The Damage Done by Illegal Drug in the Philippines is Beyond Repair



By Apolinario Villalobos


It is easy for some people to condemn the perpetrators of death outside the court of justice -the extrajudicial killings of the drug pushers and drug lords. For them such despicable act is unfair as those dead were not given a day in court. In other words, their death is uncalled for, unjust and unfair. BUT…. what about the victims who are also humans? Don’t they have similar rights to life, most especially, unlike the killed crooks, they keep their keeps by dint of hard work and honesty? When drug pushers did their thing before they got killed, they were aware of the consequence of their malevolent act, yet they went ahead in their desire to earn dirty and easy money, and more so with the drug lords. Some people have the guts to defend the right to life of the killed criminals, when such right is supposed to end, where the right of the righteous ones begins.


In my reply to the comment of a friend who read my blog about de Lima, I mentioned about my wish for somebody to mediate between the senator and president Duterte, so that they can patch up their differences and work together in the spirit of reconciliation. But on second thought I now have a change of heart as I realized that despite the six years with the Commission on Human Rights and another six years as secretary of Justice, she did nothing much  about the drug menace.


On the other hand, the families of the victims of Maguindanao got depressed and disappointed when the promised sealing of the case was not realized despite the glaring evidences against the Ampatuans and their cohorts. The Mamasapano massacre until now is shelved…etc. Meanwhile, the drug problem even got worst during her last months with the DOJ, as many are now claiming that the raids she initiated at the Bilibid were all done for show. Her stint at the DOJ reeked of anomalies that are being investigated, and which lately brought her to the verge of emotional breakdown. In view of all those, I regretted having brought out such impossible wish for mediation…


There are positives on the character of some leaders who have been condemned, and that cannot be denied. For instance, despite the Marcos couple being viewed as “money greedy”, during their time there was a significant cultural and industrial leap that resulted to the emergence of Cultural Center complex in Pasay City, construction of the LRT which proves to be more reliable than the MRT of the later administration, the establishment of the special centers for heart and kidney, the improvement of the Philippine General Hospital facilities, and made the peso among the most stable currencies in the region, etc.  Pnoy Aquino’s nonchalant attitude toward issues some of which put him in the bad light, prevented the widening of the rift between his supporters and critics.


But in the case of de Lima, I cannot find any redeeming factor that could have lighten up her bad image today. Her supposedly last hurrah – the raids of Bilibid were believed to be a “moro-moro”.  Just a few days after her election as senator, she and Trillanes even gave out warnings to Duterte who, they promised will not have smooth sailing as president while they are at the senate.


Good for Trillanes because he maintained a low profile. But with, de Lima, she even instigated the compounding of her differences with the president by insisting a senate hearing on extrajudicial killing which is uncalled for due to its “historicity”, being purportedly done while Duterte was yet, the mayor of Davao. Her move was viewed as an impediment to the effort of Duterte in eradicating the drug menace in the country now that he is the president of the country. Duterte extended a hand to de Lima during his SONA, but despite the implied good intention of reconciliation, she went ahead with the senate hearing. De Lima should have treated the handshake as a sign that Duterte was willing to discuss confidential matters with her, just as he did to Robredo, who despite his early declarations of her as out of the Malacaἧan circle, was  given her coveted responsibility, as czarina of housing program.


Nevertheless, had de Lima manifested humility, it could have fortunately earned an act of reconciliation from Duterte. Good thing it did not happen, though, as those who voted for him may have cried “foul” due to the irreparability of the drug menace which to them developed into a humungous irreparable state, as she did nothing despite her 12-year powerful authority and clout before she became a senator.

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