Daang Matuwid works for drug lords


By Ermin Garcia Jr.


WONDER no more why we can’t seem to be winning the war vs. the bloodthirsty drug lords. Thanks to Daang Matuwid’s policy, the drug lords are able to resume their strategy in increasing the supply and demand for their various moneymaking commodities on schedule without lifting a finger.

The changing of the guards at the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office occurs like clockwork! P/Sr. Supt. Rolie Saltat, who hassled them for the last six months was out the door even before people knew who succeeded him as his ‘OIC’ successor.

Indeed, who could be happier than the drug lords who knew that Aquino’s government never considers what’s happening on the ground as long as its political timetable is met. They knew Mr. Aquino could not care less if the likes of Mr. Saltat or P/Sr. Supt. Edgar Allan Okubo were doing well in their posts as long as they are shipped in and out on time as scheduled to protect his government’s political interests.

Yes, this is what Daang Matuwid is all about. No accountability to the people. So next time you hear Mr. Aquino says: “Kayo ang boss ko!” Give him the finger.

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The drug campaign in Pangasinan only got as far as where Mr. Saltat, the last OIC, set his eyes on, as of last week, that is. Why?

Just like in the past, Guv Spines and the provincial board never had the opportunity to make any of the OICs assigned to Pangasinan account for their activities for the duration of their terms, whether 2 months or 10 months. That’s because Napolcom and PNP leadership no longer consult LGUs about postings of senior police officers, precisely because they are posted merely as OICs.

In fairness to Guv Spines, when he realized he could not force the Aquino government to observe the established protocol in appointing permanent (minimum 3-year posting) provincial directors, he ate humble pie and decided to give up his right to select a permanent director of his choice. He pleaded with Mr. Mar Roxas to appoint his own choice as long as Pangasinan finally gets a permanent director who could be made accountable.

But Messers Aquino and Roxas still won’t budge. They refused to give Pangasinan a permanent director who could be made accountable. They only want OICs who will be made to accountable to them only, and only them, never mind what the people (the bosses) say.

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So today, let’s welcome P/ Sr. Supt. Edgar Allan Okubo, today’s OIC, and let’s wish him well.

With the niceties over, let’s tell Mr. Okubo what we expect from him. Ok, here’s the deal:

  1. For starters, find it in yourself to consider being accountable to the people of Pangasinan as well, not just to the Aquino administration!
  2. Show the families that the streets will be safer for their children by clearing the streets of drug pushers and users, whether they are 13 years old or 80 years old! In brief, target to arrest all the top 10 drug personalities in each town and city!
  3. Establish efficient and courteous checkpoints wherever 24/7!
  4. Effect the serving of all warrants of arrests on suspected criminals 24/7 to prevent them from being hired as hitmen-riding-in- tandem.
  5. Make each chief of police a performer!

Like with Mr. Saltat, we will be happy to keep the scoreboard for you.

P.S. Mr. Okubo, in case you are not aware yet, the drug syndicates here have began selling shabu to grade school kids for P2 a hit. Surely, nobody needs to spell out to you the very dangerous consequences of this tact if not stopped by any means.

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RATIONAL, NO LONGER WHIMSICAL. Finally, I’m seeing a more rational approach in the campaign of Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez vs. illegal fish pen owners.

Involving finally the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, the police and the city legal officer in the effort to clear and maintain the city’s tributaries of illegal fish pens and other structures might as well the first provision in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the amended fisheries ordinance.

Relying solely on the word of the city agriculturist, whose trustworthiness on the job was spotty, was whimsical and ill-advised from the very beginning. Because of her, Mayor Belen found herself contradicting herself on many occasions. She has embarrassed herself each time she proudly proclaimed the rivers were clear of illegal fish pens, only to be shown pictures of operating fish pens, a day after.

Moving on, Mayor Belen can now have access to better advice, including information on jurisprudence particularly on violations of laws on environment. For instance, I’m sure City Agriculturist Emma Molina never told the mayor that fish pens that are one hectare and bigger in size require not just a permit but an environmental compliance certificate, and violation of which is punishable.

And through it all, there was Mayor Belen constantly being badgered by pleas for grace periods by owners of illegal fish pens that occupied more than 10,000 sq. meters who should have been in jail instead of being allowed to negotiate terms they never meant to keep.

Time to kick ass and keep the city’s rivers clean and clear for real this time!

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CONTRA LICENSED GUN OWNERS. All the gun clubs in the province should follow the lead of the gun club in Metro Manila that filed a petition seeking to lift the gun ban as imposed today.

The gun ban imposed by Comelec and enforced by PNP merely effectively cancelled the licenses to own and permits to carry that legitimate gun owners had to work for under very stringent rules. Unknown perhaps to persons who never had to apply for a license to own and a permit to carry, these are the two most difficult documents to apply for in this country.

There must be about some 15 steps, hefty fees and months of waiting period before one gets hold of the plastic licenses. Start with securing clearances from the barangay, municipal court, regional trial court, local police, NBI. Then take a drug test and a neuro test, then attend a seminar on gun handling. And for each step, you must pay the government agency. It’s the routine that one must take to renew one’s license and permit annually.

If a licensed gun owner is caught with his gun during this period, he not only loses his gun but is slapped with criminal charges for violating the ban. The criminal with unlicensed gun gets the same thing except that he didn’t have to go through all the trouble of getting the permits.

So does the ban affect the criminals? Not at al! All they need to do is avoid being caught with the gun. Worse, they can keep as many guns without finding a need to get licenses and permits for these. They throw the guns away after a job is done to make sure no ballistic tests can incriminate them.

What’s almost laughable about Comelec’s rule is to require a legitimate gun owner to prove there is an existing death threat before a case for exemption can be considered. Well, recall what happened to the journalists who were mowed down by the Ampatuan gang in Maguindanao. Nobody received direct threats to qualify them to be armed for self-defense.

A gun ban serves nothing but checkpoints, serving warrants of arrests will deter crimes during the campaign period. On the other hand, without the gun ban, legitimate gun owners will make themselves accountable by presenting their licenses and permits on demand.

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I join the relatives and friends of Dr. Edwin Aguirre who passed away last January 11 in mourning his death. He was a rare specimen of civic-spirited community leader, who thrived in organizing for people who have less in life. His niche was a life for and with the community. Dagupeños, Rotarians and workers in government will surely miss his touch.    

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