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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:49 pm 
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Any suggestions, guys? Care to share? Perhaps we can help Pres Du30 deal with the issue at hand.



Duterte vows to eradicate illegal drugs
By Paola Palma, CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Various political candidates attended a forum Wednesday (January 20) at the De La Salle University in Manila.

"The Leader I Want" forum, organized by Rappler, aims to help students assess and choose the candidates they will vote for in the coming elections.

All of the presidential candidates were invited to the forum but only Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, were able to attend.

Three senatorial candidates, Neri Colmenares, Lorna Kapunan, and Martin Romualdez, also attended the forum.

In his speech, Duterte said the Philippines is in disarray and does not have proper security. He added this is the very reason why he is now running for presidency.

According to the PDP-Laban presidential candidate, if he cannot reform the government then there will be no development in the country.

Duterte's advocacy includes the fight against illegal drugs. If elected, he promised to eradicate drugs within his first three to six months in office.

Duterte is known as a stern leader in Davao as he supposedly doesn't leave crimes unpunished. He said there is no such thing as a bloodless cleansing in the fight against criminals.

"If I become president there's no such thing as bloodless cleansing. I propose to get rid of drugs within 3-6 months. And maybe I can do it. Why do I say that? Well my exhibit A is Davao City," explained Duterte.

Duterte added, he takes the issue on ISIS seriously but he did not detail how he will address this if he wins.


http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/01/21/rodrigo-duterte-illegal-drugs-elections-2016.html


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Drug menace cannot be eradicated

THE high trust and satisfaction ratings of President Rodrigo Duterte is not unexpected. Upon his assumption of office, Mr. Duterte hit the ground running as he waged war against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption.

Despite local and international condemnation, everything that comes out of his foul mouth resonates with the people, who expect a president to be strong and dedicated.

I attribute this to people’s frustration and disenchantment with former President Benigno Aquino III who promised change but did not deliver.

More than 3,000 individuals suspected of involvement in illegal drugs have been killed during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration. He has promised to eradicate the drug menace between three and six months. Now, he wants another six months, vowing to never end until the last pusher is killed.

The question is this: Will another six months really end the illegal drug trade? I don’t think so. It all boils down to the law of supply and demand. The drug cartels that already have made the Philippines a transshipment point in their worldwide drug operations can simply go underground and lie low for a while until they can resume their nefarious trade.

I have seen it all. When martial law was declared, President Ferdinand Marcos made an example of Kim Seng, who was publicly executed for dealing drugs. For about two to three years, drug syndicates and traders went underground.

They returned with a vengeance and reached exclusive schools like the Ateneo, La Salle, San Beda (Duterte’s former college), UP Diliman and even exclusive girls’ schools like Assumption, St. Theresa, Maryknoll, Holy Ghost, and St. Scholastica among others.

This reminds me: President Duterte and Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa must tackle the drug problem in schools, public and private alike. The drug dealers and pushers will not stop so long as there’s demand.

I doubt whether the drug menace can be eradicated. Colombia, where most of the cocaine come from worldwide, has been fighting a war against drugs for the past 30 years but the menace lives today. It may have destroyed big cocaine cartels, but there are still so many smaller ones to contend with.

In Mexico, the illegal drug problem persists, giving birth to the headed Sinaloa, whose tentacles have penetrated the Philippines along with drug groups like the Chinese Triad and the West African cartel.

My gulay, even in the United States, the illegal drug menace persists despite the efforts of the US Drug Enforcement Agency. The demand is there. In Europe, the Russian Mafia now controls the cocaine trade.

It’s a $100-billion industry worldwide that caters to both rich and poor.

I think President Duterte and the rest of his team should harmonize their campaign against illegal drugs with their economic agenda. As long as poverty and joblessness remain the two biggest concerns of government, there will always be a demand for illegal drugs.

The cost of shabu may have hit the ceiling of P25,000 per gram—it used to cost P1,000 to P2,500 before Duterte’s war on illegal drugs began. Still, the menace is there. How do you explain the daily killing of drug addicts who have become pushers?

