Philippines’ trajectory: from third world to underworld (narco-state)

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THE big boast of President Benigno B.S. Aquino 3rd (and his sidekick Cesar Purisima) was that the Philippines was rising inexorably from third world to first world status during their watch.

The reality, if we are to believe President Rodrigo Duterte’s shocking disclosures last Thursday night, is that all this time we have actually been descending from third world to underworld (criminal) status.

(See below explanatory notes on the terms “first world, “third world” and “narco-state”).
Besides implicating five active and retired generals of the Philippine Nation al Police (PNP) in the illegal drug trade, the President has named one retired general as the chief associate of the notorious Triad from Mainland China.

Narco-politics under Aquino


In a televised address last Thursday night, the President said narco-politics existed under the administration of Aquino, with several “members” of the executive branch in cahoots with police generals running a drugs syndicate within the government and in partnership with the Triad, the main drugs cartel in the Asian region, and another Chinese drug cartel.
He said former PNP Deputy Director-General Marcelo Garbo, Jr. was protecting the top three drug lords in the country.

Duterte convened the Cabinet security cluster meeting in which PNP officials presented intelligence reports that went deep into the operations of major Chinese drug cartels in the country.

Duterte identified a certain Wu Tan, alias “Peter Co,” who is a member of the Triad, as being on top of the narcotics syndicate in Luzon and the National Capital Region; a certain Peter Lim, alias “Jaguar,” as the head of the syndicate in the Visayas and a certain Herbert Colangco as running the drug trade in Mindanao.

In his familiar style, the President said he is recommending that the three Chinese drug lords should commit suicide as he vowed not to allow these idiots to ruin the country; evidently because he will order their execution.

Co and Colangco are currently detained in Bilibid while Lim is abroad.

Malacañang aides intimated that members of the Aquino administration were either negligent or associates in the narcotics trade.

From pearl to bastion of crime

When Mr. Duterte first highlighted the drug and crime menace as the centerpiece of his campaign for the presidency, I misjudged him as overstating the crime problem for propaganda points. I opined that he was blind to the far bigger problems of the nation.

As he has given flesh and substance to his alarm and call to arms, I believe we can no longer doubt how gravely the nation is threatened by the illegal drug trade, and how
imperative are the measures he is taking.

When no less than top generals of our national police are involved in the drug trade, and key officials in the past administration were complicit, the situation could not be worse for the nation and the danger to our people more extreme.

This country, once hailed in history as the Pearl of the Orient, has degenerated into a barbaric bastion of crime and corruption.

What is a narco-state?    

The three-world theory is an outdated model of the geopolitical world dating back to the cold war.

After World War II, the world split into two large geopolitical blocs and spheres of influence with contrary views on government and society, and one side grouping. The groups were:

1.First world – the bloc of democratic-industrial countries within the American sphere of
influence, the “First World.”

2. Second world – the Eastern bloc of the communist-socialist states.

3 Third world – the remaining three-quarters of the world’s population, states not aligned with either bloc.

The classification got outdated when the second world was shattered by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc of countries.

The suggestion that underworld should take a seat beside first, second and third world is hilarious. But it is not a joke when you consider the size of the countries dominated by the drug cartels and narco-capitalism and the narco-economy.

“Narco-state” is a neologism (newly coined word or phrase) that is used to describe a state’s policies and practices in relation to the international illegal drug trade. The prefix “narco-,” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, means “associated with the trade in illegal drugs.” The Guardian calls Guinea-Bissau the first narco-state.

A narco-state is one where law agencies do little to stop the trade in illegal drugs and the situation is widely taken advantage of.

Darling of organized crime

When Aquino boasted that the Philippines has become “the darling of Asia,” he would have been more truthful had he said that it has become the darling of international criminals. We are an easy mark for criminal syndicates because of ineffective policing and weak institutions and highly corruptible officials.

Organized crime is too organized and sophisticated for our antiquated policing methods to cope with. The powers of criminal organizations derive from their status as formal social institutions. In weak states that cannot perform basic functions such as education, security or governance (usually due to fractious violence or to extreme poverty), organized crime enjoys a license to operate.

In the United States, the Organized Crime Control Act (1970) defines organized crime as “the unlawful activities of a highly organized, disciplined association.” In the United Kingdom, police estimate that organized crime involves up to 38,000 people operating in 6,000 various groups. Due to the escalating violence of Mexico’s drug war, a report issued by the US Department of Justice characterizes the Mexican drug cartels as the “greatest organized crime threat to the United States.”

Citation of these international examples should alert us to the scale of the threat that we are facing. And the compelling need to take action and measures that will be equal to the threat.

Fortunately, we have in Duterte a leader and commander in chief who comprehends the problem and is fully cognizant of what must be done.

