By Mortz C. Ortigoza
Naysayers who pronounced that the war on drugs launched by President Rodrigo Duterte is destined to fail, just like in Thailand, had just been rebutted by a battle scared senior non-commissioned police officer whose equivalent rank in the military is master sergeant.
In an interview with him, he told me that not only peddling of illegal drugs in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan – known as one of the top bailiwicks of narcotics peddlers in my province, had dropped but three of its 34 villages have been declared as illegal drugs -free.
Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo "Bobom" G.E. Perez IV excitedly told me that these dope free villages are Cabaruan, Otama, and Tipuso.
“You go to Superintendent Marcelino Desamito and asked him for more details on these three barangays,” Perez told me and his favorite media man, who drops by at his office weekly, Harold Barcelona.
Instead of Desamito, who was busy talking with some Muslim elders, we faced the police “sergeant major” who said index crimes like robbery, theft, and others decreased by 40 percent because of the war on drugs.
“Iyong akyat bahay itong tag-ulan marami. Parang seasonal iyan e ngayon wala na.
Wala kaming street crimes. Iyong snatching ng cellphones wala na. Tapos iyong riding-in –tandem na lupa, property ang dahilan ng patayan wala na iyan".
He suspected that those hire guns were those who were hooked on drugs. But because of the aggressive approached by the government on drugs’ traders the menace of drugs have been disrupted.
“Saka sa gabi pag patrol ka madali ang magsita kasi makikita mo hinde gaya noon na maraming pang tao sa 9 pm”.
He agreed to me that the aggressive war launched by Duterte, who already saw countless dead suspected dope peddlers and junkies, have been ubiquitous to bear fruits in all cities and towns in the country.
So who now says the drug war is a failure?
I was telling my radio listeners that the scorched earth approached by the Duterte Administration is the most effective weapon the pushers understand.
“Due process is not applicable in this country. Many drug traders could bribe in their favor susceptible policemen, prosecutors, judges and this happen since time immemorial,” I quipped.