Which is the greater social evil? Drugs or plunder?

Shoot her!!!

Let me pose an argument here. Whether I believe it or not is beside the point. The argument just puts the topic in play. What I really want to know is what you think.

It seems to me that drugs are in most cases a victimless crime. Much like alcohol. Why do we kill drug peddlers who are selling good times to people who can’t find them in a better way, yet we don’t shoot the manager of Robinson’s supermarket who is peddling alcohol to people who get drunk, climb into their car, and run over some little kid on the national highway?

The difference is the stigma. Alcohol is fun. Drugs ruin our society. They damage brains and create addictions and users become dangerous elements to society.

Interesting. ISIS troops feel pretty much the same way about Christians. Indeed, I’ll run a photo in Monday’s blog that shows ISIS troops getting ready to behead a group of Christians. The stigma is too much for them, those heathens, bending people’s brains and morals and ruining society. I mean, eating pig, after all . . .

Well, I can testify to for a fact that alcohol is dangerous, too. I was almost shot by a drunk here a while back. The guy is the neighbor’s brother. He had trouble with me being white, I guess. Or American. Or comparatively rich. He shot the dirt between us, not me, and the tanod, a brave guy, walked up to him and walked him back to the neighbor’s house. The police arrived about 6 hours later.

Yet, I’ve never had any problems with drugged people, or peddlers. They seem to operate in their own world.

I used to smoke pot, in a younger stage in life. You know pot? Grass, marijuana? The plant that is now gaining acceptance as medicinal treatment? There is nothing finer than smoking a joint at the open air Greek Theater in LA, listening to George Benson ripping his guitar rhythms under the stars, with a smiling girl leaning on my shoulder sharing life.

Here, I’d like to go to a Jim Paredes concert and do the same thing, letting the artistry of the music join with the gentle buzz of the medicine to generate something called complete happiness.

But I would be a threat to society.

It seems to me most drugs are done that way, by people who harm no one. It is a victimless crime, in the main. Not unlike beer. Yes, sometimes there are excesses, just as some drunken parties get out of hand. And people become addicts, like with alcohol.

But why should it be illegal for a person to hurt himself? Are we that motherly in our moralizing? That confining in our judgment of what is right and wrong? I think people drilling holes through their head for jewelry is damaging to society, because my son might take up doing the same stupid thing. Maybe there should be a law . . .

On the other hand, why can’t we carve ourselves to ugly if we want, tattoo our foreheads, smoke a joint?

“Social costs, Joe. Damaging the fabric of our society.”

Give me a break. I’ll tell you who is damaging the fabric of society. Those who are harming OTHERS. Murderers, for instance. Kidnappers and extortionists and thieves, especially those who commit plunder that steals tax money that could go to feeding poor people. Rapists. Child porn producers. Human traffickers.

THOSE are the people who should be executed before we start picking on some guy in his living room snorting white powder or smoking some vegetation.

Cops who abuse our trust and kill without justification. THEY re the guys deserving execution ahead of a pot-head enjoying his music. Or those cops who kill to protect their own bad dealings. Kill them, the people betraying our trust and PREYING on the rest of us.

Not some poor schmuck on the dock popping a pill or smoking or joint, happy for a moment.

Here’s an idea. Give HIM a JOB, not a bullet.

Solve the problem.

“You are naive, Joe, these are the dirty back alleys of the city where prostitution, drugs and crime fester like the stinking pus of an infected city.”

Wow, nice wording, Juan. You’ve been reading this blog too much.

I’d suggest looking past the dirt and bad environment to find the poverty and lack of opportunity that is the REAL problem here. These people did not create the poverty. They just live there. Corruption and bad work by government created the problem.

Solve the problem.

Don’t push the mortal blame off onto the victims.

Color me real neo neo liberal on this deal.

If killing is in your blood stream, execute those who HARM OTHERS in a big-time way.

  • The plunderers
  • The rapists
  • The human traffickers
  • The child porn producers

And if you indeed think drugs are a serious threat to the social fabric of the nation (I don’t see it), then add the drug importers and manufacturers to the list. But not the guys in business down the line, or the people getting ripped for the night. Maybe tax them.

Or give them better jobs, jobs that society approves.

And give them hope.

Solve the problem.

Me, when this topic of social ills arises, I see the culture of entitlement as the key to the backwardness, unfairness, cruelty and ineptitude that has ruled the Philippines and ruined lives for decades. I see satanic delights in the cackles of greed echoing from the plush condos of Makati, or the mansions of . . . of wherever mansions are in the Philippines.

Maybe our leaders and lawmakers should lift their heads and see the REAL problem around here. It might be that it is them, and not people finding joy in artificial ways. Precious little joy is distributed by a State that sorts itself into two classes, those of entitlement and snooty moralistic judgment – and now street executions – and the people doing their best with the lousy lot their government serves up.


232 Responses to “Which is the greater social evil? Drugs or plunder?”
  1. Jenni Bulan says:

    Very well said! Bravo. As I mentioned earlier, this is a complex and complicated topic. And yes we should legalize certain drugs, same as we do with pharma meds. That way, no one needs to die from dirty drugs at a concert bec the BFAD will have done its job in ensuring the public ingests only the ‘clean drugs.’ We can also maybe earn more in taxes instead of the black and underground market getting filthy rich, but living a life like a fugitive.
    This too is a moral question. Personally, my conscience is my moral compass, like God Himself speaking to me. So I understand that the drug ‘problem’ is just one of the many effects of greed and corruption. It is when those who have, still want more and more is never enough to the point of depriving those around him just so he can have his ‘more.’ Isn’t that an addiction too? To power? To money? To sex? These are all addictions!
    What is the bottom line? People just want to be loved and to be happy. As individuals. As a society, it’s the same…we all want peace and prosperity. The problem is that we don’t understand that we cannot expect to have it for ourselves without hurting a little, without giving of ourselves. There is always the push and the pull, the giving and the taking.
    So yeah, why punish those who just want to find their little peace and happiness even if fleetingly? Why not go after those who harm others? Those who grab, those who seize, those who don’t know when to stop?!

    • Joe America says:

      Sometimes I think we don’t give enough credit that people are able to take care of their own lives. Most do so quite responsibly, and drugs are either outside their realm or handled judiciously. But then there are the rest, and they are who give the whole drug business a sordid name.

      • Joe, that’s basically libertarianism in a nut shell—-

        and I like to think I ‘m libertarian. But what I see in Socal and now Norcal too, at least everywhere outside of Silicon Valley (+ SF), are getting overrun by fancy Mexican restaurants and grocers who seem to be able to cut prices more than the Chinese.

        In this process of competition, other restaurants go under (even family owned honest Mexican establishments) goes too for groceries . There ‘s elements of cartel money laundering, so the drug business (in this case from Mexico) is complicit.

        Can legalization of cocaine, heroine and meth from Mexico erase this reality, maybe… I’m hearing good things from Washington and Colorado (legalized Marijuana). But these now established cartels will simply move on to other stuff, like skimming state owned oil and gas.

        So it doesn’t matter really what types of vices these criminal groups undertake to profit and control, we worry about them when they are able to subvert the state , the state being the will of the people (per Plato’s Laws).

        I can go either way with “victimless” crimes, Joe, what I’m focused on are groups that harm the state (and/or the people), no matter their racket…

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Even the so called PDEA regulated prescriptions drugs can be abused. So do we burn all the Mercury Drugs and All the malls with drug stores?

    As to plunderJPE,GMA before them Erap then soon to follow Bong Revilla and Jinggoy.Binay is suddenly forgotten.
    The next batch of SC appointees will ensure that the pattern continues.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Of course why did I forget Marcos the cause of the cause of the cause is the effect.

    • Joe America says:

      Which raises the point . . . the pharmacies are supposed to deal only by prescription, but that is impractical because the poor can’t go to a doctor every time they have a rash or a recurring illness. So the pharmacies are pragmatic, and deal the drugs on request. Good for them. They’ve saved me a lot of money and inconvenience. Now, change the laws to fit the social circumstance, rather than make the pharmacies criminal for being caring.

      Thanks for inciting this side issue.

      If Mayor Estrada had been executed, I suspect we would not have had a PDAF problem at all, and a lot of poor people would have gotten the care that taxpayer money was intended for. But he wears shoes, so he wouldn’t look right in the dead files rolling across the paper daily.

      I turn cynical when angry . . .

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Too be honest when I watched a rapist being mobbed by a mob,my initial reaction is good for you.
    Without thinking that it might be a false alarm.
    Mob mentality is also in the internet,if one spreads the wrong word.It spreads fast.

    Having said that,how many killed are fall guys? A tv show probinsyano even made a mockery of this by showing the killing of a snitch and just label or brand them as pushers.

    Criminals can still use this to continue their merry days.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Alcohol before the TRO of the curfew,all the barannggay has to say is next time drink inside your homes and not on the sidewalk. Why not tell them to stop drinking,are they afraid to violate their human right to drink?

    The ones drinking in bars are more dangerous,probably many road rage cases are a result of these bar drinkers.

  5. NHerrera says:

    Now you have gone to the root. Thanks Joe.

    As Karl quoted PRD, I will do too:

    He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of them all.

