She’s bound to fail

"They're going about the drug war the wrong way."


Vice President Leni Robredo is the new drug czarina. Will her approach end the menace of illegal drugs, finally?

Robredo’s ignorance of what the drug problem is all about highlights what is problematic about her appointment, and with Cabinet rank at that.

I wonder why President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Robredo in the first place. Was it to end all her criticism? But not even President Duterte, given all his political will, can end it.

As I have been saying many times over, the drug problem is not a peace and order issue. It is a health matter. And it can only be solved if the demand is completely eliminated.

With no less than seven million to eight-million drug dependents throughout the country, illegal drugs is a profitable market for international syndicates in West Africa, Mexico, and China. My gulay, we are a thriving market!

So, even if the Duterte administration kills all the drug pushers, the problem will not end. It’s a problem throughout the world, not just in our country.

My point is that the campaign against illegal drugs will never truly succeed unless Duterte, and now Robredo, look at it the right way. They should really try to curb demand rather than focus on the supply.

I am not saying that I know better than experts. But I do know a little about the drug problem because I was vice president of DARE Foundation in the 1970s and 1980s. I have seen people who are being rehabilitated.

I cannot agree with the vice president that the drug problem can be solved just by stopping the killings.

During the martial law regime, President Ferdinand Marcos created special courts to try all the arrested drug users in an attempt to minimize the problem. These special courts, I recall, determined whether one could still be rehabilitated or just sent to prison. Those in the former group were sent to rehabilitation centers.

I must say rehabilitation is not easy. Our success rate at DARE was only 75 percent. We had no idea if the remaining 25 percent would go back to the habit. Some of them even later on died of overdose.

Addicts build a shell around themselves, and for them to be rehabilitated, that shell has to be broken. Regular consultations with psychologists/ psychiatrists will help.

Going back to Robredo, I can almost predict that she would fail. The problem is so big and so daunting.

Her fellow Yellows have warned her against accepting the role, but she did so, anyway. Now she is in a predicament of her own making.

* * *

With all the negative news we have been hearing, I thought the country was hopeless.

This is why the 6.2-percent GDP growth for the third quarter was welcome news. The economy is now rebounding.

And then, we hear that other airports—specifically those in Cebu and Iloilo—are among one of the best. This is refreshing after everything we hear about Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

* * *

Some people may have mixed feelings about Senator Panfilo Lacson, but I think we need more people like him in government, especially given his stand on pork barrel.

The 2020 national budget may now look pork-free, but Lacson is questioning it nonetheless.

Senator Bong Go also swore there would be no more pork barrel in the budget. If this is true, more power, then!

Topics: Leni Robredo , Illegal Drugs , Rodrigo Duterte , Ping Lacson , Economy , Ferdinand Marcos
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