The Tanza drug operation
"Congratulations to PDEA."
However one looks at the anti-drug operation conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Tanza, Cavite that netted 270 kilos of methamphetamine, it was an outstanding and huge success. PDEA should give itself a pat in the back. To put the operation in its proper perspective, that old blockbuster movie French Connection which earned actor Gene Hackman an Oscar whose plot depicted the operation on how illegal drugs were recovered in France in the 1970s, only accounted for 20 kilos of cocaine. The Tanza operation was about 13 times bigger. There are many things that we can take from this operation. One is that it indicates that the anti-drug war is far from over. It is very much alive and seems to be flourishing. Another is that maybe, this is a good time to look at current strategies and tactics to see if change is needed. And still another is that the Tanza operation is the kind of police effort that the public is expecting to be done with more frequency rather than concentrating police resources on small-time dealers in many squatter colonies scattered all over the metro area. Two foreign nationals were killed in the operation which also shows that majority of the supply of prohibited drugs comes from overseas which are smuggled to our country. As explained by the Executive Director of PDEA Aaron Aquino, the smugglers are going back to the old system of loading the drugs on ships and bringing the prohibited drugs close to our shores where small boats go out to sea for the purpose of retrieving the shabu for distribution to big-time drug lords in the country. It is generally believed among law enforcement agencies that the principal source of shabu is China. Most of the big-time dealers arrested and killed in the past were Chinese nationals. The criminal elements from China who are engaged in the illegal drug trade can come here easily due to the government policy of visa-free travel by Chinese nationals to the country. Whether PDEA is doing it already or not, it should maintain a permanent coordinating arrangement with the Chinese police authorities for the purpose of monitoring Chinese drug cartel operation here. The Chinese government has in fact intimated its willingness to establish this and PDEA should take advantage of it. The illegal drug trade is a giant transnational operation netting billions of dollars in profits. It is doubtful whether this country with its very limited resources can really solve the problem on its own. It is elementary in law enforcement that if the police go after the big-time dealers and distributors, supply will eventually dry up or at least trickle to the very minimum. But judging from the daily news that the public gets, the supply of shabu circulating in the country is not diminishing at all.