    The problem is everyone has his interpretation of the cause of the cause. No reasonable consensus has been debated or obtained. And with due respect, PRD cannot define that for all of us as if coming from Mount Olympus.

    • Watching the Democratic Party Convention in Philly multiple videos from Obama , bill Clinton , Hillary, ordinary Americans reiterate that the American Dream is that everyone has a chance to live, striking contrast to the Filipino psychology post elections. Some people have no right to live. The rich and powerful who can rent SC justices have a right to life while the poor guys with no choice or limited choices have only a right to lie. lie about going to rehab, and the whole she bang.

      Andy said something about Point of No Return. When every death is just a statistic and even the death of a child draws nothing but a whimper you know there has been a reconfiguration of Society.

      There is a point in conflicts when the humanity of the other side is no longer recognized, we crossed that line with nary a thought.

      Sorry for the rant, as with most things half of duterte till now is not half bad , makes one even hopeful. But I refuse to quiet the humanity within screaming stop this is humanity.

  6. madlanglupa says:

    In this world, drugs is the new communism, the scarlet letter of our time.

    • Joe America says:

      Seems to be. Excellent way to put it. McCarthy rising.

      • madlanglupa says:

        And the fate of a hapless woman in Indonesia hangs on the balance, as Widodo carries out his iron-fisted program:


        > But that has gone unheeded by the government of President Joko Widodo, who has said drugs pose as serious a threat as terrorism in what is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest markets for narcotics.

        • Joe America says:

          I suppose there is a point when a society is so dependent on drugs that the users and dealers become a threat to civility and order. That is what motivates President Duterte who appears to fear that the Philippines is approaching that point. And Indonesia must already be there. But I haven’t seen it at all, during the day, at malls or tourist resorts or shopping districts.I’m sure there are districts where it is prominent, but I am afraid I don’t understand the reasoning that says it is so severe that people deserve to die in droves.

        • rOSARIO says:

          At least they were given due process unlike whats happenning here now – being gunned down by both police during police operations and by riding in tandem for being suspected pusher and or user. None of them thinks of the family left behind. As Sir JoeAm said solve the problem. And gunning the lowliest in the totem pole will not. I am no longer (again) proud as being a filipino which i have felt for the last five years! Phil is going to the dogs.

  7. John Dyte says:

    Joe, I think you are forgetting the current state of the Philippines. Food packaging in numerous non-biodegradable forms is workable in a rich country with sufficient garbage processing but it will be literally toxic in the Philippines. Sugar in abundance in your foods can be balanced in a society with a good medical services but it will kill millions in the Philippines well before their time. Illicit drugs can be absorbed in an economy where people have jobs, children are almost guaranteed education, houses are insured, rehabilitation clinics exist but drugs in the Philippines where there is no buffer is a one way street with a strong gravitational pull. And equally impacting is the commerce that sustains it. Regardless of your opinion on legalizing or not legalizing, it will not be the same laws in neighboring countries. And as you know, the commerce with the most profit potential will be the commerce with the highest growth. And the country with the most consumers of a certain product will be the most heavily exported towards. I believe the problem with illicit drugs is the same as the problem with alcohol in the Philippines. Alcohol is the only entertainment available for the working man who barely makes enough to sustain his family. There is no money for vacations or concerts. So, its gin at the end of day, limited only by someone willing to spend. Drugs will add another poor man’s vacation. Drugs like alcohol, cigarettes and sugar will extract its toll not so much on the user but the family who depend on that user.

    • NHerrera says:

      We have to go to the cause of the cause then.

    • Joe America says:

      I think that is exactly what I said, John, but in different words and images. I’m not proposing laws. i’m proposing compassion, and fixing the real problem, not the superficial one. If that takes laws, then pass them.

    • josephivo says:

      Some poor areas in the Philippines are infested, others are quit clean. Some rich areas in the Philippines are infested, others are quit clean. What are the differences?

      Drug markets need to be developed too. Drug marketeers will push until the market becomes self-sustainable. Suspect that there is a kind of pyramid structure too, those who step in early make a lot of money, those who come in late will only loose. Big fish using sophisticated development maps with what products to introduce where, when, how and by whom.

      The government should have a regulating function in these markets too to counteract these criminal organizarions . Registered supply of drugs via barangay health centers? For more than recreational use, real addiction, sales linked to mandatory assistance/treatment?

      Alcohol is better known, more visible. Sari-sari owners know who to refuse, bartenders know when to kick people out. Most men keep there habit under control because of the reactions from family, friends, colleagues. We know how to deal with the small fraction of the population that derails. Education and steady increase of prices reduce the problem.

  8. karlgarcia says:

    Next blog too big to kill. without presuming what it is about ,but to make it on topic to this blog.Election campaign commentaries of petty criminals are the only one the DDS can kill.I think they were spot on.
    Now too counter that impression,they display a supposedly rich drug lord as their kill to show that the police also kills big people.

  9. NHerrera says:

    Oh please don’t shoot that cuddly old grandma of the blog — a grandma with the mischief and wisdom we love so much. From her looks she can play Pokemon Go as well as her grandchildren. Please spare her. Please allow her that cigarette once in a while.

  10. Ethan says:

    I used to live in drug infested place. When people get high they are so furios. When they do not have money to sustain there addiction they become snatchers and holdupers or even rapist. They do not fall asleep they are always awake. The most sad part they become insane some died. Others go to prostitution and most specialy become hired killers just to sustain their addiction. A drunk man will fall asleep they are not that active. They are easy to tame of course hidden guilt comes out becuase extra courage from alcohol. Plunderers are not that visible or at any point blank can harm ordinary people. Kasi di ba ang mahirap at average naman na tao eh di naman masyadong problemado sa ganyan they are resolve that it is the kalakaran yes it a poor state of mentality. But poor people mind only food work and a little fun. The imanent threat when they go out side a risk to their lives and small harf earned property is the addicts action to them. Besides they do not know naman na kinanakawan sila ng gobyerno at hindi naman na sila masyadong attach doon kasi wala na sa kamay nila.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Ganyan din ang sinabi ni jolly cruz na madalas mag komentaryo dito,abangan mo ang blog nya sa susunod na linggo marahil.

    • Joe America says:

      I’m reminded of “the projects” in some US urban areas, state subsidized, low cost housing that often become infested with drugs and crime. They are dangerous. No one knowingly goes “in” without a reason. But these are not the whole of society, and it would never be contemplated to release all the Americans with guns to start shooting anyone suspected of doing drugs. It is just such a bizarre approach to the problem. This is not imposing an “American” solution on a Filipino problem. It is stating how bizarre, for a law abiding society, to kill 500 people in a month, at the behest of the national government.

      • Munich stopped building classic “projects” (the last were Neuperlach and Hasenbergl, both pretty notorious decades ago) because they engender discontent. There is a model community close to where I live – on the former trade fair grounds. Apartment blocks are small and up to 6 stories only – somehow everything taller makes people feel small and insignificant. The housing is a mix of condos and social welfare housing. There is a community center especially for the kids of poorer families, so they find something better to do than hanging out on the streets. Of course the affluent and middle-class neighbors can be expected to keep watch for any negative developments. While the very presence of poorer people keeps the more affluent GROUNDED in reality, also very important…

        There are upcoming housing projects in the inner city which is gentrifying rapidly… but I have read that the city has a rule that housing developers must devote a certain percentage of the apartments they build to subsidized welfare housing, not just condos… Making sure different groups of people are neighbors in daily life helps – it is not always easy, but each group at some point gets to see the others are also human beings, with their respective joys and pains. Everyday contact reduces the usual prejudices. It helps if one is proactive – because old solutions like Dachau which started as a chain gang place for criminals are very dangerous, and cleaning up “projects” can take decades if ever.

        • I have seen so much killing on social media recently – especially Filipino corpses, as pictures of terror and amok victims as well as onsite selfies are taboo over here – that I might finally be able to stomach visiting Dachau… it is just a commuter train ride away…

          • The closest thing to what you’ve described above in Socal is Venice, Ireneo… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_Canal_Historic_District

            Venice was never fully realized, I don’t think people then as now understood what Kinney envisioned… though now you’ll see million dollar homes of say Julia Roberts, located just a block away from a smaller (Kinney original) house occupied by a family that cooks and sells crack. Unlike what you’ve described though, the two don’t meet.

            “and cleaning up “projects” can take decades if ever.”

            This is exactly what happened in Chicago, high rise “projects” were located in prime real estate, so the city and developers decided to demolish them to make room for fancy condos over looking the lake… what you have are gangs (which were organized in the projects) now scattered every where, so instead of shit being in one place, it’s now spread throughout the city (right, sonny 😉 ), like peanut butter on rye.

            • Massive use of public transport and discouraging cars is one aspect that does make people meet more often… the Munich subway is a great place for different strokes… even if like in New York or London certain types of people try to avoid looking at each other.

              Second there are hardly any civilian guns over here. It IS indeed a disadvantage if a lone shooter comes up like the one last Friday. People really get jarred – I found the shots pretty jarring on the viral video, shooting sounds so damn harmless in action movies…

              People not having guns makes it easier for the middle class folks to tell off those littering, even if gangs beating up people especially at night in some places HAVE changed things.