I will not dwell on the advantages and disadvantage of the war against drugs. All I am saying is that it can only be diminished, never eradicated. If Duterte can do this, then for me that is good enough. The strongman Duterte already represents a big change from the lackadaisical and incompetent President Benigno Aquino III.

* * *

In the wake of President Duterte’s expletive-laden tirades against foreign leaders and institutions, now comes Vice President Leni Robredo appearing like an angel (while Duterte looks like the devil) and calling on the President to tone down his language. She claims that the President’s expletives are risking the flow of foreign aid.

Santa Banana, the Vice President has even invited members of the United Nations and the European Union. That would certainly make her appear goody-goody, wouldn’t it? She is even blaming the President for the weak peso.

Robredo is beginning to sound like the critics of the Duterte administration. What is she up to? The President doesn’t need a member of his Cabinet as his critic. Is Robredo pushing for Plan B of the Yellows so she could take over if and when Duterte ends his presidency? What a hypocrite!

* * *

The President wants entrepreneurs and traders to think like the Chinese, who succeed in business and actually dominate the Philippine economy. Frankly speaking, I cannot imagine Filipinos becoming like the Chinese. The difference is cultural.

The Chinese by culture are frugal and hardworking. They work from dawn to midnight and avoid the frivolities of Filipinos, who have adopted many of the ways of our Spanish colonial masters, like “fiestas” and conspicuous consumption. Santa Banana, the Chinese even work on Sundays.

I am referring to the old Chinese living in Binondo, who are unlike their children whom they have sent to American universities and are now living in Forbes Park and Dasmarinas Village.They have become Filipinos.

One thing that Duterte perhaps didn’t know is that there’s a special council in Binondo among the affluent Chinese that is dedicated to help Chinese entrepreneurs financially. Chinese banks have an unwritten policy to grant the loans by the millions, who are known to be honest and with integrity.

I cannot forget what my late good friend, lawyer Leonardo Siguion Reyna, told me when he was a member of an executive committee of the Yuchengco-owned Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. He got nervous when the bank would lend to some Chinese millions of pesos without collateral because that was a violation of banking laws.

* * *

One of the most ludicrous remarks that ever came out of Malacañang was when presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters to use “creative imagination” in interpreting President Duterte’s statements. But media are not the business of imagining stories!

These spokesmen are doing the President a great disservice.


http://thestandard.com.ph/opinion/columns/to-the-point-by-emil-jurado/218496/drug-menace-cannot-be-eradicated.html


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:54 pm 
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emil jurado pinsan ni bobong marcos. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:58 pm 
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War on Drugs

How Duterte's drug war has affected rich users
NATASHYA GUTIERREZ | APRIL 27, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – When millennials descend upon Boracay island to party over Labor Day weekend, so will the drugs.

It’s high season for the drug dealers, who make sure they are well stocked for events like these: large gatherings of college students and yuppies, clawing to let loose and craving to party.

Sometimes they are concerts. Sometimes they are music festivals – like the Close Up Forever Summer open-air concert just about a year ago that ended with 5 concert-goers dead from drug overdose. (READ: Music, drugs, and alcohol: Do young Pinoys party to get high?)

But there’s nothing quite like Laboracay, the name the millennials have given the 4-day series of beach parties, that gets the dealers excited. Not only is it far away from Manila – the focal point of the drug war – but it also spans days, this carefree, booze-fueled partying.

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DRUG DEALERS? The National Bureau of Investigation nabs 5 individuals suspected to have sold illegal drugs during the Closeup Forever Summer concert on May 21, 2016. Photo by Ben Nabong

These dealers are different from the ones in the news. They aren’t the ones who surrender in police stations, photographed taking a pledge with their right hand up, vowing to reform their lives. They are not the ones who end up on the streets, packing tape over their mouths, corpses ogled by curious neighbors. And they don’t usually sell ice or crystal meth, better known as shabu.

