China debt trap and illegal drugs trade

8

MAURO GIA SAMONTE

JUST moments after the Monday online edition of the Manila Times came out, I was swamped with messages on my Facebook account from readers who accompanied their comments with lengthy citations of opinions and news stories from various sources. Evidently, because of the length of the literature they sent, my readers decided to send them through the messenger of my Facebook account instead of to the normal space provided for comments which would not have accommodated those materials in their entirety. The comments were in regard to my column entitled “China to Duterte’s rescue, but for how long?”

For instance, a reader, Gabriel Barney, who claims to be a religious follower of my column, answers the question in the title thus: “as long as China can continue to sell their drugs in Philippines.”

The comment shocked me. It had never occurred to me that China could be the source of the illegal drugs proliferating in the Philippines. In fact, in one of my early discussions of the drugs war, I asked the question by way of the title of my article: “Can Duterte combat illegal drugs if not by the Mao Zedong line?” I recalled the war on drugs conducted by the Chinese Communist Party upon assuming power in 1949 which resulted in the reduction of the number of Chinese drug addicts from 70 million to none in just three years. By 1952, there was not a single drug addict in China, and the opium growers and drugs smugglers had all been eradicated. Much further down history, specifically on July 3, 2013, a Filipina drug mule was executed by the Chinese government for having been found guilty of smuggling 6.198 kilograms of heroin into China. The execution of the woman, who was never identified, capped a series of four other executions of convicted Filipino drug mules in China. Based on the record, how then can one rightly say that China’s trade in illegal drugs in the Philippines is reason for it to continue propping up Duterte? Part and parcel of Chinese history has been a fierce unwavering combat against illegal drugs.

As a matter of practice, I exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with readers’ comments. I give my readers exactly the same due which I accord myself: freedom of speech. Only on rare occasions do I come out openly reacting to readers’ opinions: when what readers puts at bar is the integrity of my writing. This instance is one such rare occasion.


What reader Gabriel Barney questions in effect was my lauding China for its assistance to the Filipino nation when, as he implies, China is actually to be condemned for being behind the Philippines’ narco problem. One article he attaches to his comment is titled “China leads the world in synthetic drug production” which appears in the website KINDLAND, with the subtitle, “Why crystal meth and synthetic psychoactives are so popular in China.”

The article says, quoting a United Nations report, that synthetic drugs and amphetamines, toxic-by-design substances, are mostly being made in China, where the chemical ingredients are easy to come by. And it goes on to say that “East, Southeast Asia and Oceania have the largest ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants) market in the world and in recent years the scope and availability of NPS (new psychoactive substances) has rapidly expanded. Moreover, this synthetic drugs market is becoming more complex and interconnected with other regions.”

According to the article, synthetic substances are so malleable for mixing with other substances such that when one mixture is banned, the substance-makers simply find a yet non-banned ingredient for mixing with the basic substance and thereby producing an entirely new concoction.

On the whole, China is being depicted as the producer of such basic substance capable of being transformed into the evil drugs that are rampant in the narco trade in the country. In this light, however huge China’s economic assistance to the Philippines is, it appears to be negated by the disastrous effects wrought by the illegal drugs trade on the lives and moral fiber of the Filipinos, particularly the youth. And in fact, what is pictured is China pouring in economic grants and loans to the Philippines for the facilitation of its greater interest in drugs deals.

In other words, how hypocritical of China to be posturing to be very generous with aid to the Philippines when in fact it is visiting the Filipino nation with all the misfortunes of a narco state: breakdown in morality, crime and prostitution, corruption in government, collapse of law and order.

During President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China in October 2016, an article appeared in the Manila Times, written by Edsel Tupaz, elaborating on this issue. The same reader provided me a link for that article, part of which said:

“… President Duterte announced that he would ask his counterpart in China during his state visit there this week why so many Chinese nationals are involved in the drug trade in the Philippines. As Duterte’s war on drugs continues to unravel Chinese links in the overall drug trade, more and more people are speculating about whether Beijing has been waging a form of state-sponsored “drug warfare” aimed at the Philippines, its main rival in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) disputes. In this scenario, the Beijing politburo has been deploying an unconventional warfare strategy by clandestinely pumping drugs into the country as a means of destabilizing its adversary. Drug warfare is thought to form part of a ‘culture warfare,’ a broader penumbra, aimed at corrupting the moral fabric of a rival nation and weakening its human resource base.”

This is yet another shocking notion: that the drugs menace in the Philippines is a conscious Chinese machination, a form of warfare.

Readers—or at least those who follow my column – will remember that in the long lingering dispute between the United States and China over the South China (West Philippine) Sea, I have never deviated from the conviction that of the two protagonists, China has never gone into invading other nations’ territories; it is the United States which has, its aggression of the Philippines in the 1900s being one such invasion. The archives of this paper will bear out my unwavering position on this issue: that China will never attack the Philippines.

But now here comes this rather sarcastic aside from Reader Barney, indicating that the abominable war on drugs being waged by President Duterte against mainly small illegal drugs offenders is actually the offspring of a mother monster that has spawned those drugs, the monstrosity being China. A journalist writes with no expectation of reward but to be acknowledged as telling the truth. In my many past pieces on China, have I then been telling lies?

(To be continued tomorrow)

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8 Comments

  1. There are so many High Ranking Government Officials and Politicians who have Chinese grandfathers involve in the proliferation of illegal drug in the country. The Chinese waging war against Filipino’s using drugs as a weapon is a reality. We can be easily invaded if we have 3 million soldiers abusing drugs. People who keeps on antagonizing the president on his drug campaign should be considered a traitor to the Filipinos.