              Last Sunday night a drunk Polish man threatened people with an air pistol in my neighborhood. Seems he felt strong after Friday’s shooting. Two young men invited him to have a beer in a pub. They secretly called the cops. Kept him entertained until cops came.

              • “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.”

                – Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogota

  11. Ethan says:

    Now it is clear how rich people think in a society that is the gap of the rich and the poor. The concerns in life. Poor people they know they have no property what is precious to them is the safety of the enviroment despite poverty. A complete family living simply yet at peace. Un ang nasaalang alang pag maraming lulung sa droga. We do not desire to be rich we are contended of what we have as long as we are secure. Simple lang ang hanap namin decenting bahay, pagkain, makapag aral, seguridad at masayang pamilya at trabaho. Hindi niyo ata kasi naranasan ang nararanas namin. Paano nga naman secured kayo sa mataas niyong mga bakod. Di kayo na sakay ng public transport. Private ang mga village niyo iba nga naman ang world view niyo sa amin at kami ay mga mangmang sa harap niyo dahil iba ang hanap namin di kapareha ng inyo. Yes we must also deal with plunderers but for us poor drugs is the imidiate concern

    • Joe America says:

      Let’s make clear to readers, Ethan, that your prior visits here were under the name of “Randolf”. Pardon me for being wary of your motivations here, if you advocate a pro-Duterte line. The only people I know who switch between aliases do so for a reason, usually to fool people.

      • Ethan says:

        If that’s you think then its up to you.

        • NHerrera says:


          Why not a forthright reply such as: yes, Randolf and Ethan are one and the same; I changed my handle for a short one and forgot to inform the readers here; but it was not intended to fool anyone.

          As it is your reply does not serve you and the readers of your comments with Joe pointing out the matter.

          Just a suggestion.

          • Or maybe they’re gay roommates sharing a computer? (not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉 ).

          • It is pretty clear that he is Randolf. For one thing, every blog owner SEES the mail addresses of those who post – so Joe knows. I have a blog myself, so I see that also.

            Second, the automatically generated gravatars of Randolf and Ethan are clearly the same. Automatically generated gravatars are based on the mail address – it is nearly impossible to have exactly the same pattern of colors and shapes just like that.

            • Ethan and Randolph sound like proper gay names (albeit one British and one German, but I’m judging 😉 )

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Joe I am perplexed. Yes it’s easy to tell that Ethan & Randolf are the same email address and are the same person.But what about the contents of his two comments ? Was he trolling or making a real contribution ? One of his comments was all English & I thought it was worthwhile. The other is a mix of Tagalog & English & I simply do not know.

              Meanwhile : Some of us contribute to various blogs under various assumed names. And we are human and can confuse which one we use for which blog. There is no evil intent in that.

              If Ethan was trolling, I agree with your actions here. But if he was not, then publicly ‘calling him out may be unfortunate. In this discussion about drugs It’s important to encourage voices from all perspectives and life experiences.

    • mel says:

      for me we must deal both with equal highest priority. plundering is the crime of the rich and the powerful while the crimes as a result of illegal drugs are often associated with the poor.
      i could care less if all the drug addicts take all the drugs they want until they die. the addicts are the master of their own lives and what they want to do with their lives is their own business, as long as the addicts will not involved others by doing wrong to others let them have their own cheap and quick reacting enjoyment. what i care is when mr addict will rob me or my neighbor so he can sustain his addictive habit. do i have compassion with this people, yes i do because they are God’s people too who have gone astray. i am sad if they are killed because another life is taken away but not that sad because this kind of death hopefully deters others from following the addict’s footstep.

      as to the plunderers. i will not care if 90% of what the plunderer’s take is given back to those who are needy or is used to help the people in the conduct of the peoples everyday living, i will rationalize that they are entitled to 10% of the loot as a compensation for their risk. i do care when 90% of the take is devoted for the plunderer’s personal gain and glory and only 10% is used for the needy people. plundering is done to maintain control of the people, bcuz he who has the gold rules and controls.

      the plunderer and the drug lord are one of the same kind…they need lieutenants to be involved in their undertaking, they can not do it alone. in plundering, the lieutenants facilitake the loot and cover up the action. in the illegal drug activity, the lieutenants also facilitake and cover up the action…it’s a conspiratorial endeavor for both.

      • karlgarcia says:

        What if one of them is your friend or relative would you still allow them to kill them selves with drugs?

        • mel says:

          of course i will do my best that they will not, but i am also human and i may fail. i will terminate my friendship to one who is on drugs and i will advise the same to my children, my sibs. all i can do is to pray that they be enlightened to be upright.
          in this conspiracy of plundering and illegal drugs, it seems the low profile and low value personalities are being caught and they seem to be not good singers. maybe a wistle blower protection for these low profiles (as long as they admit their wrongdoing) so they will have the courage to sing so that the hi profile and hi value personalities can be discovered.

  12. josephivo says:

    Legalize most illegal drugs. I became an alcoholic in Saudi Arabia. Learned to brew beer and wine, had a friend who could distill, accepted real alcohol from contractors (to “soften our inspections”). Boredom versus the excitement and easy access to alcohol. Getting caught would mean being beaten by the religious police and risking an expatriation order. To make things safer you had to drink fast. The earlier you could throw the empty bottle(s), the better. Invite friends if necessary. And yes addiction kicks in. Yes you start rationalizing, “the larger batches you brew, the better the taste”. A 50 liter garbage can became my brewing vessel, others used there bathtub, 200 liter. Drinking 200 liter fast is unhealthy, even if you share it with 10.

    Back to the subject at hand. Let’s look at the advantage of legal drugs, with alcohol as example (better than cigarettes, these are too addictive, too harmful, tasting too bad to start with)
    – doesn’t create criminal organizations for production and distribution.
    – less associated corruption
    – social acceptance creates better social control.
    – safer production of safer drugs.
    – cheaper, not needing criminal activities to get enough money.
    – addiction faster/easier detected and treatments more available, such as AAA, your doctor and Disulfiram or Antabuse…
    – less attractive for adolescents because legal.
    – can create extra income via sin-tax.
    Look what happened during the prohibition in the United States, the boost of criminal organizations, the explosion of prostitution, the effect on society when people start controlling and reporting one another.

    With legal alcohol is everybody and alcoholic? No, there seems to be a natural percentage of addicting people. Now the Philippines is reported to have 3 million drug users, 5% of the potential drug users Legalization to drugs will not alter this percentage

    Yes, but drugs have negative effect on society too. But look at alcohol that causes job loss, perception problems, cognitive problems, family dramas, domestic violence, traffic accidents, suicides, health problems as liver cirrhosis, brain damage, mouth and esophagus cancers… in short an average 10 year life reduction.

    Du30, let’s legalize shabu and marihuana.

    What caused my addiction? Mainly boredom, we could work overtime but still with 60hr weeks there was still ample of free time, and sand in the dessert looks as sand in the dessert, day-in, day-out. One employer gave us free zero-alcohol beer, but sitting around a table in the company’s canteen with a bottle of this sticky beer (now it improved) is not all that exciting, a call from a friend is, certainly when he invites to come drinking freshly brewed illegal beer.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you josephivo for basically certifying the reasoning of the blog.

    • Oman’s the only place I know in the Arab ME, that don’t judge … Lebanon & Syria too, but you gotta be with a certain crowd to indulge.

    • LG says:

      Josephivo, I appreciate the insights you shared.

    • chempo says:

      Joe. I don’t buy this libertarian idea of legalising drugs will cause the problem to go away. I’m not about to argue whatever positive empirical metrics out there, but just on some notion of basic human goodness or morality that you don’t combat evil with evil. To carry your idea to irrational heights, we could legalise killings, then the adrenalin rush would be no more and killings will stop. Legalise abortions, and women will abort no more. Legalise gambling, and….hey casinos are florishing here.

      That is not to say I support the spate of killings that’s going on in the country. It’s another form of evil against evil.

      • Joe America says:

        The Philippines is a very conservative society and even legalization of marijuana for medicinal value would be a hard sell. So I’m not proposing laws be written to legalize drugs. I’m trying to open minds to the fact that there are ways forward other than killing people in a fruitless hope to discipline people who themselves have little hope. I’d think there ought to be a harder focus on cutting off the supply at the pinch-point, along with education, publicity, and treatment facilities and, of course, jobs programs. The Philippines is not in a position to provide enough opportunity to its poor citizens right away, but needs to push in that direction. The only outcome from a killing spree is an expansion of the killing spree, I fear.

        • Rank says:

          Here’s a fine discussion on the war on drugs between Sam Harris and Johann Hari entitled “A War Well Lost”. Read how Portugal stopped its war and won.


          And there’s a definitive article by Hari on Huffington Post about addiction.

        • mel says:

          let us differentiate between medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana, likewise between recreational alcohol and medicinal alcohol, or legal drugs and illegal drugs. one thing is for sure if these are taken excessively they are not good for the body. however though, for the quality of life of the terminally ill or those who are in excessive sufferings, this is where the exception should be used but then again with medical supervision. i haven’t come across of any meds that do not have any side effects (many have side effects, either good side effects or bad side effects). my lola used to smell marijuana smoke when she has an asthma attack (this was when marjuana was not yet a banned substance). i take viagra for ed but then i get a low bp. i take 80 mg baby aspirin for blood thining but i become a bleeder. it is when drugs are abused that i frown. of course it is one’s freedom to (ab)use or not to (ab)use.

