Who’re the drug protectors in Dagupan? 

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


SOMETHING very wrong appears to be pulling back the war on drugs in Dagupan City.

About six weeks ago, I received and relayed reports to the authorities about rampant shabu trading in some barangays, particularly in Barangay Pantal, but wonder of all wonders, both PDEA and PNP don’t seem to be concerned. No one has been arrested.

The City Anti-Drugs Advisory Council should not waste time in addressing the worsening menace in that barangay and in other communities in the city before the city officials, city police and PDEA operatives are included in PDU30’s and DILG’s lists as suspected coddlers and protectors of drug syndicates in the city.

It would help boost the city government’s (and all other elected local governments officials in the province) efforts in the war on drugs, to adopt a “Strike-3” policy on barangay kapitans. That policy will recommend the suspension of a kapitan where drug pushers have been nabbed in three buy-bust operations. (The PNP in the region has a “Strike One” policy for chiefs of police, meaning any police chief who fails to stop a major drug transaction will automatically be relieved of his/her command).

I hope our elected public official, police and PDEA officials have not forgotten that one of PDU30’s priorities in his administration is to protect families by eliminating the illegal drug trade in the communities. It’s a campaign promise he intends to keep.

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PROTECT THE CHILDREN. Two years ago, PDEA reported the attempt of drug dealers to develop a new market from among the young (Grade 6 pupils!) by manufacturing shabu to be sold as colored candies by select kids to classmates. Marketing pitch – to have bragging rights having tried what adults use though not easily accessible to them.  The candy costs P2!

I surmise this was the reason why both PNP and PDEA are insisting that random checks of school bags of pupils and high school students be done. But DepEd is objecting for the right reason. The presence of uniformed law enforcers (and in civies) in schools searching their bags can be a traumatic experience for the kids. I agree.

But the kids will not likely be averse to teachers (and security guards) inspecting their bags because requiring them to open their bags for inspection is a normal routine.

To accomplish this, however, our school officials in the province need to be properly oriented and educated on how to identity the contraband items. But this can be tricky.  It is important that the provincial government requires all teachers to take the drug test in order to ferret out the bad eggs. A drug user/dealer-teacher would not only be in a position to support his drug habit by using his students to sell, deliver or pick up the drugs who will not be held liable by law, but would know to warn his network of students.

Our school officials should do all to protect the children especially with the recent news that some P11 billion worth of cheap shabu are finding their way in all vulnerable barangays.

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BASHING VS. SUCCESS RATE.  The perennial critics of PDU30 are at it again.

They now accuse the Duterte administration of violating the constitution owing to his inclination to appoint more retired military officers to critical government posts.

They called the deaths of drug pushers who resisted arrest and shot it out with law enforcers as EJK.

They described the decision to close Boracay for rehabilitation as unstudied plan and senselessly displaced thousands of workers.

They blamed the rising prices of prices of rice and food commodities to inflation to the TRAIN law.

They accuse the government of being tyrannical, stifling press freedom.

The results of the totally unexpected actions taken by the government are enough to discredit their bashing, in a straightforward “in your face” fashion. No press conferences were needed to call pubic attention to the results: successful and faster resolutions of the issues, improved peace and order, establishing a gold standard for beach resorts, reclassification of rice to contain profiteering by traders.

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REMEMBERING KARINA.  Last November 1 was the 55th death anniversary of my sister Karina who met her untimely death at the Blue Beach in Dagupan City, just 6 days shy of her birthday in 1963.

She lived a life as a daughter and a servant of God that many found worth emulating.  The link will lead you to the book written and published by the late Fr. Aresnio Jesena Jr, SJ.  http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewshortstory.asp?AuthorID=4907

I pray her life will inspire you as much as it does to me and my siblings (Josie, Charisse and Frieda) today.

She would have been 67 years old on November 7!


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