West Africans’ drug ring


By Bebot Villar


AUTHORITIES in the province should continue to be on the look–out for members of the West African Drug Syndicate or WADS who seek Filipina students to be lured to the illegal drug trade as drug mules! This syndicate uses this modus operandi, with great success! They scout for OFWs or tourists whom they can lure to become their drug couriers with promises of cash, free travel and shopping sprees. Mga lintek na yan!

Many West Africans come to Dagupan City to train as seaman or enroll as students.
Last week, PDEA and Dagupan police already caught two Nigerians snorting illegal drugs in their apartment in the city. The two entered the cuntry as students and they now claim they only got involved in illegal drugs during their stay here. Talaga? The fact that they have been inviting neighbors and other groups to take drugs in in their apartment makes them suspects as being active in the drug trade. For all we know, they may already have some drug-users as drug couriers in their network.

Hwag silang tantanan!

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It’s imperative that we support the immediate planned construction of a drug treatment and rehabilitation center at the sprawling Camp Tito Abat in Manaoag that will house youth drug dependents and adult ‘moderate’ drug users.

The “moderate” drug users, I assume, are drug users who need not be an “in–patient” for the treatment and rehabilitation program, like the one offered in DOH – Region 1 Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Dagupan City, but still need to undergo a structured outpatient drug treatment program under the auspices of trained medical personnel, specifically DOH–accredited physicians.

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It’s encouraging, therefore, to learn from, Col. Milfredo Melegrito of the 702nd Infantry Brigade, that at least ten (10) hectares of the camp can be utilized for the proposed rehab center.

Given this offer, I envision the mood in the rehab center once established it will be ‘relaxed’ and conducive for soul–searching for its patients. The rehab center will not be like the detention cells and jails in our country where all detention prisoners are cramped into a very small space, some of them made to endure the sub–human conditions for a number of years! Para silang sardinas sa loob!

With a rehab center in Manaoag, hindi na kailangang pumunta sa ibang lalawigan  ang ating mga drug-users para ma-rehabilitate. Salamat sa Philippine army!

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Let us not forget that rehabilitation needs proper medical intervention! The medical intervention aspect is important if we want them to effectively kick off their bad and illegal habit and prevent an eventual relapse in the future.

And, I also suggest that they be offered a chance to undergo skills training, so they can learn a vocation or two which they can use to support themselves financially and to stop relying on illegal drugs trade (and use) for their means.

Ang bentahan ng droga kasi ay easy-come, easy-go. Madaling kumita lalo na pag may police protection!

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A formal and structured program is a must to address the drug problem, hindi yung papupuntahin ka sa isang seremonyas at manunumpa ka sa harap ng kapitan o alkalde tapos pauuwiin ka na lang! Napakawalang–kwenta!

This is really my pet rant against local officials. Are they really that serious after that “panunumpa,” these drug personalities will just kick the habit and stay away from the scourge of drugs? May binibigay ba na anting–anting sa mga panunumpa na iyan at iiwasan na ang droga ng mga nanumpa?

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It is good news that Cong Spines has been given the chance to clear his name by no less than President Duterte in the wake of the accusation that he was involved in the New Billibid drug trade.

Of course, everyone is entitled to due process, especially in matters where one’s life, liberty or reputation is at stake. Let us hope that truth, fairness and justice shall prevail!

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