      • josephivo says:

        With legalization the drug problem will not go away indeed. But it will become more manageable and it will we keep criminality out of the equation.

        One looks at the whole problem and tries to address the weakest link. For fire you need fuel, oxygen and a spark, preventing fire means to break this triangle of causes, eliminate at least one.

        To kill you need a killer, a victim, a circumstance and a weapon. Here the easiest is to keep guns out of the equation, addressing anger and crime is more difficult.

        For abortions you need an unwanted pregnant woman and willingness and opportunity to kill an embryo or a fetus. Abortions went down dramatically in Belgium after legalization, it was combined with education and easier access to contraception. The causes of unwanted pregnancies, ignorance and wrong risk taking, both were addressed. Today they are a fraction of the abortions in the Philippines and zero fatalities from unsafe ones. For hundreds of years fear to commit a crime was not on the minds of people at the moment of conception.

        Drug usage is complex, from recreational use to consequent addiction, the physical and the psychological side, the individual and society. Controlled legalization could be a more efficient approach to reduce the problem than killing.

        It has nothing to do with libertarianism, only with constructive suggestion, correct thinking, figures and facts.

  13. LG says:

    Plunder, right off the top of my head! Plunderers are sociopaths, capable of many other sociopathic behaviors. Sociopathic behavior always adversely affects another person. It is intentional, devoid of remorse.

    Unpunished plunder perpetuates sociopathic behavior of the plunderer and encourages potential plunderers. No psychiatric treatment or rehab available for sociopaths.

    I would not shed an iota of compassion for a plunderer if s/he is beheaded. But I would for an alcoholic/drug addict.

    Alcoholism and drug addiction are treatable. Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol/drugs could be heinous/fatal but may not be genuinely intentional. Further, in general, unless the drug addict/alcoholic is first a sociopath, in sobriety, true remorse is felt.

    • “Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol/drugs could be heinous/fatal but may not be genuinely intentional. “

      I’ve never met or heard of a drunk robbing another person or prostituting himself/herself for a bottle of whatever they’re drinking, LG.

      But druggies tend to rob and/or prostitute themselves to get another fix. When you’re not high, it’s easier to argue intent. Drunks though

      tend to commit their crimes when drunk, so intent is less.

      as for “plunder”

      I’m less familiar with this word, at least in the actual legal sense (though I think I’ve heard this word in Conan the Barbarian franchise 😉 )

      Plunder is an old Middle High German word that originally meant “household goods and clothes”: in other words, your stuff. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), English speakers acquired this word while fighting in the land that is today Germany, but with the added meaning of taking the plunder as, well, plunder. As both a noun and verb, a synonym for plunder is loot.

      I think in the US we use embezzlement for plunder (am I wrong?), which isn’t really as serious as your use of plunder above, LG, so can you or others here explain how this word is used? thanks.

      • Plünder still means stuff in German… with the connotation of messy stuff lying around…

        Plündern also means to rob. Plünderung means looting, German TV reported about Plünderungen during the great New York blackout in the 1980s…

      • chempo says:

        Lance, in the Philippines context, plunder is :
        – when the loot is more than 50 million pesos in value.
        – committed by a public official
        – the funds are from govt coffers.
        – and of course, if one gets caught.

        • LG says:

          Thank you Chempo.

          Lance, Chempo’s is the definition I have in mind when I responded to Joe’s question. Since I came home, plunder is all I have heard of about some of our national officials.

          Some alcoholics, when under the influence, have been known to cause fatal accidents, rape dates, maids, relatives who live with them. As do some drug addicts when high. When not, and they need a fix, that’s when some addicts resort to whatever means (e.g.holdup, theft, murder) to get the funds for the fix.

    • Joe America says:

      Chemistry (drugs) versus psychological dysfunctions. Most interesting distinction. I wouldn’t execute either, but for sure, chemical seems easier to treat.

    • LG says:

      Human trafficking and child porno production heinous social evils as well, both sociopathic in nature, so deserve severe punishment after due process. Public execution for them, I won’t complain, as I won’t if done with plunder as well.

    • josephivo says:

      Plunder has little to do with psychopaths in my book, it has to do with opportunity and power, taking your stuff away because one is more powerful. Soldiers plunder, politicians plunder, and vandals during riots plunder. Many things people in power do are intentional, devoid of remorse, power corrupts. (Of course you could call soldiers psychopaths, people willing to kill other people, but that’s a different discussion.)

      There are types of stealing that are compulsive, but most stealing is done out of need, greed or simple as profession.

      @ LCpl_X
      I never read about a recreational user of marihuana and prostitution or violent crimes, I read about alcohol user killing many people under influence in one road accident. Drugs are consumed in different levels, in different circumstances and with different motivations. So comparing makes no sense if the intoxication levels are not considered. Different drugs have different ease of addiction, different levels of habituation.

      Behavior is more responsive to changes in the probability of detection and conviction than to changes in the intensity of punishment. So detecting the slightest consumption and speedy conviction has more effect than increasing the punishment to dead penalty. (Doubling detection has twice the effect of doubling the jail term.)

      Many drug users hide, symptoms less obvious/known, many alcoholics consume in the open (although some are master in hiding bottles), symptoms more obvious/well known

      • josephivo says:

        P.S. Street-workers with little punishment power, as in Holland, are very effective in reducing drug use precisely because of being “non-threatening” they can detect fast, again and again.

      • LG says:

        Josephivo, I agree, opportunity and power are facilitators to the crime. But there are those who don’t commit plunder amid such power and opportunity because they posses CONSCIENCE. Intention and lack of remorse, add denial, when caught, the best lawyers, too, are the sole arguments for getting rid of them permanently.

  14. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, I won’t discuss the plunder side of this post..Just the drugs one. It’s a big enough issue reallly.

    It is easy for us who have secure lives, an education, some years on the clock, with homes etc to be liberal minded about drugs..alcohol, smokes, dope, etc.

    But I suspect none of us,live with poverty, low education, ‘unvalued’ work skills in poor barios where shabu is common.

    So we will not have to live with the consequences of what the changes you suggest. in your post which is complete freedom to take whatever we want when we want…with no legal restrictions….

    Meanwhile Ethan has just said it as someone who has lived with the consequences of shabu in the bario where he lived….And it was not at all pleasant…

    As I have said before these consequences are the cause of the violent response happening now in the Philippines…

    Now in Duterte’s reign drug takers & pushers are no longer protected.No longer protected by unenforeced laws & human rights campaigners or lawyers, or by paid off police , or even by lazy police. It’s a backlash on the consequences…

    It would be useful to list the deaths by location. I know of about 15 that have happened in Quiapo since June 30. But I have not heard of any in Makati or Taguig..Though 2 expats ( including a 35 year old South Australian ) were arrested in Makati for peddling shabu a couple of weeks ago.

    I think a pattern would emerge in the listings by location.

  15. Shabu/meth does create massive damage… it goes for the dopamine receptors of the brain. Experiments with monkeys using cocaine showed that they would drink water with cocaine and neglect everything else until death… cocaine also works on dopamine (“joy”) brain receptors.

    As meth makes the body go on overdrive, it also damages the organism massively… before/after pictures of meth addicts are shocking. Of course addicts tend to commit crime to get money for their addiction. There was a severe heroine problem in German inner cities in the 1980s.

    Underground stations were scary in some parts, because the junkies would steal to get their fix – and their needles were feared because of AIDS danger. Methadone became the program of choice. Give them a medical fix, but help them kick the habit as well. Worked in the long run…

    What meth/shabu also does is inhibit fear – one main reason why it was used by the German army in World War 2, but minimized because it did damage to soldier’s bodies. Inhibiting fear can be very dangerous, because people may indeed do what they might not do in a normal state of mind.

    One only has to watch Breaking Bad to see how typical meth heads behave. Stories of murder and rape by shabu addicts are indeed scary. But if it is that bad already, the quick fix is drug tests in barangays – and mandatory confinement/treatment for addicts. From what I have heard, most drugs still can be found by tests even 6 months after – hair samples. So it should NOT be too hard to locate the very wasted addicts that are a menace to society. Shooting people and taking so much “collateral damage” is not only bad, I fear that it is not even effective in the long run.

  16. LG says:

    DNC over. Ecstatic about it. Back to TSH now.

  17. Chivas says:

    Awesome and challenging read. Spot on, if you want to stop the “ills” why limit yourself at drugs? Because drugs carry the most money one has got to lose and willing to compensate something in exchange? If it is indeed going for a good outcome as we will see, I hope PRD succeeds.

    An interview I overheard on Chief Bato said that they see drug problem in PH kind of like a bad bonsai tree, they focus on destroying the pot first before digging the soil and killing the roots.

    The fans anti-drug hauling spree in FB (or the bots) relates me with the kinds of fans of those dramatic, OA vegans in Youtube(Durian Rider, Freelee and Co.) that makes the likes of Trisha Paytas sane. They pander to the idea of discouraging meat-eaters so subtly.

