• Drug lords of the ring



    THESE headlines are making me dizzy. Please read further and share my vertigo.

    “Espinosa confessed to distributing drugs in the Eastern Visayan region and even named his alleged suppliers, which included Lim, during the blue ribbon hearing in September 2016.”

    “The case filed by Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) alleged that illegal drugs were delivered to a grocery store in Makati City and then distributed by Espinosa’s men to Bohol, Samar, Northern and Southern Leyte, Biliran and some parts of Cebu.”

    “The transactions supposedly involved 20 kilos of shabu from Peter Co on February 5, 2013; 20 kilos from Lim on February 16, 2013; and 50 kilos from Lim on June 7, 2015. There were four other supposed transactions and deliveries with Lim as supplier, allegedly in 2014.”

    “Espinosa, tagged as the ‘biggest drug lord in the Visayas region,’ admitted in 2016 that he was indeed involved in drugs. He is the son of the slain Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., who was killed by CIDG men in his detention quarters in 2016.”

    “DOJ clears suspected drug lords.”

    “President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to put Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd behind bars if self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and Cebuano businessman Peter Lim are able to escape after the drug charges against them were dropped.”

    “Aguirre informed the President that he has just formed a new investigation panel to review the case.”

    “Sen. Richard Gordon: ‘He absolved everybody. It appears that we should change our lawyers.’ Gordon said other senators were also downhearted by the move of the DOJ to clear the drug trafficking case filed by the CIDG last year.

    Said Gordon: “It was surprising that Espinosa was cleared when he admitted to being a drug trafficker, apart from the evidence revealed at a Senate inquiry in 2016 into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. I condemn that to the highest level. I don’t know what entered their heads.”

    “In throwing out the complaint, the DoJ panel of prosecutors said the weak evidence presented by the CIDG and the ‘inconsistencies’ in the testimony of its lone witness, Marcelo Adorco, prompted them to absolve Lim and his fellow respondents.”

    “President Rodrigo Duterte himself would review the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) controversial dismissal of drug charges against alleged big-time drug lords.”

    “Aguirre forms panel to review dismissed drug cases vs Lim and Kerwin.”

    Dismissal of raps vs ‘drug lords’ not final – Palace. “We would like to assure the public that the dismissal is far from being final. It is in fact subject to automatic review by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, and we look forward to the review to be made by Secretary Aguirre,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said at a news briefing.

    Filipinos and the rest of the world are looking at these stories. There is no reason for the government to initiate a campaign against illegal drugs, only to clear big-time drug personalities.

    * * *

    Kuwaiti delegation to visit Manila for OFW talks. I just hope that they will “iron out” the differences and convince our government not to “freeze” OFW deployment.

    To those who are against the temporary closure of Boracay, please read this. In May, 2016, Thailand closed one of its most popular tourist island attractions, Koh Tachai, said to be the most beautiful island in Thailand, because heavy tourism was destroying the environment and natural resources. The closures have not affected Thai tourism. Thailand was Asia’s No. 2 destination for international tourists, second only to China, in 2016, when it recorded over 32 million arrivals. This was followed by over 35 million in 2017. The closure of some of its top tourist attractions in 2016 have obviously not affected the country’s tourism program.

    — What is important is decisive handling of the matter. Painful as it may seem to some, temporary closure is better than a lingering illness that could be fatal.

    * * *

    PAF acquires six US-made drones. They will be used for disaster response, internal security operations, limited maritime control, and counter-terrorism.

    —China’s turn to send “clones of drones.”

    * * *

    Dr. Scott Halstead, who served as senior adviser to the International Vaccine Institute of Seoul, South Korea, told the Senate hearing on the Dengvaxia controversy that he had earlier recommended that blood tests should be done before the dengue vaccine was given. He said patients should have been tested before administering Dengvaxia to exclude sero-negatives, or those who had not been infected with dengue before.

    — Send the culprits to jail. This is one case that I will agree with the capital punishment of lethal injection.

    * * *

    So many good things are happening at the DENR now:
    Determined to save Boracay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has laid out a six-month operational plan, starting in March until August this year, to address the problem besetting the country’s top tourism destination.

    The DENR is now out in full force to go after establishments in Boracay island found violating environmental laws and regulations.

    Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu sent out “mission teams,” consisting of personnel from different DENR regional offices. Their primary mission is to serve the show-cause orders to a total of 842 establishments initially found to have violated environmental laws, particularly the Clean Water Act of 2004 and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

    Cimatu says he has already issued a directive that no new environmental compliance certificate will be issued in Boracay to prevent the construction of new buildings in the island. Cimatu said local officials should “amplify their measures in managing wastes, particularly in tourism sites.”

    The DENR is also cracking the whip in Palawan, particularly in the Subterranean River National Park in Puerto Princesa City and El Nido, according to officials.

    The DENR has also ordered the removal of illegal stalls and cottages in Pagudpud.

    Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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