Political leaders’ deafening silence on drug problem

01:35 AM August 18, 2015

UNMISTAKABLE IN the rather odd “flip-flopping” moves and pronouncements of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte about his running for president come 2016 is his fierce desire to rid Philippine society of a menace that has been plaguing it for years now—yet hardly mentioned by other leaders in any public forum or in their periodic reports to the nation, such as the State of the Nation Address. This mayor from Mindanao is the only one among our more prominent leaders who has made strong statements against drug trafficking and drug addiction in this country.

Not even President Aquino nor any of the previous presidents have spoken publicly about the drug problem and its evil effects. A big letdown it was that P-Noy, in the Sona he delivered recently, which dragged on for almost two hours, didn’t dare to dwell on the subject, even just superficially.


Why so? Why is this terrible national scourge being avoided by our leaders?

We cannot make a sweeping indictment here against any political leader, especially the one at the top. But we just wonder if this nation and its leadership are now helpless captives of narcopolitics.


The dreaded specter of narcopolitics casts its dark shadow all over, especially on crimes—from holdup to robbery, to car theft, rape, homicide, murder, etc. Name it, everything is connected bizarrely by a single, common cause: drugs! And government seems hopelessly powerless—or is it deliberately turning a blind eye on the insidious menace, such that no less than a national penitentiary, at that, became a central factory and trading hub for dopes?

Except for Sen. Tito Sotto in his every-now-and-then statements against syndicated drug trade, it’s only Mayor Duterte, among our politicians, who has made a clear stand against illegal drugs. On this, Duterte’s present and past actions have been loud and show consistency.

Truly, the drug menace threatening our country’s children and future is worsening; it should be placed at the top of the government’s concerns. The ugly tentacles of narcopolitics must be lopped off right at their very base soonest!

This is why we need Duterte in Malacañang. And unless a candidate for any government office makes clear in public that he/she is against illegal drugs, he/she should not be given the vote!

—EDGAR S. BENTULAN, Barangay Iponan,Cagayan de Oro City, [email protected]

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