    In my journey of focused math every day-Combinatorics, Discrete math and Linear Programming (the kind of math that the billionaire Carlos Helu’ is good at), my common sense grew and I’m more compassionate and understanding than ever. Math indeed is a language of nature.

    Wise guys created the Price of Anarchy, a concept of game theory that I can relate here because more selfish agents are at work for efficiency.

    PH crime enforcement seemed like Goodfellas film and it’s not cool.

    While commenting, this cool song was in my background:

    • Joe America says:

      Always good getting your view, Chivas, for the elegance of the contextual set-up to the lesson. Did you know that President Aquino also follows that pattern? He tells a little story or talks a sideline subject to set up the point, and then brings it back on target, wham. But if you don’t get the connection, it may seem that he is rambling. He’s not. I think people like Senator Poe got hung up on the story or set-up and perhaps never got the message. Other wise, Roxas would be president and she would be VP, and good to go for 2022.

  18. Will add more to the discussion later. But let me contribute this for now:

    It’s not just chemicals. Probably also a social thing.


    “One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments — ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

    The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

    But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

    In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

    The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

    At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was — at the same time as the Rat Park experiment — a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

    But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

    Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.”

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, the social context is very important. I’d like to attach that last paragraph to a billboard and haul it back and forth on EDSA, honking and blasting the horn to get attention.

      Or, heck, the last ten words . . .

    • Bill in Oz says:

      The 12 Step, program of AA & NA ( Narcotics Anonymous ) & other fellowships, states that addiction is caused by ‘character shortcomings’ – which can be ‘removed by a Higher Power’. And that to me makes lots of sense.
      But the practice of regularly attending 12 Step fellowship meetings is also part of the program. And in many ways that equates to changing the ‘cage’ .

      As someone who has been there done that ( though not in NA ) I know the 12 Step program works for some folks at least here in Oz..How it would go in the Philippines I do not know.

    • Francis says:

      Very very interesting.

    • NHerrera says:

      The empirical evidence from the rats experiment and the addicted soldier-returnees from the Vietnam war show the dualism humans are constantly subject to: yin and yang, white and black, positive and negative, good and evil — as they are shaped by human contact and the environment. The Philippines as a made-to-order laboratory for study of this dualism.

      I am for the human touch and the environment that brings out the white, the positive and the good.

      Thanks for the post.

    • LG says:

      Substance abuse and addiction which includes alcohol and all kinds of substance one could possibly get physically and/or psychologically dependent on, is very much a social environment issue, a dynamic interplay of various social cues (poverty, boredom, family/peer influence, availability, hedonistic lifestyle, etc.) changing or moving out of such environment to a different one may likely produce the desired change in the substance abuser/addict. If not, consider genes.

      Within the old social environment some may even go cold turkey (and continue to do so) without going through severe withdrawal symptoms, (if physically dependent) with strong motivation and /or strong imposed control (as in a nicotine addicted patient hospitalized for heart surgery x several weeks).

      Treatment and rehab definitely helps, but alas, generally, only temporarily. Any semblance of the old social cues are known to hinder continued desired change. Sustainability of the new different social environment is truly a challenge.

      Best wishes to the proposed rehab program for surendered drug users/addicts/pushers of the current Duterte government. H

  19. Javier Gris says:

    Tried this argument with the missus over lunch at Sbarro. She was flustered at first (Well, is being a drug addict a crime or not? Yes. So, if you’re addicted to, say cigarettes, or booze, or gambling, then you’re a criminal? Well, no. But why not? You’re differentiating between a drug addict and some other kind of addict? etc.), and then frustrated. And then, somehow, she realized that, yes, being a drug addict is not necessarily a crime, and that pushing drugs is a crime probably because the pushers don’t pay taxes.

    • Joe America says:

      Ah, happy top have contributed to a healthy family discussion. There is a distinction between acts that harm ourselves, and acts that harm others. I think we ought to be free to harm ourselves, even though I think it is a rather dumb thing to do. 🙂 Thanks for this brief.

  20. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, I have been looking for the 2 comments I made yesterday re drugs etc..The one you suggested I copy & repost with the most recent blog..I have been looking but I simply cannot find them to copy & repost…I lost track of which blog they were posted to.

    • karlgarcia says:

      I am the finder.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Ahhhhhhh ! If you can find then Karl that would be great..Thank you ! .I posted them on Thursday re the drug issue and Joe replied by saying I should copy and repost them into this blog..But I am not sure about which blog they are in..Have looked but cannot find !

        • karlgarcia says:

          I remember that but I could not find it the thing I found in “Its all about Mindanao” was our exchange about drugs,but that’s not it.I will try again.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Thanks Joe.There you go Bill.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                Thanks Joe for the link to my earlier ( lost ) post.

                Here it is re-posted as you suggested.. Plus some extra remarks…

                Bill in Oz says:
                July 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

                Well we disagree sometimes Joe.. But I am not talking my way in circles. Simply thinking aloud and offering ideas….I agree with your suggestions about stopping the flow. educating people etc.. for my country ! Whether they would work in the Philippines or other countries in the region is an interesting question.

                And one for locals to offer suggestions on.

                Your statement that drug taking is a ‘victimless crime’ is wrong. The funds used to buy drugs are often stolen as the persons taking the drugs are unable to work or work effectively and have low incomes. So there are all the people who are directly robbed or have their homes or vehicles broken into as part of the search for money or valuables to steal.They are victims. I have seen this here.

                Living in a community which has even a few of these individuals is a real source of anxiety…The Enquirer 10 days ago reported an instanse of a baranguay terrorised by a drug pushing group. until the police intervened and the group got involved in a shootout. All 4 were shot dead. But the police found a fifth body hanging dead inside. He was the local person who went to the police and brought the gang’s activities to their attention. Would you say ‘informer’ ?

                Finally there is the way that drugs like shabu changes the behaviour of drug takers. In a word they become ‘agressive’ & extremely violent. And the damage seems to last a long time. For me this is personal as a younger brother went through a drug taking phase. He stole from family and friends. He took advantage of family for years to enable his drug taking. It is almost 20 years since he stopped but still he is liable to massive out of the blue anger outbursts. Very difficult and so destructive.

                Also here in my home town there are constant reports of Meth takers ( It;s called “Meth” here, winding in hospital casualty ( emergency ) wards, brought there by friends or family, and then attacking/injuring hospital staff…Ina macro economic sense it’s also been a total waste of precious medical resources.

                And In the Philippines I have seen reports of murdurous knife attacks or shoot outs, committed by persons under the influence of shabu…

  21. Oaktree says:

    I have always looked at drug addiction as a sickness, not a crime.Not all drug addicts are criminals, just as not all criminals are drug addicts.
    I am well-exposed to drug addiction, not by experience,by the way.We used to live with a cousin who was and is still into drugs…He grew up with me, and my kids grew up with him.Oh, we had a few lost possessions in the house, maybe a few hundreds of pesos, but he was never a threat to me and my family.In fact, he was my ever-trustworthy, beck-and-call guy.I was the only one in the family brave enough to call him out on his condition.He went clean for a while but after we moved out of the compound when we got our own place and I left to work abroad again, he went into remission. Seems like my husband and I were the only authority he looks up to and the only people he feels he can depend on. I still feel guilty about it.
    My husband, who grew up in a poor neighborhood, has his own share of thug friends who are even known to be pushers but we never taught our kids to scorn them.Instead, we teach them to give their respects everytime they see them, give “Mano” and address them as uncles.We don’t fear them, in fact, we felt safe with them.These people, I realized, when treated with respect and not disdain will always have your back. They have once protected my son who figured in a road-rage incident, and my daughter who was subject to lewd advances by a rejected suitor. As one of them said, they will kill and die for my husband’s family.
    In my profession, I always come across drug addicts.People addicted to narcotic pain medications, but we deem them legal,right?Narco meds relives pain, because pain is something unpleasant.But hunger is unpleasant,too.So is the baby wailing with tummy discomfort, a nagging wife with no money, the rental lady shouting invectives at you because you are 5 months late in rent, the electric company man reaching out with pliers to cut off your electric supply. All these makes your life unpleasant, like nagging pain. So if a man resorts to drug use, to forget these unpleasantness for a while, does it make him a criminal?Is it fair to kill them just because they want to escape the jungle for a while?
    Some would say that these users and pushers are pests of society. That they destroyed the lives of many young people. But we as parents should make sure that our children understands the cons of drug use(I’d definitely leave out the justifications), and not cower them in agreeing with what we think is right.It will definitely douse any curiosity on the act.My kids are exposed to this but not one dared to use drugs. They were not influenced or peer-pressured into trying. They, too, had their share of unpleasantness in their lives but the assurance of support from family is essential. For most drug-dependents, they sure were left on their own to deal with life and with no one to depend on or help provide solutions to their problems. It’s up to us parents to raise strong children.And strong children are brave enough to say “no”.

    • Jolly Cruz says:


      I must congratulate you for raising strong children who were able to resist the temptations of the environment in which they were raised. Like you I also live in a depressed neighborhood in Tondo. My grandparents were one of the original settlers in our place and thus were highly respected.

