Rep. Ronald Singson: Just a Drug User, Not Drug Trafficker

It seems that Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson was the last person to know that his son, Rep. Ronald Singson, was using drugs. Or, like many other fathers, Chavit was in denial stage?

No matter what, a father always finds ways to defend his erring son. As the move in Congress to take disciplinary action to Rep. Singson was progressing, Gov. Singson immediately came out and told the nation: My son is not a drug user!

Recently, as Singson family desperately finds ways to get out from the drug mess in HongKong, Ronald Singson admits that he is using drugs.

Just a user, not a trafficker

Now, the wind has changed direction! Gov. Singson seems buying out the assumption that a cocaine user is less evil that a cocaine courier (or trafficker). And of course with the hope that the will be able to convince the Hongkong authorities that the drugs possessed by the Filipino congressman was for personal consumption and not for sale!

Now, the problem of Gov. Singson is how to convince HK court that son is a drug user.

High Profile Drug Users

The Philippines once again get a dose of high profile drug abuse news.

Alabang Boys might not be fresh in your minds but when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) apprehended young and affluent drug suspects, we got the impression that the moneyed are not afraid.

I concluded that time that the depth of drug problem in the country is too deep for our authorities to penetrate.

The reason is that high profile drug cases often quickly slipped through Philippine’s public eyes. Easily forgotten!

In the case of Rep. Singson, the issue is not just legal but also moral and social. Let us not take the merit of his case in Hongkong. Instead, let’s have this case as springboard for a national discussion on how big our problem in drug is.

Can you imagine how a congressman get the nerve to bring drugs outside the country? Does this imply that while in the Philippines, he might have even brought drugs inside Philippine government offices?

Now,  I believe the news about policemen caught in the act of sniffing drugs. Isn’t this already very alarming?

Politics and Drugs: The Narco-Politics

There is a clear intermarriage of politics and drugs. Narco-politics has become a big un-tackled issue in the country.

Early in 2008, I brought out how Narco-politics could be an important issue in the the 2010 Elections. I wrote, Narco-politics and the 2010 Elections which was regarded by Manuel L. Quezon III as the first to bring up the issue of Narcopolitics with regards to the 2010 polls.

Whether or not our elected or national leaders are using drugs – we don’t know. We can’t also be sure how politicians benefited with drug money in the 2010 elections.

However, from things we see – it seems clear to us. I hope we begin to see even just one side of the big problems of drugs in this country.

Just think of it. We hear news about movie personalities, policemen, politicians are into drug abuse which add to our long list (composed of students, young professionals, poor man, jobless men …)

What’s next if we continue to let this slipped through cracks?

Rise and fall of narco-communities

The country’s anti-drug czar, no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, must have seen last night’s episode of ABS-CBN’s XXX. Perhaps she might consider getting the services of ABS-CBN’s program researchers and reporters!

The XXX episode narrated how an XXX asset (Does the network pay its asset?), with a secret camera, penetrated to a community of drug sellers, users, and supporters. As I watched, I feel the need to name such community. I think it is best to call it, narco-community!

The same episode also described how people of the entire community connived on selling and marketing drugs. There were guides for those who wish to enter a drug den; some individuals served as guard, trying to check their customer. Some areas are for customer (called as scorers) and one area is restricted to outsiders. It has this sign: Bawal ang scorer.

Shabu was sold like just another kind of commodity; drugs paraphernalia (aluminum foil strips) are sold in sari-sari store. The spy camera caught several men, some women, old and young, who were actively conniving on their narco-community activities. I appeared that they were doing the normal thing.

Narco-communities develop their own narcotics culture!

To make the episode spicy, XXX team went to Cavite police. With close coordination with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Cavite police surprised the Imus narco-community! As expected, the police was shocked to what they seen, the mayor was equally surprised!

Really surprising? Or we need to get surprised to dramatize everything?

I don’t think the country’s anti-drug czar will get surprised!

I was not surprised. Why? This is not something new. Narco-communities don’t just thrive in Pasig (remember shabu tiange?) nor in Cavite. Narco-communities exist anywhere!

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Just a social user: No big deal?

The war against dangerous drugs is the most dangerous job.

The entrapment operation of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on September 20, 2008 that caught young and affluent drug suspects will prove the risks of the job. The wealth and political connections of so called Alabang Boys has became the greatest threat of honest drug enforcers of PDEA.

Let the money moves. Let political influence change things. Behold wealthy suspects, you’ll soon be free!

I don’t wonder why the Alabang Boys appear so confident and relax. They know wealth and influence can save them.

One of the parents admit that he knows that his son is using drugs. He said, (my son) is a social user but not an addict. It’s no big deal.

If all of the parents of 6.7 million drug users in the Philippines think the same way, the war against drug in the country will not prosper. (Data based on 2004  survey of Dangerous Drugs Board)

The admission of one of the parent that his son is a drug user will show the kind of father he is. If he already knew that his son uses drugs, why he did not make a move before the PDEA caught his son?

It’s a big deal!

The fight against drugs is not only on the hands of the authorities. It has also become part of the responsibilities of parents, and all family members.

The Alabang Boys should remind us that the depth of drug problem in the country is too deep for our authorities to penetrate.

Narco-politics begin to manifest in public.

Narco-politics and the 2010 Elections

Election in the Philippines is very expensive. To run for national or even local positions, one has to spend millions of pesos. This is one of the reason of the emergence of narco-politics. Drug lords would finance the election campaigns of political candidates for obvious reason – protection of drug syndicate.

Felix Mediavillo of The Manila Bulletin Online reports, narco-politics has apparently found its way in the Philippines following reports that big-time drug lords financed the campaign of several elected officials.

In 2007 local election, the term narco-politics became clear to me when Dilaab Foundation (Cebu) launched an advocacy against it. The tag line was very popular then, Ayaw Ipalusot Kandidatong Shaburakot. The advocacy of Dilaab Foundation gained momentum especially to the youth.

I recalled narco-politics when I attended the Cebu Bloggers Meet-Up organized by Janette Toral and Max Limpag, and hosted by Sun Star. Janette Toral presented insights on how bloggers can actively participate in the 2010 presidential elections. She stressed the crucial role of bloggers to promote transparency in Philippine elections. Electoral transparency is a prevailing issue which affects the political stability of our nation.

I agree. A blogger can participate and effectively communicate ideas to shape opinions so that voters can have a wise decision whom to vote for.

I foresee that the issue of narco-politics will then be more visible in the synchronize local and presidential elections.

The area of concern is to communicate to voters on the nature of narco-politics, the ways the means to identify the candidates who are supported by narcotic syndicate. I think with the help of Dilaab Foundation, this can be very feasible. This way, no voter can be decieved!

Today is a good start to prepare for an election that will shape our nations destiny.

JGG|Mandaue City
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