They are the ones who sell only the top stuff. Cocaine, which induces a short-lived, intense high. Ecstasy, which causes a euphoric rush and affectionate behavior. And these dealers sell to those just like them – students in private universities, young professionals who earn a good living, 20- and 30-somethings from moneyed families.

“The cost of a pill depends on the season,” a dealer who has been selling drugs since 2013, told Rappler on condition of anonymity.

“During Laboracay, E (short for Ecstasy) can go for over P2,000 ($40) a piece,” he said.

Few partygoers, especially under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, will risk smuggling drugs to the islands themselves. But they’ll be willing to buy it once they’re there. So the dangerous task lies on the dealers, who will have to find ways to get them to the island.

“It’s too risky to bring them by plane,” he said. “So I take them via roro (roll-on-roll-off cargo ship vessels) instead. Security is light compared to airports.”

‘They’re back’

When Duterte officially became president in July 2016, he launched a controversial and bloody war on drugs that has seen a total of 7,080 killings as of April 23 – a combination of deaths from police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings. The victims come mostly from poor communities, many of whom are users or dealers of shabu, known as poor man’s cocaine.

Reports about arrests or deaths of wealthier individuals are rare.

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ARREST. Photo shows radio DJ Karen Bordador and boyfriend Emilio Lim after they were arrested on Saturday, August 13 in a drug buy bust operation. Photos from PNP-PIO

A month later, Aurora Moynihan, an actress’ sister and the daughter of a British aristrocat, was shot dead, her body found with a placard that read, “Pusher to the celebrities. You are next,” in Filipino. She was out on bail for drug-related charges.

In August, radio DJ Karen Bordador and her boyfriend Emilio Lim were arrested after a buy-bust operation that revealed P3-million ($60,000) worth of ecstasy, marijuana, and marijuana oil in the couple’s apartment. Lim was said to push drugs at high-end clubs and bars in Makati and Bonifacio Global City. (READ: Police eye charges against Karen Bordador, Emilio Lim)

A month later, Aurora Moynihan, an actress’ sister and the daughter of a British aristrocat, was shot dead, her body found with a placard that read, “Pusher to the celebrities. You are next,” in Filipino. She was out on bail for drug-related charges.

Her death sent shockwaves among the rich, who previously felt untouchable.

“We lay low when he started killing people,” said the source, who sells cocaine, ecstasy, valium and marijuana.

“I changed my cellphone numbers. I didn’t sell for a month or two,” he said. “But people were still asking.”

He said a few dealers he knew did stop selling when the drug war started, with some Filipino American dealers even returning to the United States. But he said the effect wore off soon enough. Most dealers kept a low profile for a short time, then started selling again – although like him, more carefully.

“Everyone laid low. But a month or two after, all the tablets and capsules were back out. It became especially lax when the drug war stopped,” he said, referring to the temporary suspension of the drug war last January.

The suspension was triggered by the death of a Korean businessman, brutally murdered by corrupt policemen who used anti-drug operations as cover to extort from the victim. The incident was an embarrassment to Duterte, and prompted the Philippine National Police (PNP) to focus on what it called “internal cleansing,” before it resumed the drug war.

By March, the PNP’s drug-related operations had restarted.

“I hid my pills for safety in case there were raids," he said. “But now they’re back.”

High prices

The strongest impact of Duterte’s drug war has been increased prices.

The dealer, who only sells drugs on the side, said he used to earn about P5,000-P7,000 ($100-$140) a week when he first started selling 4 years ago. Today, because of the network he has formed and the price increase, he earns about P15,000-P20,000 ($301-$401) every 3 days.

The source also said that obtaining the drugs to sell has become more difficult under Duterte, so when dealers are able to get drugs, they are able to mark up prices.

“It became more expensive but the demand was still there,” he said. “The prices are higher also because less people are selling.”