      I know from whence you are coming from when you say that the bad elements in your neighborhood never victimized your family. That you and your husband know these people and even encourage your kids to be respectful to them. I, too, do remind my kids to be respectful to the people of our place. respect begets respect.

      I have three daughters, all unmarried. The two eldest are working and have their own condos in Makati. The youngest just quit her job to pursue her masters in Columbia University in New York and will be leaving on the 11th of tis month. We have brought up our children very well inspite of the deteriorating neighborhood. Kudos to us. BUt how many are parents like us in our type of neighborhood?

      I have to tell you that our neighborhood has completely gone to the dogs because of shabu. An addict to this drug knows no friends, no relatives shows no respect and generally is unafraid of authority. Whereas, before, it was taboo for the criminals in our neighborhood to victimize the residents within the area, today it is everything goes. Before, I can leave our house without worrying about whether I locked all doors. Today, a CCTV is a necessity.

      Don’t be naïve to think that the addict only harms himself. Think about how he will sustain his addiction. Yes, he is small fry. But it is this small fry that will engage in the “akyat bahay’, snatching, and all these so called petty crimes that victimize not the poor but mostly, the low to middle wage earner and the students. Ok lang sana if petty crimes lang, Pano if the addict is so praning that he kills or rapes?

  22. chempo says:

    Regarding plunder, here’s something just for info whatever it’s worth.

    In Singapore, our courts pass sentence with propotionality in mind. Two persons committing a similar crime, the one held to be on a higher social level gets a stiffer sentence eg an accounts clerk receives a lighter sentence than the accountant. Makes a lot of sense to me.

    Regarding drugs — I have never tried and never will. It’s plain stupid to me. Everyone says if you mix with the wrong company you be drawn into it. It’s plain BS. It depends on your personal discipline and your character. I frequent places where people high on drugs hang out in the old days (before the advent of the death sentence. I could smell it in the air in the discos, kids lying lifeless, guys in the washroom with the crazed looks etc. It had no effect on me absolutely. Was I ever tempted? Never, ever. Hey you chicken or what? That kind of BS don’t work on me. I don’t follow the herd, nor intimated in any way to blend in.

    But I can tell you this. Drugs bring hell into the household, if ever any of your family members are into it. I had many years of hell when my elder boy was into it. It is a kind of hell you will never understand unless you experience it yourself. It tears families apart. I just dreaded the phone ringing in the late evenings.

    • LG, says:

      Thank you Chempo for noting INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER in the centerpiece of drug abuse. STRONG WILL can cancel out the social factors that enable substance abuse, when such enabling factors are weaker than the will of an exposed indovidual. That is not to say, substance abusers have weak wills, it’s perhaps in each or their individual case, the enabling socia factors, when put together, are stronger. It’s never one social factor alone.

  23. DAgimas says:

    they are both evil. and I don’t want to choose which one is more evil. both should be eliminated.

    but lets go back to history. the British were able to gain concessions from China because of opium. lets just say they drugged the Chinese and use the proceeds of exporting opium by bribing the weak Chinese emperors. that happened to Columbia too and if the USA didn’t fight back by imposing draconian laws in the 80s (look at the effect to blacks until today) and helped the few good men of Columbia (watch Narco in Netflix), Columbia would be worst off than today. Mexico is still trying to win its drug war. although Columbia and Mexico don’t “drugged” their citizens, they sell mostly to the gringos up north. the drug money circulating in Mexico is just staggering. if they are not killing each other and the police, this drug money actually helps its economy.

    I don’t believe drug is a victimless crime. the addict is the victim and once you are an addict, you become a liability to society. its just more direct to the person using drugs.

    plunder affects everyone. you see it by the inadequate infrastructures, the poor dying because they could not afford hospitalization, the poor remaining to be poor because they could not afford to further their schooling etc

    they both corrupt people in govt and in business.

    and I would like PGong to do what the police has done to the small time drug pushers. eliminate these plunderers too

    • chempo says:

      I agree with you the insidious dangers that drugs can be to a nation. When drug menace reach the level of Columbia and Mexico and a few others in Latin America, the country becomes a narco state. Du30 sees the country slipping into that level. He probably sees a lot of that in Davao, both openly and from his intel. That being his key interest, he probably is plugged into other national network of info sharing, where he got his “lists”. He, more than any other political leaders, is acutely aware of the dangers looming if nothing serious is done. That is his motivation, and I respect that. However, my perspective is that whilst the dangers are real, Philippines is nowhere near the levels of Columbia or Mexico to warrant extra-jucidicial action. Fix the broken judicial and police institutions and go full force against drugs the legal way. Of all the presidents, Du30 actually has the strong leadership to do that.

      • Joe America says:

        I think that the lists of suspects were readily available is evidence that work to take down the drug operators was a major thrust under President Aquino and Secretary Roxas. They handed the information over to President Duterte’s hunters. Aquino/Roxas were penalized by going by the law and human rights codes. The recent PCIJ articles (see Must Read) show that a lot of arrests and drug confiscation were being done.

        • DAgimas says:

          i think the list has always been there. meth labs are always raided so its just unbelievable if they could not extract info on who are the financiers and protectors. don’t tell me the chemists they caught formed a corporation among themselves to make meth and deal it on their own? somebody imported these foreigners and that somebody is known by the police ever since.

          • Joe America says:

            Which suggests the flow of drugs could be curtailed by shutting down official sanction, rather than killing the victims of the drug lords, their customers and peddlers.

            • DAgimas says:

              I believe so. that’s why if they want to sow fear, they should start on the highest level and not those slipper wearing street dealers. don’t know why the media don’t ask probing questions whenever they see those deads with the usual paltiks thrown on them. paltik? who uses paltiks if you are a member of a syndicate?

        • Waray-waray says:

          The site has been hacked JoeAm. Even PCIJ has warned those who wanted access.

  24. I don’t mind the legalization of drugs but a blanket statement saying that it is victimless is uninformed, if not even irresponsible, given the lack of proper context. Some drugs are surely MUCH stronger and comparing it to alcohol is severely downplaying its possible effects. That’s why they had actually divided drugs into ‘soft drugs’ and ‘hard drugs’, with the former the only ones legalized. And do try to guess what category is the one being proliferated in the PH.

    And in addition to that, drugs also seem to attract criminality of all sorts. But then again, it does seem to happen because it is illegal. Somewhat like the U.S. alcohol prohibition from time ago. But then again AGAIN, the situation is probably different because unlike with alcohol back then, the dispute on drug legality/illegality isn’t just local/national but global/international. Sure we may legalize it but do expect that other countries where it is still illegal will try to force its way into the legal market. And if I recall correctly, even the poster child for drug legalization, the Netherlands, is having a problem with this. But then again AGAIN AGAIN, the U.N. is now starting to move with regards to the decriminalization of drugs all across the world.

    As for what to do with users, well, they do deserve leniency because as in most cases, there are usually extenuating circumstances. In most cases, they really do just need some help so that they can get back on their feet. As for the pushers and suppliers though, well, most of them can go die in a ditch. Why? Because most of these pushers and suppliers are usually in it because of greed. And in most cases, they are usually well-informed on their actions and they usually do have knowledge of the consequences. And as I’d usually like to say: Knowledge is power as power is responsibility. Therefore, knowledge is responsibility. Q.E.D. The same probably goes with those involved in plunder. So give them death if it need be.

    However, though I said that they can just go die, I really don’t mean that they really should. [Yet]. Yes, I’m a pragmatist at heart but I do not actually mind some idealism. As from when I was asked if I was pro-life a while back: Well… I really am. With reservations. Heh.

    But seriously though, I’d support the death penalty in some cases. But I do have a bit of an unconventional stance as I do still strive for a pro-life stance. So how do I go about this? Well, since the life of a person is involved, It’ll surely be personal. Given this, what better way to make it more personal by asking them questions. And really now, Life and death? I think you can’t make it more personal than that. Sample:

    “Mr. ‘x’. You’ve been found guilty for crime ‘y’ and the possible punishment is death. ”
    “Do you want to live or die?”
    “Why? ”
    “Say we let you live, would we be wasting our time and resources with you? ”
    “If not, what can you do to change and how can you assure it?”
    “And do not worry if you think that it’ll be hard. We will try our best to help you but you must also try your best to help yourself.”
    “So what is your decision? Will give you some time to think about it.”

    Depending on the answers, I’d give the option to downgrade to a lighter sentence. And given what I said about wanting to be pro-life, I’d actually prefer if every case was downgraded. And depending on the results of the reformation and the rehabilitation, I won’t even mind dropping the charges altogether. However, you can’t deny that there are actually those people who are already so fucked up in the head that any attempt for reformation and rehabilitation will just be a waste. This can probably be established by multiple offenses even when given multiple chances to change. Well, sorry but my pragmatism takes over by then. I just can’t ignore the fact that imprisonment, other than for punishment, is being done for the purpose of criminal reformation and rehabilitation. If they won’t be reformed and rehabilitated, what’s the point then? The necessity of the death penalty is a matter of practicality and efficiency and letting some heads roll will make the whole system roll much smoother.

    So this is somewhat like Pro-death with restorative justice? Both ideal and pragmatic?

