case to have been perpetuated induced by illegal drugs.

The determination of inducement by drugs can only be had if the suspect is interviewed, or if the victim is taught some manifestations of someone being under the influence of drugs.

Hence, given what is already known empirically to be the effects of drugs, it would not be farfetched to conclude that nearly ½ or more of the 295 rape cases attributed to children in conflict with the law, to drunkenness and others were in fact induced by drug use.

The unusual increase in rape cases alone should be a good indicator and because it reconciles with the high number of drug users in the country.

So the WCPD personnel ought take a closer look into the rape cases because PDU30 himself already determined drug use to be one of the consequences of violence committed against women and children, the very core for his unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs.

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POLITICAL WILL. The smoking ban is in effect nationwide and so is the mandatory wearing of crash helmets by motorcycle riders and the prohibition of more than two riders on a motorcycle.  There are ordinances that prescribe designation of pedestrian lanes to protect people crossing the streets, ordinances that mandate standards for maintaining public health, cleanliness and sanitation, ordinances against noise pollution and curfew for children.

Imagine your community being made to observe these, what would you see? 

All our lives, we’ve longed to see order in our community lives with upright men and women in government overseeing the enforcement. Alas, our local governments are not keen on the strict enforcement of any law except those in our penal code.

And yet, ironically, it is the culture of strict enforcement of laws in other countries that make Filipinos, particularly of those in government and law enforcement privileged to travel overseas, stand in awe and in admiration.

When our local political leaders and law enforcers often complain about the lack of discipline among our people, they do not see that it is their own inclination to be lax and be selective in enforcement of laws and ordinances that make for an undisciplined society.

A case in point is how simple traffic ordinances are strictly enforced inside Camp John Hay in Baguio, Clark Freeport Zone, and yes, in Makati and in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.  Motorists and residents are uncomplaining and compliant because they know they will get arrested and fined for violating the ordinances.

Finally, the City of Manila is beginning to crack the whip on ambulant and illegal vendors, while the MMDA has began it’s no-contact arrests for traffic violations.

In Dagupan City, motorists know better than to disregard traffic lights. Colorum tricycle operators are beginning to learn the language of law enforcement and discipline. Cleanliness inside the Tondaligan Park is being observed because of strict enforcement of rules.

My point is, life in our communities can experience an enviable quality of life overnight with a minimum semblance of sustained strict enforcement of laws and ordinances, minus the usual palakasan for the rich and powerful, among kumpadres and ninongs, relatives and neighbors, political allies and members of fraternal groups.

The operative words for those in public service are political will and leadership by example!

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BEYOND DECLARATION AS DRUG-FREE. Have no doubt Pangasinan PNP will be able to meet its target deadline to make Pangasinan drug-free. After all, the bottom line for the declaration is merely the submission of certification by the P/Sr. Superintendent Ronald Lee and PDEA Region 1.

The much bigger concern and problem lies in sustaining the expected outcome of the declaration in the months that follow from January 2018 until PDU30 steps down in 2022!

What can be expected from a drug-free Pangasinan? What will subsequently negate the declaration? What will be the minimum measurement to keep its drug-free status as the police continue to wage war against the drug syndicates?

The drug lords will not be expected to simply fold their arms and fade away. In fact, they can be expected to be even more determined to embarrass the police for making the populace believe that all the barangays are drug-cleared, that the whole province is drug-free, by fielding more drug peddlers!

I am not suggesting that Pangasinan PNP should be ready with alibis but it needs to clarify levels of expectations this early.

This a communication problem that if not properly addressed, a miscalculated expectation can lead to widespread disappointment in our communities and low morale among our law enforcers.

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BEST PRACTICE GONE AWRY. Two weeks ago, I received several pictures from an excited visitor at the Dagupan City Hall showing notices posted on doors of city hall departments warning accredited suppliers and city hall employees of attempts of offering and or taking bribes in return for special favors or treatment.

I thought it was a great practical initiative by Mayor Belen Fernandez to warn and remind all and sundry of her advocacy contra corruption.  I congratulated her on FB for that effort to sustain anti-corruption during her watch.

But to my surprise and personal disappointment, she told me that it was a mistake posting those notices and that it was intended only to be posted at the Treasurer’s office.  So she had ordered those notices to be removed because she claimed there is no more corruption in her administration! Oops.

I thought she had a golden opportunity to demonstrate another best practice for good governance but she missed out by removing those notices. Unwittingly for her, by pulling out the notices in other department offices except in one, it now gives the impression that corruption was welcome in other departments but not in Treasurer’s Office. That was ill-advised.