It’s not a question of whether we can do this or do that. We must stop the threat!
Sen. Leila de Lima is one of the loudest critics of the President’s tough measures to combat the drug menace. But this is the former justice secretary and the overall supervisor of our national penitentiary, under whose nose illegal drugs proliferated and New Bilibid became a center for drug operations. Did the drug cartels contribute to her campaign?

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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27 Comments

  1. Very well said. That’s why De Lima should be investigated to find out why she and her BuCor chief allowed narcotics trading ‘inside’. And it is very possible that illegal arms trading exist as well in the Bilibid. How much and what benefits drug lords are paying to them in return may never be known to the public if she will be allowed to go scot free.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    09 July 2016

    It is quite obvious that the Drug Cartels operating freely and obviously “under the nose” of the Philippines’ police authorities, and, worse, with the connivance of police generals and politicos at all levels of the bureaucracy have now become so powerful as to make it virtually impossible for the Government to stamp it out of existence.

    One can only hope that a President Rodrigo Duterte, donning the garb of a Sir Galahad, could make good on his avowed campaign to do battle against these drug cartels.

    He has six years to do just that–but that’s far from the only thing he has to do as President. He has to stamp out Corruption likewise, and, moreover, has to lift millions of Filipinos from the sticky quagmire of widespread and chronic Poverty.

    One can only wish him “Good luck!”

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  3. No doubt they did contribute to her campaign! It was “in her face” operations and SHE DID NOTHING!

    • As long as Aquino, Roxas and the general who refused to fire the artillery go with Purisema, no sense in letting those other idiots escape from paying for abandoning the SAF.

  4. Dahil ang Pinoy at mahilig sa Pelikula,,nakikita nila si duterte na isang bida sa Pelikula na bad boy,,matapang..Dahil ang mga bumibilib sa Matapang na karakter ay karamihan non ay DUWAG sa realidad sa buhay niya..Iniasa niya sa matapang ang gusto niyang gawin sa taong inis siya..o depress siya,,Karamihan ng bumoto kay duterte,,ay mga drug users at kanto boys…at ngayun,sila ngayun ang inuubos ni duterte,,at kala nila ang kalokohan nila ay pababayaan ni duterte..Doon sila nagkamali..Ngayun ang mga drug users,, na mahilig sa matapang,,ay sarili pala nila ay duwag at nag sisissuko na..na noon ay pakalat kalat sa kalya at pinag mamalaki pa na addicts siya..he,he,he,,ngayun ubos na kayo! kay duterte

  5. Alangan bilang Pangulo ay ilalabas mo ang kabulukan mo sa foreign investor at sa mundo. As a leader, talking to the investor and to the world, di mo puwedeng sabihin yun at papano sila pupunta at mag iinvest o mag to tour sa Pilipinas,..Ang US ba na powerful o kahit Russia pa,ay marami ang users at drug lord..pero yumayaman sila dahil while their are fighting these problems od druc menace..They still picturing their country as a safe nation..Tayong Filipinos ang Kalawang na sumisira mismo sa bansa natin..kaya maliit ang pagtingin ng ibang bansa sa atin at nakita ko yan sa ibat ibang bansa na napuntahan ko,,Ang isang Filipino, invest na ikuwento ang positive sa bansa at panay negative, at invest na promote ang lugar sa Pilipinas ay kahirapan,prostitution at mag aalok pa na babae ,,at kala niya ay matutuwa ang foreigner sa kanya,,deep inside lumillit ang tingin sa bansang pilipinas,,,at imbes na turuan ng salitang maganda at panya kabastusang salitang Filipino ang tinuturo..Nasasalamin natin ang lihim na ugali ng Filipino at kabastusan,,kaya binoto nila si duterte,,at alam ni duterte,,,gusto ng Pinoy ang mga mura niya,,at alam din niya uto uto ang Pinoy..maliban lang yung may aral na binabalanse ang ugali ng tao..Kawawang Pinoy ang daming palang bobo at uto uto na 16 million,,at 25 million na balanse ang pag iisip sa di mga bumoto kay duterte..

    • elmer encinas on

      well said, I do have the same observations about our countrymen overseas who nowadays are the worst examples for other nationalities to encounter, it is not who the President is but who are we as a people and what we can contribute to make our country one of the best to compete in an ever changing world. I have worked in over 10 different countries and have seen what other Pinoys do that are good and also those that are shameful. Here in the Middle East we are the no. one makers of illegal liquors which is prohibited in Moslem countries especially in Saudi Arabia kung ano bawal yun ang ginagawa magawa lang ang masamang layaw ng katawan. The change of the Philippines for the better starts from every single Filipino so no matter if a government does good if the people does not follow what is right then nothing will change for the better,I just have to see what this foul mouthed newly elected president do as an example for other Filipinos to follow and hopefully we get back the former glory of the Philippines being the Pearl of the Orient.