  25. caliphman says:

    Joe, you always did have a knack for raising raging controversies from quietly smoldering embers. Its strange that no one has bought up the fact that Aquino considered his most immediate priority was fighting government corruption ( plunder in its worst form) whilst Duterte thinks its waging a take no prisoners war on drugs. Who is right is one answer to the question asked by your blog…should the Philippine government have its foremost crusade be against plunder or drugs? If I were to be asked before the election I and many others would have been surprised that law and order, nevermind drugs, was such a huge blip on society’s and voters’ radar. I am not convinced that Duterte’s victory represents a mandate to declare drugs as enemy number one and wage war at all costs more than an affirmation of a society wanting a forceful president willing and able to take shortcuts if necessary to fix languishing problems.

    I have the same feelings about peace with the NPA, the need for federalism, Marcos’s reburial as a national hero, etc., etc.. These are Duterte’s most urgent priorities and not necessarily what I think are the greatest evils and issues facing the country.

    If the Philippines was already or in the process of becoming a narcosociety like Colombia and Mexico and the drug cartels ruled the streets, paid off the police, judges, and powerful government officials then I would agree with Duterte’s views and prioriities (but not his methods) in his war on drugs. While I do agree that the Philippines has a drug problem that needs to be fixed, it is corruption that is endemic in our society and it is so deeply rooted in our government that the country will remain a poor nation if its powerful officials feel they have the impunity to keep plundering the national treasury or natural resources.

    My read on Duterte’s agenda is that the drug war remains his foremost priority but things are hopeful that he appears intent to continue the battle against plunder and corruption. It is troubling that he is overly deferential to the country’s greatest plunderers including Marcos, Arroyo, Estrada etc. which is not at helpful in that battle but perhaps this too will change as his presidency matueres.

    • Joe America says:

      “I am but a conduit to high minded debate.” ahahaha

      You might appreciate MLQ3’s take on the Duterte SONA. He seems to respect President Duterte’s calculating mind, and couches everything in political terms.


      • Bill in Oz says:

        Yes an interesting and informative article – at least to me.

      • caliphman says:

        Thanks for the link. MLQ3’s take on Duterte and his SONA reminded me of an old and classic political satire which starred Peter Sellers, a long gone movie comic. In that movie, he plays a gardener who by some freakish stroke of luck assumes the presidency. Knowing or heeding little of political protocols, he is wildly successful in his powerful post as his unfettered intuition and native wisdom on how to make his garden grow results in simple solutions to complex and massive issues. It is no surprise that MLQ3 admits to being continually unprepared for the seemingly ad hoc twists and turns Duterte takes in delivering his SONA.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          I loved that Peter Sellers movie..It was called “Being There” I think and was made in 1973…
          I remember attending a screening in Melbourne. At the end we all stood & applauded…..

          • karlgarcia says:

            Sorry to nitpick,but the early seventies was a bad time for sellers(wiki bio), having said that Being There was shown in 1979.(got curious so i read bio)

      • Francis says:

        Went through the article. Am bit envious of the sheer brilliant simplicity of the insights. 😉 It really gave an insight into the whole pragmatic motivations behind reform. The possible gutting of the presidential dreams of the Senators—now that was a really good observation. 😉

        There was only one insight that was somewhat off and that was dream of Ramos to be have dominant-party ala UMNO in Malaysia. Not an expert on Malaysian politics—but UMNO me thinks benefits a lot from the whole Muslim Malay-Chinese dynamic; ethnicity is a thing in Malaysia and that I suppose it would be logical to think that makes the parties there more “solid” as it were.

        Lakas can’t cut it to be an UMNO because either we all are too alike as Christians (Luzon, Visayas) or the only “visible” minority to possibly serve as the “other” out there—the Moros—aren’t simply the Chinese of Malaysia. The Muslim Malay majority resented the disproportionate wealth of the Chinese minority—hence all the Malay-First policies; I think it’s very much the other way around for themajorityChristian Filipinos andminorityMoros here.

        Doesn’t lessen the sharpness of the article though. Excellent at portraying the pragmatic motivations of the political elite/leadership behind the high-minded reforms they’re pushing; I wish there was more analysis explaining the “selfish/self-interested” reasons behind all these reforms—the whole “legislators wanting more to do besides being conduits of pork” for example, a very interesting line of thought from the article. Still the article leaves a lot of questions though…

        Like this one: “Who gets to be PM when you cut the wings of the erstwhile presidential senators?”
        Just hit me now how much of possible bombshell a “French” model is in the whole “presidential v. parliamentary” debate. How in the world is that gonna work here?

        • Bill in Oz says:

          The French system is not a parliamentary model at all.It isa presidential model. And France has had it’s problems working with the De Gaulle imposed model ever since 1958….

          The French system gives the president almost total control over such matters as foreign affairs, defence & national security ( ie police and counter terrorist operations ) and the budget..He also selects & appoints the PM from who ever he thinks can do the job..

          The leader of the party with a majority can be gazumped by the president’s choice of PM…with the real leader left out in the cold…Very destructive !!

          Meanwhile who ever is PM has the President constantly looking & interfering…

          It is not a model I would suggest would work in the Philippines.In fact it would just continue the same old patronage politics that already exist in the Philippines.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I say gradual shift from French to British or Malay or Australian.
            We love to elect presidents,you can not take that away from the masses like pulling a thorn or a shard. Hey that worked in Star Trek.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, it is an eye-opener. I find amusing that he grasped total control of the House, so that even the minority is a part of the majority, and now they are going to run with their own power. Gadzooks, it must be better than smoking grass, the sheer power of it all.

      • NHerrera says:

        An analysis outside of what is by now run-of-the-mill news on the killings of druggies. What a treat.

        MLQ3 — a reader of PRD’s mind. It is obvious MLQ3 evaluates The President as an intelligent, seasoned, shrewd Philippine politician about which an Erap, GMA, FVR cannot run circles around — he is the one who can run circles around them. Certainly also not lightweights like Alvarez and his bunch of errand boys and girls.

        I wonder how Pnoy assesses PRD; whether he agrees with MLQ3’s view or not.

    • chempo says:

      Thanks for the clarity, Caliphman.

  26. Edgardo C. says:

    Because we are a poor country…plunder is the greater social evil because it deprives the people the resources for good education, health and comfortable life. Drug is also a major problem but do not deserve killing as what is happening now. Before Marcos taught corruptions on a grand scale, we had excellent public education. I was born in the rural area in the 1940’s then my parents settled in Manila where I studied until I eventually got an MBA from UP Diliman(I went to a public school then to college thru scholarships). My family migrated to the U.S. in 1990. I experienced the glorious years even though my parents were poor. I have seen how political leaders plundered the Philippines and turned it from an envy of Asian countries to what it is now.
    I strongly believe that mandatory and free(including food to encourage families in sending their children to school) good EDUCATION is the key in solving the problems of our country. Allocate a huge budget(sacrifice infrastrucure and military) for good education and the other problems will eventually go away. With good education. people will learn how to avoid illness, learn to survive and fight crime and corruptions. Put up public T&B’s in every community and school as what I experienced in Manila in the 50’s. Sanitation is TERRIBLE around the country that is why rivers and lakes are polluted. Once we have a generation of well educated citizens, we will have good farming, fishing and jobs from outsourcing of rich countries. Education should teach not only academics but also, honesty, cleanliness, respect for rights of others, etc.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Edgardo, from memory the Aquino government allocated 50% of national budget to education, which is exactly what you suggest.

      However the lack of development of infrastructure was partt of the reason for Duterte’s election win. And hanging in the background the lack of funds for many years to the Philippines military is part of the reason why China has been able to occupy the WPS Philippines exclusive economic zone.

      • Edgardo C. says:

        I doubt about the 50% allocated to education-otherwise, I would see less uneducated poor children and underpaid public school teachers selling to their students to make extra money. They also curse and don’t care if the students learn or not. We need FREE and quality education for the poor like what we had in the 50’s.
        As for the military – let U.S. and other friendly nations take care of that for the Philippines as long as we lodge protests as often as we can and seek other nation’s help! FREE QUALITY EDUCATION is what we need for a generation of Filipinos. Only the middle class needs infra structures. To alleviate traffic, follow Singapore’s example: make it exxpensive to bring cars to congested areas. We do not have trains as Singapore and Hong Kong do but we have jeepneys and buses(just make them follow rules) for high occupancy transports. eliminate low capacity transport like tricycles in major streets. Once education is in progress, then we can properly address mass transport thru trains and eventually – military capabilities. It is a question of priorities since we have limited resources after years of plunders.
        Duterte should forget campaign promises since he won’t be running again anyway.

    • Joe America says:

      Thank you for this superb answer to the question posed in the blog. You have taken a historical perspective and explained at what I only hinted at, the great damage done to real people in real ways by plundering thieves in government. Well said.

      • Edgardo C. says:

        Joe – I have seen how plunder devastated the country not so much in resources but in VALUES! Filipinos have lost their values of honesty and respect for others. I had a job in the 80’s that took me around 12 cities in the Philippines from Isabela in the north to Zamboanga City in the south. I saw what the dictator did in the 70’s. I spoke to my countrymen during those times.

        • Joe America says:

          Right, the infrastructure of the infrastructure is values, and they are very very hard to reconfigure.

