Punchline

Dagupeños, be warned

By Ermin Garcia Jr.

 

THE Lim administration in Dagupan City denies that the drug problem in the city has worsened but the continuous successful raids and buy-bust operations in the city are making our city officials big liars and confirmed protectors of illegal drugs in the city.

Another drug den was busted last week. What’s the implication of this? It can only mean there is official protection for drug syndicates operating in the city. No drug trader would risk being charged for a non-bailable offense particularly during the health crisis if one doesn’t have a chance of being able to operate unmolested and without law enforcers trailing them.

It’s one thing to see drug street dealers taking their chances in dark alleys but to maintain a one-stop-shop in one’s residence for shabu customers cannot simply happen without official protection, starting from the city hall down to the barangay kapitan.

The Lim administration has only been in the driver’s seat for a year, and boom… drug syndicates are already getting comfortable operating in the city and more family members are being dragged into the net of drug trading.

In last week’s accidental raid in Barangay Herrero-Perez, four young women were inside that den were arrested. I’m sure their family members were not aware of their illegal habit until they were arrested.

Between the proliferation of jueteng and drugs and the city, one wonders how much are being pocketed by key city officials weekly. P200k each? That’d be insulting their power to protect.

For the sake of Dagupan families who remain vulnerable to the clutches of drug syndicates, I hope the new Dagupan police chief, P/Lt. Col. Luis Ventura Jr., has in himself the dedication and commitment to serve and protect the residents and not allow himself be swallowed by the system of corruption already in place in the city.

I sincerely pray.

Other than that, I can only pray that families can continue to watch out for signs of drug addiction in the family. Don’t wait to be alerted by a call from PDEA and the police station.

Dagupeños, be warned.

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FOR THE CITY OR METRO PLAZA? So who’s idea was it to shorten the curfew hours in the city? 

I’m informed that the adoption of the ordinance was not even calendared in the regular agenda of the Dagupan Sanggunian but it was passed nonetheless on the direction of Mayor Brian Lim.  

What was the urgency all about? My hunch is it’s about promoting night life business of the establishments at the Metro Plaza owned by the mayor’s family under the guise of jumpstarting the economy in the city.   

But wonder of all wonders, the councilors know that such a draft ordinance that will affect lives of residents, would normally necessitate a public hearing to debate the pros and cons of the proposal. But that didn’t happen in this case.  

Again, one wonders what prompted Councilor Joey Tamayo to sponsor the ordinance, not a mere resolution, on the bidding of Mayor Lim knowing the serious implications and impact of shortening the curfew. Or did he? It’s an ordinance that directly minimizes the protection needed by residents from the pandemic’s contagion.     

Either Mayor Lim again unwittingly displayed his being clueless of what’s happening in the city, or he was not aided by his city administrator Vlad Mata in the decision, or completely ignored his administrator or simply that he was insensitive to the cares and welfare of Dagupeños because the 10 p.m. – 4 p.m. curfew that he had asked for that required a public hearing,  had just taken effect a day earlier!!  

Is it possible that Councilor Tamayo was not aware of the consequences to the city’s residents with what he did?

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