IF there is one news article that should catch the attention of Pres. Digong and those with him in his unrelenting war against illegal drugs, it should be the “book review” written by PDI editor, Tony Bergonia on the 480-page book, ‘The Mastermind’ by American investigative journalist, Evan Ratliff.
Yours truly, thru ‘Amazon,’ had already placed an order for a copy of the book published by Random House only last January 2019) but in the meantime, ‘Boss’ Tony’s “review” should keep us wondering if, 3 years since PDU30 launched his ‘War on Drugs,’ are we succeeding or merely fooling ourselves?
Citing from the book, it turned out that LeRoux had decided to make the Philippines his “base of operation” for his massive international smuggling of not only illegal drug but anything else worth the risk for the profit they bring.
Arrested in Liberia in September 2012, LeRoux was quoted as saying he decided to make our country his base of operation not because of our famed “hospitality” as a people but because “as far as Asia goes, (the Philippines) is the best ‘shit hole’ we can find.”
And why is this so, DILG Secretary Ed Año and President Digong? It is because the “rank of local and national police in the Philippines is rife with corruption…” Aray, aray, aray!
As it was, LeRoux had his “heydays” here from between 2007 (when PGMA was president) and onwards into the regime of PNoy, in the early months of 2012, when he decided to move to Brazil and from where he was enticed by the US DEA for a meeting over another “drug deal” in Liberia where he was arrested after arriving there in September 2012.
In between, he had several people murdered here, in our own soil, such as, his “associate,” Bruce Jones
(2010), Catherine Lee, lawyer Michael Lontoc and Noemi Edillor (2011) and the “disappearance”—and now presumed dead— of lawyer Michael Lontoc in 2012.
And quoting from Tony Bergonia’s article:
At the book’s epilogue, its author, Ratliff, said he wondered how Le Roux would have operated under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had launched a brutal campaign against drugs and criminality that had already claimed the lives of thousands of people.
“One source connected to the Manila underworld told me he’d talked to people at the highest levels of the (drug) cartels now active in the country, who said that the killing campaign was targeted only at addicts and low-level dealers, leaving the higher-ups, who knew how to pay for protection, untouched,” Ratliff wrote.
“The drug business, he said, was booming,” he continued. “They said ‘we’re sending in more (drugs).’ They’re stockpiling it,” he added.
“So, you killed how many thousands of people? There’s no dent in it (the drug trade in the Philippines),” Ratliff wrote, quoting his underworld source.”
Should it now be the right time to “review” our anti-drug campaign policy and direction while PDU30 is still president?
Because for sure, as soon as he steps out of office in 2022, we can expect our drug problem to come back, “with a vengeance,” so to speak.
For it is very true also that unless the government starts arresting (or neutralizing with ‘extreme prejudice’) those so called ‘Category One’ drug lords, then our campaign against this social menace can never succeed.
And going after them would need a “fresh look” as to how best to apprehend (or eliminate) them for good.
Indeed, over the hundreds of thousands of arrests effected by the PDEA and the PNP involving drug personalities (besides those killed) under PDU30, why is it that the supply never seems to “dry out?”
Is it merely a “customs problem?” Or is it, in reality, a problem of our society “rife” with corruption from top to bottom?
If our illegal drug problem is to be brought down to “manageable level,” then one way to do it is for Pres. Duterte to “re-launch” it and address it thru the same ‘Whole of Nation Approach’ he has been doing in his effort to end the menace of the local communist insurgency, once and for all.
And maybe, another body should be tasked to go after the ‘Big Boys’ of the illegal drug trade.
The way I see it, the PDEA, despite its accomplishments, is simply not up to the task.