An ecstasy pill for instance, used to cost about P1,200, but the dealer said he can now sell it upward of P2,000 ($40). The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)'s data supports his claims, reporting that the minimum price of ecstasy was P1,000 ($20) a piece in 2015, but shot up to at least P1,200 ($24) after Duterte became president.

Cocaine, he said, was P1,500 ($30) a gram before Duterte, and now ranges from P3,500-P5,000 ($70-$100) a gram. According to PDEA data, it was at least P3,600 ($72) a gram in 2015, but now goes for a minimum of P5,000 ($100).

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PARTY DRUGS. Cocaine and ecstasy are the drugs of choice of the wealthy, both of which are stimulants.

“Other people aren't even sure if it’s legit coke or vitamin B along with coke just for it to become a gram,” he said.

Even valiums, which the dealer said he buys for P250 ($5) per pad, can be sold for P50 ($1) a piece. There are 10 pieces per pad, which means up to a 2,000% profit. Valium, a sedative, is popular among students and young professionals, who mix it with alcohol to increase its calming effect.

Stocking up on coke

Drug users from the middle- to upper-class whom Rappler spoke to, corroborated the prices and the information the dealer disclosed.

They also agreed that the frequency of their drug use did not decrease, although what has changed is where and how they use it.

If users previously took blow in bathrooms of clubs for instance, they now take it at home instead, or in cars, before stepping out. They’ll take it at private parties or weddings, or exclusive events, rather than bars or public places. They are also likely to take it on trips outside Manila, where drug operations are far less common.

Across the board, all felt that the focus of the drug war has been on the poor. They agreed that while users in their circles are more cautious about buying, when drugs are there and available, users will still take it.

“The cheapest good quality cocaine is now P5,000 ($100) a gram,” a 12-year, hard-drug user in the late 20s, told Rappler.

“It’s still easy to get, but it’s unlike before when everyone had it and it was everywhere,” the source said, adding that even their usual dealers now find blow harder to obtain.

“Honestly, even now, I get scared to buy because I could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and get caught when they’re raiding the dealer.”

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ECSTASY. Ecstasy tablets come in many forms, including a blue Cookie Monster shape

The source added that they feel the focus of the police has been on ecstasy and shabu, rather than cocaine, and when asked why they thought that was the case, the user said “because when you use blow, you’re still aware of what you’re doing.”

Another long-time drug user whose choice of drugs is also cocaine, said “Duterte made a difference,” but like the dealer Rappler spoke to, said the effect was felt only for a short time.

“It was really hard to get when he started. Especially when the killings were happening. Now it’s easier,” said the source.

“But the prices [of cocaine] went up. It goes up to P5,000-P7,000 ($100-$140). Before it was only P3,000-P5,000 ($60-$100). Before Duterte, you could get it every day. Now people are more careful. They hide it more and they no longer go all together at the same time to the bathroom.”

The user also agreed that even the dealers they buy from “are more careful now” and no longer “just sell to anyone like before.”

Still another user, a young professional who regularly uses marijuana and cocaine, said the drug war made it harder to get drugs but it did little to discourage their use.

“It was a hassle to get coke before, so I had to stock up. Instead of getting one bag, I’d order two,” the source said.

“People in my circle are more careful, but usage is the same. And dealers of cocaine are still dealers.”

Focused on shabu

The PNP insists it does not discriminate in the drug war, and said it goes after cocaine, ecstasy, and other drugs as much as it does shabu. Like shabu, cocaine and ecstasy are stimulants, addictive, and over time, can cause irreversible damage to the brain.

"We're focused on all types of illegal drugs," PNP Spokesperson Dionardo Carlos told Rappler on Wednesday, April 26.

"But the number one drug of choice is shabu, that's why our arrests are really mostly shabu users."

Data from the 2015 PDEA annual report says that shabu is indeed the most abused drug with 95.47% of users consuming it, followed by marijuana at 4.29%, and other drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and others at 0.24%. The data is based mostly on its drug-related arrests, PDEA said.

