VARIOUS quarters fear that gains achieved in the nationwide campaign against drug trafficking and drug abuse may go down the drain if government authorities fail to stop the holding of “open parties” in some parts of the country.
Certainly, nauseating, saddening and alarming are reports that during these “open parties,” dangerous drugs, such as shabu, cocaine and other habit-forming substances, sex and alcohol are allegedly offered to participants.
As expected, well-meaning Filipinos, including hard-hitting Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, are worried over the growing number of youngsters, particularly minors, attending these gatherings.
In fact, Senator Santiago filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 1227 seeking a probe, in aid of legislation, on the reported arrest last February 28 of 146 persons, 80 of them minors, during two “open parties” in Mandaluyong City.
“The report on the number of minors attending these ‘open parties’ is alarming. There is a need for the Senate and concerned agencies to look into the proliferation and continued operation of establishments and party organizers offering sex, drugs and alcohol to minors,” said Santiago.
The lady lawmaker from Iloilo, a former regional trial court (RTC) judge and a campus journalist during her college days, also underscored the need to investigate where party organizers acquire illegal drugs.
No less than Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. led the February 28 anti-open parties operations, which also resulted in the arrest of four organizers and seizure of dried marijuana leaves, shabu and drug paraphernalia.
However, Police Officer 3 Rizaldy Salvador, a member of the anti-vice unit of the Mandaluyong City police, was quick to admit that none of those arrested carried illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.
Police said the arrested minors were brought to the city hall, where Mayor Abalos turned them over to their parents after warning them that they would face charges in court if they repeat the offense.
The government, through concerned offices and agencies, ought to employ all means to stop the holding of “open parties,” where organizers offer sex, drugs and alcohol to minors and other participants.
We, thus, doff our sun-blest hat to Senator Santiago for filing SR No. 1227. It’s, without doubt, a move in the right direction.