    • Kawawa naman kaming 16 million,, bumoto lang kami dahil gusto namin ng pagbabago pero nasabihan pa kaming bobo at uto uto.. Wag naman po sanang ganun..Masakit po eh.. Mahirap lang po kami kaya kailangan namin ng tagapagtanggol at nakita namin yun kay Duterte.. 11days pa lang naman po sya sa pwesto. baka naman po pwedeng bigyan nyo po ng pagkaktaon bago nyo kami tawaging bobo at uto uto..

  6. Mary Rose Cobar on

    BS Aquino’s term of office marked by noynoying [doing nothing but mouthing platitudes of excellence and self-righteousness] and descending this country to narco trash.
    Not surprise with de Lima, it was during her term that the NBP became the source of drugs and drug labs proliferated in posh subdivisions (ex: Ayala Alabang) and eastern seaboard towns in Cagayan.
    Its either she won thru drug money contribution or thru Smartmatic.
    I hope Sen Bongbong Marcos will pursue his electoral protest to expose the Smarmatic shenanigans and hold those liable and be jailed.

  7. People should know that had Roxas won, Gen. Garbo would have been named DILG Secretary. Imagine a Cabinet level official as the ultimate protector of the drug lords. And no one, no one, should try to convince me that Roxas is blissfully or even stupidly unaware of this. The marriage of drugs and politics would have reached a new height of fusion.

  8. The rotten eggs odor started to come out from the previous government…God never sleeps nor slumber and God bless Philippines…

  9. Leodegardo Pruna on

    The former Chief Justice and now senator (how she made it is a puzzle which points down to P-Noy) is a big big anomaly in government. It is good that President Duterte knows how to deal with her and we should know that nothing would come out of the threats of Leila. Bayaran din siya katulad ng kanyang mga padrino. God bless and save the Philippines.

  10. When the news was out that 90 percent of our barangays are drug infested, I started to think that the Aquino administration has been painting rosy picture of our nation but inside the picture is a drug infested population. After a few days of the Duterte admin. there are literally thousands of drug addicts and pushers surrendering. Therefore, the news of drug infestation is true. This General Garbo was almost pick by Aquino to be as the PNP head after scandal ridden Purisoma. Aquino is solely to be blamed. All the rest are accessories. He is the head. He is responsible. He MUST go to jail.

    • Nomer obnamia on

      The creation of Barangays added to the red tape. Barangay heads are stupid ignoramus that serve no purpose. Barangay is stupid idea.

    • P.Akialamiro on

      In most instances, only the sons and daughters or relatives of the rich and powerful are elected as barangay heads. It’s a breeding ground for corruption!

  11. Franck Frego on

    Obviously, DeLima the big fat Yellow Crook, that let all of this happen can only be involved! Like her President…

  12. Only the top generals and “members of the executive branch”? By what logic do we assume that the narco money has not controlled key govt officials, as say allowing casinos to do “laundry”? If top generals are involved, top govt officials are involved, top banking officials are involved. Politicians have more need of money than generals! One is either dead or alive, pregnant or not pregnant, a narco-state or not a narco-state. Can’t be slightly pregnant, slightly dead, or slightly narco-state. The same logic and rules of complex adoptive systems apply to “oligarch-run” states, such as this country. The oligarchs use “oligarch-money” to get projects near and dear to their hearts approved, funded etc. Neither the oligarch or the narco care what happens to the rest of the Phil. and it’s people as long as they make their money, preferably in NCR. Narco-money and oligarch-money cause and use corruption. Narco-money benefits a few, oligarch-money benefits more, but both narco and oligarch activities have negative consequences for millions of Filipinos. Going after narco bosses is easy compared to going after people and organizations of the oligarchs, whose activities obstruct or delay progress in the Phil. Unfortunately, the second group are deeply rooted, well establised, respected scions of society.

  13. P.Akialamiro on

    What a blessing that we now have Du30 who walks his talk. Otherwise, we will still be dealing with some leaders, particularly in Congress, who “ngak-ng-ngak at putak-ng-putak, at wala namang nagawang ‘tumpakl’ dahil ang akala ay ang daang matuwid (na guni-guni lang) pa rin ang tinatahak.”

    Who knows if the drug cartel contributed to her campaign? Or, is she a beneficiary of the voting machine ‘scheme’?

  14. Surprised Aquino didn’t have a leash and collar for De Lima take her for walks in the park.

  15. I guess these drug lords are so protected by the police and politicians that two of them are in prison. Don’t you see the irony in this? Given the high number of drug criminals that you pointed out in the U.K., does that mean that the Brits live in a narco- state?