July 23, 2017, 8:46 am
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Drugs in Bilibid

PRESIDENT Duterte could not hide his anger and frustration on hearing the report that the illegal drugs business, which he pronounced as dead after his series of anti-drugs cleansing and extermination operations, has resurrected at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).

And this is despite the fact that the prison facility has been exorcized of all evils, with the best of his angels now holding sway there -- Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, the PNP Special Action Force of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, and a new set of prison officials.

Aguirre himself informed the President and the media about the resurgence of the drug trade and corruption, the second evil is presumed because the first will perish without the second. It would seem that Duterte’s own men are not afraid to violate his stringent code of discipline imposed on all government officials.

The President blamed the presence of contraband inside the Bilibid, cellphones among them, which help the drug lords in continuing to conduct their illicit business inside.

The Chief Executive is so exasperated that he talked about locking up some 16,000 Bilibid prisoners inside a big ship and leaving them floating in the high seas anywhere between the Philippines and Peru. To appease human rights activists, he said he will give them “salbabidas” (lifebuoys), but these had been previously punctured.

This is one of Duterte’s tasteless jokes, followed by a threat, whether serious or not, to force the convicted drug lords who continue the drugs business to eat fried plastic sachets for meals.

In the area of threats, no one beats Duterte, whose favorite vitriol is his desire to eat the livers of his enemies, whether Muslim terrorists or incorrigible drug lords.

There were more than 300 Islamist jihadists killed in the 50-day war in Marawi, and the death toll is still surging. But Duterte’s visits to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro are the nearest he had ever gone to meeting any Maute fighter, dead or alive, let alone eating his liver. The nation’s soldiers fighting in Marawi have yet to see their commander-in-chief anywhere near the war zone.

Strong words and lame action. This seems to characterize the conduct of the two wars the President chose to fight.

Need we say why all the deadlines Duterte has ever announced in ending this or that public menace were failures?

Better buckle down to work, seriously this time, and without fanfare or unrealistic deadlines.
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