But while shabu is the choice of the poor, PDEA numbers could be skewed if they are based on arrests because the traditionally rich users of cocaine or ecstasy often evade arrest.

PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said that the rise is an obvious gain in Duterte’s war on drugs, given that the price structure is directly affected by availability and demand. The rise in prices of the drugs also hints at what the focus of the police is.

“When the market price of illegal drugs rises, it is generally assessed that there is a scarcity in supply available in the market and vice-versa,” Lapeña explained. “That is an indication that the present government is winning the war against the drug menace.”

While the prices of all drugs have indeed risen, shabu's rise is significantly more than the rest. The latest data also indicates that ecstasy is now cheaper than cocaine, and that the maximum price for shabu is now higher than ecstasy and cocaine.

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Shabu's price range has risen from P1,200-P15,000 ($24-$301) per gram in the first half of 2015, to P1,300-P25,000 ($26-$502) by October 2016.

While the prices of cocaine and ecstasy have gone up slightly, the maximum costs of P7,000 ($140) per gram for cocaine, and P3,000 ($60) per tablet of ecstasy have stayed the same, suggesting the supply has remained relatively unchanged.

Rappler's dealer source said that while it has become slightly harder to obtain drugs, dealers have found more creative means to acquire them.

“I got into the black market. I got it a lot cheaper,” said the dealer. “I had a source who got it directly from Vietnam, the US, Taiwan, and New Zealand. There was one time people would make it in Bacolod. But now, I get it from the black market.”

He added, “My source taught me how to order from the internet so I get it safe to my place. And directly.”

PDEA's 2016 data confirms the dealer's statements, stating mail and parcel services is one illegal way drug enters the country. It also acknowledged that the Philippine long coastline and numerous islands increases the country's vulnerability to drug smuggling. The roro to Boracay island for example, has 3 ports: Batangas, Mindoro, and Caticlan.

‘Money speaks’

Just last month, in March, the dealer had a close call when someone he said he did not know dropped his name to the cops, and tagged him as a drug pusher.

A bar he frequented was under surveillance, he said, but he found out beforehand and made sure to keep his pills at home.

“They’re saying they’ll kill every drug dealer or put them in rehab but they’re focusing more on the poor. Because people who are rich could always pay for bail,” he said. “Money speaks, I guess. Corruption is still here.”

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KILLED. Photo shows Aurora Moynihan (right) with sister, actress Maritoni Fernandez. Screengrab from Facebook/Au Maria Fernandez Moynihan

The dealer said he has heard of at least two other dealers in their 20s who were raided and who were killed by police in their apartments in BGC, news of which never made it to media, perhaps because the police were paid to stay silent, he said.

He said most of the dealers and kingpins he knows “reside in the south, or Makati, and the BGC area,” all of which remain largely untouched in the drug war. He also said that for the rich, dealers get caught mostly because someone squeals.

"When it comes to the middle class, it's because someone drops their name," he said.

One of the drug users we spoke to, who shares a close relationship with their dealer, said “the sources and dealers, some of them have connections to the police so they know if they’re on the list.”

With some cash, connections and some favors, dealers of the wealthy stay largely protected, resources the poor do not have access to.

“If the police will take action, I can always use money,” the dealer said.

He currently has 250 pills of ecstasy under his possession, and is set for pay day over the Labor Day weekend.


http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/167838-war-on-drugs-philippines-ecstasy-cocaine?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_medium=share_bar


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:31 pm 
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Illegal drugs: Is tougher enforcement the best solution?
CONJUGATIONS - Lila Ramos Shahani

In April of last year, convicted drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso’s imminent execution in Indonesia sparked public outcry in the Philippines with appeals for mercy and justice. In the year following her temporary reprieve—granted in light of new developments that could mitigate, if not prove, Veloso’s innocence—Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has taken his place as our presumptive president-elect, a victory largely attributed to his hardline stance on many issues that notably include drug-related crime.

