• In defense of anti-drug war and law enforcers


    Dear Editor,
    Normally I endorse the Manila Times as the only newspaper of consequence. Not this time.

    The column of your Marlen Ronquillo last October 15, 2017 entitled, “The Makapilis re-emerge from the ghastly deep,” is a symptom of a someone who has lost his bearings amid dizzying current events. I strongly recommend you send him to a long vacation not in Lubao, Pampanga, where he can only inhale the acidity of lahar but say at a beach where his brains can be charged with clean oxygenated air.

    His history of the Makapilis during the Japanese occupation was compelling until he drew an analogy between them and our present law enforcement agencies: “The Makapilis, or at least a version of them, are making a comeback in the 21st century, sanctioned by the government’s war on drugs.”

    So what if the modus of Masa Masid and the drop boxes is anonymity?

    Ronquillo could be suffering from the early stages of Alzheimers, not because he looks like an advanced senior citizen, but because paranoia is the first sign of this disease. “A wacko with an ax to grind can list down a long list of the innocent, to set them up for arrest or gangland-style execution.”

    Worse, to the extent of being flimsy – “What if a neighbor who does not like your videoke songs morphs into a concerned villager and informs on you, the out-of-tune neighbor tagged as a notorious drug pusher or user?”

    Who in his freaking world is his side on? With the druglords, drug pushers, drug runners and drug addicts who goes on their merry way through stealth and omerta? Is he sanctioning criminality in our midst, the type that has almost taken over our government before President Duterte came?

    What hoopla preceded the drug numbers to exceed even a million cases? Silence.

    He even considers drop boxes abnormal and lazy information-gathering while at the same time acknowledges their effectivity for public agencies wanting to remove gridlock in their services or private companies seeking to improve their products best respond to the needs of the market.

    “Drop boxes are not the end-all and be-all of intelligence gathering. It is one of the best way to gather ‘leads’. One does not send criminals to jail on the basis of sheer leads. Leads are precisely just to tip off and start more serious and detailed ‘old-fashioned’ sleuthing.”

    His avoidance of law enforcement authorities makes me wonder what he is sniffing lately or could it be his long narrative about his father and grandfather being Huks have seared or rubbed his memory the wrong way? World War 2 is long gone and to look for his ancestors’ enemies, Marlen would have to fly to Tokyo.

    Ado Paglinawan
    Broadcaster, Radyo Pilipinas
    Former spokesman, Philippine Embassy, Washington D.C.



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