  2. If there must be a drug warfare, the Chinese must have learned from the opium wars where they lost miserably against the British and later the French and other Euro nations. The century of humiliation then followed
    where opium was legalized causing millions to be drug crazed and religion was allowed unhampered to
    proselytize.Trade penetrated the once protected cities and provinces in China.
    The white man started it all in the name of profit.
    It is our duty then to fight the drug trade (our own opium wars) this time not only against China but any country who wishes harm to our children.

  3. We still have to read or hear of a drug lord being hailed to jail under this Administration. More so, will we ever hear Du30 telling his Intsik friends directly, “Stop your drug trade hereabouts1”

    • Many very emotional comments with no facts or truth to them.
      First, it is Fentanyl. But the deaths are coming from another Mu receptor agonists that is cloer
      to Remi-fentanyl.
      Fentanyl takes 100 micrograms as an average dose. Lasts around 1 hour.
      Remi-fentanyl takes 1 microgram for an average dose. lasts around 10 minutes
      The dealers (and it is true theyare taking advantage, and making millions per day) sell it
      as heroine, usual dose is around 5 mg to 10 mg. Lasts around 4 hours.
      All the above are opiate agonists. These dealers do not tell their clients what they
      are seling them, there is no drug insert sheet. There is no quality control. IF legal
      the dealers would be out of work, the patients would know what they are getting, and
      deaths would be a thing of the past.

      For an opiate over dose, get an ambu bag and breath for the patient until they can
      start breathing on their own. Overdoses cause Apnea, the desire to not want to
      breath. Thus, if you breath for the patient, they will return.

      Buprenex, an opiate agonists and antagonist, if a person with an opiate tolerance takes
      buprenex they go into withdrawals. But, just take more until it over takes the mu agonists.

      Buprenex is around 90 percent as effective as the mu agonists, and it lasts 72 hours.
      A person can get off it, very easily, in under a week.

      Some of the opiate mu receptor agonists, have a strong attachment. And it can take 3 months
      to get off of them.

      If one gets on methadone, which is a very strong mu receptor agonist, it lasts 30 hours,
      and once the dose is established, in 2 weeks it has no mental effects. And people on methadone have no neural or cdoordination abnormalities. If one then cuts the dose of methadone by 1 mg
      every 14 days, a person can get off of methadone without even knowing it.

      Ask your self, if you are in a position of authority, and you have a business making millions of pesos every day. And you can farm out your sales to the poor, so they get the blame.
      Are you going to stop? Are you going to say, Hey lets legalize all drugs, so that the people
      with health care issues can focus on getting a solution. ??

  4. And how about the proliferation of online gambling (in Makati, BGC, QC, Ortigas Ctr., Alabang, etc.) supposedly owned by Europeans but staffed by the Chinese. Are they even legal? They seem to be operating under different business permits in the city where they operate along with another permit from another city in Mindanao. These will be really hard to gather evidence against these operations as they are large scale operations that pay each employee wages (6-figures) in cash (tax free).

    Follow the money… One way to track them is to follow the spending patterns of their employees who keep buying condos.

  5. Ask yourself this….Why is North America are tens of thousands dying from Fenylyn overdoses, that originates in China yet there is none to be found in the PH, only methamphetamine?

  6. As I have been saying before, you must kill the drug lords and not just the pushers. They are small time crook, you kill the drug lords you destabilize the drug trade, but how can you kill the drug lord when a whole nation is behind the manufacturing of drugs? Its high time for us Filipinos who’s side are we going to choose, China who’s the new evil empire or the US the one we Filipinos know to love and hate, but mostly love?

    • I cannot believe some of these statements, it demonstrates that the people writing these comments do not understand the issue. Not in the least bit. In fact, these comments are from people that are supporting the illegal drug trade. “What do you mean, these people say Stop, kill the drug lords,, addicts are criminals, Yes, these comments are by people that Drank the Kool-aide.

      I ran a methadone clinic, and an in house detox center. As the Medical director. I never met a drug addicts. I did meet many people with health and mental health issues and they went to street drugs because of is cost effective for them. Plus, so many doctors are COP DOCS, they do not listen to the patient, they cop attitudes, they call them criminals. Patients with health care issues are not criminals.

      In extensive interviewing, I discovered it is the Mayors, the police, the senators, the congressman, the authorities, that are multi millionairs that are operating the manufatures, sales and distribution of illegal drugs. And it is these authorities that should the loudest, Kill the drug addicts, Kill the dealers.
      If you notice, they do not go after the authorities that are making millions of pesos per day, of no,
      the go after the poor, the people with enough still together, to sell enough so that they can pay for their street drugs for their health care issue.

      The solution is like Holland, Legalize the drugs and the problem will go away, just as it has in Holland.
      I would immediately legalize
      1. Cannabis,
      2. Poppy plants, (no refined products)
      3. Modafinil (this will replace meth, as many meth users in the sStates (they typically
      have brain focus issues) are very happy with modafinil and will use it if meth is not available)
      Modafinil is a safe product, no heart disease, no hyper tension. One day of meth is 30 days of heart use.
      4. Mushrooms
      5. Ibogaine

      Just thjis alone will eliminate the business of illegal drug manufature and sales. However, the Authorities
      are making millions per day, do you think that they want it stopped?

      It seems that the effort at irradicating the drug lords is really erradicating the competition.