Fighting illegal drugs, alongside tackling poverty, is the centerpiece of Duterte’s platform. Asserting that he will see capital punishment reintroduced for a wide range of crimes, he vows to elevate drug abuse to a “national security issue” by mounting a relentless crackdown on syndicates and users, and demolishing illicit laboratories using elite security forces.

How serious is the drug problem in the Philippines? According to the Dangerous Drugs Board’s 2012 National Household Survey, there were around 1.3 million drug users in the country, which translates to about 1 percent of the population. In 2015, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that a fifth—or 8,629 out of the country’s 42,065 barangays—were “drug affected,” determined by the presence of at least one user, pusher, manufacturer, or other drug personality in the area. In Metro Manila, 92 percent of its barangays have some sort of drug-related problem, though it remains difficult to determine how serious these actually are. Based on PDEA’s 2014 arrest data, methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu—reportedly used by blue-collar workers like bus drivers to keep themselves awake—tops the list of most abused illegal drugs, followed by marijuana and costly party drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.

In light of this, Duterte’s strategy will stress enforcement and prosecution, beefing up the police to reduce both demand and supply, according to incoming Solicitor General Jose Calida. He intends to recruit and arm militiamen at the barangay level—where he says drugs have proliferated due to local officials’ inability to suppress them—to do their own policing.

Sources close to Duterte also told the Philippine Star that he will have drug traffickers and other hardened criminals incarcerated in a maximum security, Alcatraz-type prison, pending the re-imposition of the death penalty.

To effectively root out supply, Duterte will have to take on three major drug trafficking parties present in the country: the Filipino-Chinese drug syndicates, involved in bulk smuggling and manufacturing of illegal drugs and establishing clandestine laboratories and chemical warehouses; the African drug syndicates, which use couriers (usually women) to smuggle illegal drugs into and outside of the country; and the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, which has been linked to Filipino-Chinese distributors who have their own labs. There are also the suppliers of raw chemicals used to make shabu.

It is fair to ask if Duterte’s hard-line measures against drug dealers will work. It helps to look at other countries’ attempts to address their illegal drug situations. On the one hand, some impose an iron-fisted approach, introducing punitive sentences for traffickers and users; on the other, some see drug abuse as a disease linked with other problems like poverty, education, health and unemploment, and treat it as a public health issue rather than a crime.

Take for example, Mexico’s war on drugs. Led by former president Felipe Calderón in 2006, its main elements were formulated by the United States. Taking literally the metaphor of the “war on drugs,” Calderon set forth thousands of soldiers to fight the drug cartels. Despite a series of high-profile battles against drug cartels, Mexico has come no closer to winning the war. On the contrary, fractured syndicates simply gave way to more violent and predatory gangs whose struggle for control of the drug trade—and political influence—has led to public displays of violence involving other cartels, security forces, local officials, and numerous innocent civilians. The homicide rate during Calderón’s term—previously in steady decline—nearly tripled, with drug-related deaths numbering in the tens of thousands. Neither can we disregard reports of Mexican security forces’ own instances of torture, “enforced disappearances,” and extrajudicial killings. Though the exact amount of drug revenue funneled from the US to Mexico is impossible to measure, some estimates run up to $30 billion annually. Ultimately, Mexico’s war has only exacerbated an environment already rife with strife and terror—an outcome mimicked in other Latin American nations tied into the US drug crackdown.

By contrast, Portugal is among countries pursuing far more liberal drug policies. After years of responding to worsening substance abuse problems with police repression, Portugal radically changed course in 2001. It became the first European country to completely decriminalize low-level possession and use of all illicit drugs, moving drug control responsibility from the Justice Department to the Ministry of Health. An individual found with less than ten days’ supply of anything from marijuana to heroin is sent to the Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction, which then recommends voluntary treatment, a minor fine, or in some cases, no sanction at all.

The results are in stark contrast to Mexico’s. According to a Drug Policy Alliance 2015 report, the number of those seeking treatment in Portugal has more than doubled (impressive considering it is non-compulsory). In addition, the number of HIV cases among drug users has significantly declined, from 1,575 in 2000 to 78 in 2013. Adolescent drug use has decreased. There has been a drop in the percentage of people imprisoned for drug law violations, from 44 percent in 1999 to 24 percent in 2013. Finally, the quantity of drugs seized slightly increased, possibly because resources were freed up to run after big-time operators rather than impoverished users.

According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the number of drug-related deaths in Portugal has fallen as well—only three in every one million deaths result from overdose, as compared to the EU average of 17.3 per million.

The US itself has spent $1 trillion on the war on drugs launched by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Yet, with 27 million users, it remains the world's top consumer of illicit drugs. Claiming that "for too long we have viewed the problem of drug abuse?...?through the lens of the criminal justice system," the Obama administration focuses its policies in between what it views as the two extremes of war and legalization. Current drug policies now focus on prevention and early-detection programs, while expanding access to treatment under Obamacare, which requires insurance companies to cover addiction treatment. It has also taken a “smart on crime” approach to enforcement that opts for treatment instead of prison, scaling back harsh drug sentences, and the creation of re-entry programs that remove the stigma and regulatory barriers faced by former offenders.

In the Philippines, the Aquino administration’s view on drug abuse was more holistic. The National Anti-Drug Plan of Action (NADPA) 2015 to 2020 asserts that the drug problem is not only an issue of security or public health, but one that encompasses “social, economic, psychological, and economic interests.” Thus, aside from accosting traffickers and drug couriers, dismantling clandestine laboratories, and destroying illegal drug plantations, the government embarked on public and youth awareness campaigns like the Barkada Kontra Droga program, and institutionalized management and assessment of overall drug demand and supply reduction through the Integrated Drug Abuse Data and Information Network, an online data pooling and collection system.

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Drug-dependent women undergo learning sessions at the Department of Health’s Bahay Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center in Taguig City. DOH-TRC Bicutan

For rehabilitation efforts, the Department of Health (DOH) and some Local Government Units (LGUs) maintain 12 treatment and rehabilitation centers. These provide residential and outpatient drug treatment and rehabilitation, individual and group counseling, psychotherapy and psychological testing, drug dependency examination and certification, drug testing, outreach programs like drug awareness seminars, family intervention programs, and medical and dental services. For instance, the Davao City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents is seeing success with its 100 patients of mostly poor shabu and marijuana users, Rappler recently reported. Run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development until it was turned over to Davao City in 2001, the center covers all the costs—P17,000 to P20,000 per patient per month—and conducts “aftercare” and follow-ups to check on every released patient.

However, NADPA pointed out that admissions in these and other rehabilitation facilities are decreasing. From 5,965 in 2002, the number decreased to 2,744 in 2012, attributed to drug users’ families’ financial limitations and denial about their loved ones’ drug-dependence—the social stigma it entails not only for the drug users but for the families themselves. All these factors tend to dissuade people from seeking treatment.

Looking at the existing case studies in Mexico, Portugal and the US, and in light of the PNoy administrations’ own efforts, might give the Duterte administration some pause. Rather than meting out death sentences, Duterte’s administration might want to consider treating the drug problem as a public health issue. Attempts at waging a “war on drugs” have repeatedly failed around the world and the militarization of anti-drug efforts can only result in the escalation of violence. For our own history, we have seen how the use of armed militias has been problematic. Many of them end up behaving with impunity, turning to extortion or degenerating into private armies. Capital punishment not only erases opportunities for reform but—returning to the case of Veloso—can easily implicate the innocent, especially if they are poor. Targeting individual drug dealers and users—even those engaged in small-time dealing to provide their personal supplies—may bring about short-term relief, but will not be able to address larger structural conditions that encourage illegal drug consumption and trafficking in the first place.

A longer-term but perhaps more effective approach would be to build on existing mechanisms for addiction prevention and treatment, partly by augmenting the budget of the treatment and rehabilitation centers of the DOH and LGUs to increase program accessibility. Likewise, Duterte—rather than mimicking foreign wars on drugs—could make strides toward reducing the marginalization and stigmatization of users and small-time pushers, fostering instead an environment that encourages them to seek treatment and to forego involvement in illicit drugs.

Simply put, the drug problem is not one that a government can arrest or kill its way out of, however populist such a stance might be. It is unlikely that the dehumanizing effects of drug addiction will be solved by strategies that are themselves deeply dehumanizing and ultimately illiberal. After all, drug dependents don’t lose their rights, especially if they are “dual diagnosed”—being saddled with substance addiction at the same time that they suffer from mental illness. As one Portuguese physician told The New Yorker in an evaluation of Portugal’s drug policy, “I prefer moderate hope and some likelihood of success to the dream of perfection and the promise of failure.”



http://beta.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/30/1588408/illegal-drugs-tougher-enforcement-best-solution


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:11 pm 
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So, gals and guys, let's list down some very meaningful solutions to help Pres Du30 deal with the issue at hand - effectively.

1. He should address the poverty. Focus more on economic reforms, that will create more jobs and opportunities for the masa.

2. 'Cut' the main sources of illegal drugs; "To effectively root out supply, Duterte will have to take on three major drug trafficking parties present in the country: the Filipino-Chinese drug syndicates, involved in bulk smuggling and manufacturing of illegal drugs and establishing clandestine laboratories and chemical warehouses; the African drug syndicates, which use couriers (usually women) to smuggle illegal drugs into and outside of the country; and the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, which has been linked to Filipino-Chinese distributors who have their own labs. There are also the suppliers of raw chemicals used to make shabu."

3.

4.



Please add all your ideas and suggestions numerically in this post. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Philippine VP: Bullets can't stop illegal drug use

Leni Robredo urges Filipinos to 'defy incursions on their rights' as she denounces president's bloody anti-drug war.

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More than 7,000 people have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte began his 'war on drugs'

The Philippine vice president has raised an alarm about the country's bloody crackdown on illegal drug use, saying it can't be solved "with bullets alone" and adding that Filipinos should "defy brazen incursions on their rights".

Vice President Leni Robredo's comments, some of her sharpest critiques so far of Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign, are likely to antagonise the brash-talking president.

In her speech, which will be shown at a UN-linked forum on extrajudicial killings on Thursday, she raised concerns about a lack of transparency and accountability in Duterte's crackdown, and the mounting number of killings, which she described as "summary executions".

Since July last year, more than 7,000 people have been killed, Robredo said in the video.

"We are now looking at some very grim statistics," she added.

INTERACTIVE: Who's liable for the mounting death toll?

Robredo, who belongs to the opposition Liberal Party, said she had received several complaints from residents who had been rounded up by police, and told they had no rights to demand search warrants as they were living illegally on land they didn't own.

She said Filipinos should demand greater transparency in the publicly funded campaign and ask "why no one is being held accountable", citing what she said were hundreds of complaints filed with the Commission on Human Rights, which recommended that the Department of Justice file criminal complaints.

National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said the allegations, if true, violated police policy and should have been reported to authorities so they could investigate.

"If these are happening, or have happened, our request is for specifics because these are not sanctioned," Carlos said.

Robredo said she publicly asked Duterte "to direct the nation towards respect for rule of law, instead of blatant disregard for it".

"We ask him to uphold basic human rights enshrined in our constitution, instead of encouraging its abuse. We also ask the Filipino people to defy brazen incursions on their rights," she added.

Duterte and his national police chief have said they do not condone extrajudicial killings, but have repeatedly threatened drug suspects with death in public speeches.

Last month, rights group Amnesty International accused police of behaving like the criminal underworld they are supposed to be suppressing, systematically targeting the poor and defenceless, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill, and fabricating official incident reports.



http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/philippine-vp-bullets-stop-illegal-drug-170315151903974.html


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