        • LG says:

          👍 Yes, EC. To me, it’s the plunderers that put the Philippines high on the list of corrupt countries in the world. It’s IT that makes us concerned citizens distrust the government and furious when plunderers, like GMA, get acquitted because of due process.

  27. alanon says:

    Duterte talks of narco-politics but conveniently ignores/protects the very politicians controlling and benefitting from the trade, whilst promoting vigilantism; and, with the populace being subjected to an increasing level of police abuses, together with a nightly dose of blood strewn corpses on TV, it seems that uncouth thugs are now running the country and intent upon subjugation through intimidation.

    The philippines is putting 3rd world medieval values on display to the world, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
    ‘It’s more gunfights in the philippines’

    The insipid coterie of politicians are also noticeably quiet, and without the principles to condemn the obvious abuses, and the dark, dangerous, divisive path along which the nation is now being taken.

    Duterte clearly has limited knowledge of the issues and complexities surrounding drugs, as demonstrated by his inability to solve the drug problem in davao, even after 20 years.
    Davao has its fair share of drugs, and is a regional distribution point with drug lords who go unpunished, so either duterte is clueless, witless, or spineless – The Punisher of the small fry, but the protector of the big fish.

    ‘17,000 drug users in Davao region surrendered voluntarily in the first two weeks of July.’

    Davao is also, predictably, the number 1 city in philippines for murder, and number 2 for rape – PNP statistics.
    Hardly a model of peace or good policing, but a den of iniquity, particularly after dark.

    Underneath a lot of the current propaganda and tough talk, there is obviously no real cohesive or comprehensive plan, and tunnel vision when it comes to crime in general.

    In terms of violent crime, alcohol is actually a far greater problem than drugs.
    And when it comes to drugs, users are generally involved in petty crime, whilst the more violent crimes are committed by those higher up the pyramid/supply chain – distrubutors/drug lords/police/politicians – the very ones being ignored by duterte.

    However both alcohol and drugs are not the root cause, which is where the focus needs to be.

    Poverty, overpopulation, mental health issues, fear/intimidation, bad parenting, gun culture, school drop-out rates, politics, corruption, urbanisation, all play their part and create the environment in which crime, drugs etc flourish.

    A one dimensional simplistic approach will not work, and better to give the youth a job, not a bullet.
    Also better to try and act as a civilised society not barbarians

    Certainly be hard on crime, but be harder on the causes of crime.

    Focus on the supply side since demand is elastic.
    Focus on high level crime – Political corruption, sex trafficking, child pornography/cybersex, smuggling, jueteng, rape.

    Duterte likes to talk about protecting the youth, and there are certainly plenty of opportunities to do just that, rather than killing some kids on the fringes of society, and in the process creating a dark and divisive society.

    A war on drugs should never be a war on the poor, or an excuse to usher in a police state.
    Users need to be treated as victims, not for target practice.

    Educate, rehabilitate, integrate. – Incarcerate, and ‘amateurs’ learn how to become ‘professionals’

    55% of drug users who enter full time rehab will relapse

    75% of drug users who enter part time rehab will relapse

    95% of drug users who do not get rehab will not stop

    Rehab should be a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks of full time quality therapy, followed by regular counselling and daily support via group meetings/AA.

    Since users will not get any/quality rehab they are guaranteed to relapse. A vicious cycle.

    Duterte is clearly not the crime buster he likes to think, and doesn’t think clearly about crime.
    He also hasn’t yet understood that the role of president is about being more strategic than solely ranting on about killing teenagers, hanging, and wanting 9 year olds to be convicted!
    The part-time mayor needs to step up and ditch his parochial perspective and start punishing the politicians if he is to have any credibility, and not just for drugs, but also for corruption which drives drugs and all manner of other sicietal ills.

    Or is the drug issue really just a convenient political vehicle for more fear, more intimidation, and more police powers, national id system, drug user database etc.
    Duterte’s interpretation of the maoist approach to societal revolution which also focussed on drugs.

    Duterte demonstrates an unhealthy fixation on enjoying death and killing. Maybe he has his own addictions which need treatment.

    A sign of the times:
    “The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Iloilo Chapter strongly denounced Wednesday the alleged harassment and “blatant disrespect” displayed by some agents of Philippine Drug
    Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 6 against Rena Manubag-
    Dago-on, reporter of IBC TV 13.
    According to an NUJP account, Dago-on was driving her car on July 26 when she chanced upon a PDEA buy-bust operation against suspected drug pushers at
    Barangay El 98 in Jaro District, Iloilo City.
    Sensing that it was newsworthy, Ms Dago-on alighted from her car and took photographs. She then
    approached and asked the agents for details of their operation.
    But to her surprise, one of the male agents rudely accosted and berated her while another female agent
    suddenly grabbed her phone and deleted the pictures she took, added NUJP’s report.
    The agents continued to badmouth and yell at her even after she introduced herself as a member of the media and wife of Supt. Salvador Dago-on, chief of the Iloilo City Police Office Intelligence Unit.
    The agents also prevented her from leaving when she tried to go to her car to get her identification card.
    Dago-on further said she was also accused by the PDEA agents as possible accomplice of the subjects of the drug bust operation.
    The entire incident left her extremely distressed, NUJP
    “While we understand that there are security considerations in covering police operations, the behavior displayed by the agents was unwarranted and intolerable especially after Ms. Dago-on clearly identified herself as a member of the press,” said the

    • edgar lores says:

      Alanon, thanks.

      This is illuminating.

    • Francis says:

      A very interesting insight into things. But—if I may ask—what explains what seems to be unquestionable support in Davao? Where is distress? What explains the sheer disparity between the highly favorable anecdotal view of residents in Davao and the less rosy statistics.

      Propaganda can go so far. People must at least a little faith in it for it to work. Otherwise—it’ll just end up like the propaganda of “un-effective” dictatorships: an inside joke. What explains the sheer fervor?

      I find this aspect—the authenticity of the fervor—the most troubling; does democracy have meaning if people vote democracy itself out?

    • Joe America says:

      Most informative read, alanon. Superb points.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thanks for the narration on the “sign of the times,” the drug users rehab statistics and your other notes!

    • josephivo says:

      Nice piece although I disagree with the strong link with poverty. Look a Ayala Alabang, look at addiction in Europe. More mechanism are at play than just poverty. Look at all that happens at the supply side. The pushers. People do not get addicted by themselves, often they need a little subtle push to get started. Professional pushers exist, belonging to large criminal “lobbies” or syndicates. Functioning just as the alcohol lobby and the Tabaco lobby and the sugar lobby, even the gun lobby They all have a similar easy business plan, a lot of effort to get people started and once addicted you only have to defend your turf. Make agreements with politicians to get exclusivity in the area, to keep prices artificially high, fight science that stresses the negative effects….

      What Holland did by supplying free drugs undermines these criminal business plans. Once hooked the junky goes to the police for cheap drugs. Gone the profit for the syndicates. Why keep pushing if you lose the junky after the first shot? Disadvantage of the approach is that it takes a generation to extinguish the fire. But the ”war on drug” took more than a generation and drugs are more flourishing than ever.

    • Waray-waray says:

      Well said Alanon. PDutz war on drugs is not well thought of, a quick fix, lazy solution.

    • LG says:

      👍 Thank you, Alanon for joining the discussants.

  28. experts have been saying it all along, majority of the drug problems roots stems from poverty, the lack of opportunity to improve one’s self often drives an individual to seek short term gratification. And in many ways, those who do the crime of plunders are as much to blame for the drug problems as the suppliers or manufacturers. Their plundering have added to the governments inability to provide opportunities to the masses…they have made it difficult for those who are need to get education, work, medical help, housing and alot more basic needs which could have been provided by our government if not for the billions siphoned off by these leeches. So in my opinion, if we were to hang someone for crimes that destroy the fabric of our society…let it be the plunderers.

  29. Sup says:

    The Dutch program?

    Sometimes they come in because cops get them. Not to throw them in jail, but to help them. Arresting somebody ten times for drug abuse is pointless,” De Ridder. “You’ve got to look at what a person really needs.”


    • josephivo says:

      The Philippines rejects divorce and prefers annulment being lying and corrupt judges and divorce. So they will never just accept addicts and legalize drugs, they prefer addicts and crime and police and vigilante killings.

      As the real solution for poverty lies education and thus the next generation, the Dutch approach seems to indicate the same. Impressive this graph indicating the age shift of addicts.

      • Sup says:

        Very impressive chart, seems the youth is not in ”heroin” anymore….

        • karlgarcia says:

          They got older.

          • josephivo says:

            We all get, but the amazing thing is NO (very few) NEW ADDICTS, see my comment to Alanon above.

            • karlgarcia says:

              that is the nice thing,they must tell the young,not to do drugs then say the do what i tell you and not what i do speech. Better education and information surely is the main reason.

              • josephivo says:

                The main reason is the elimination of income for pushers and their criminal organizations.

                But getting them out of one drug might launch them into a different drug hype. The battle is a complex never ending one.
                Identify and freeze criminal money flows. Panama papers….
                Increase the probability of detection. From street workers to the assistance of NSA.
                Increase the probability of conviction. Strengthen legal system.
                Fight corruption in the police, politics and judiciary.
                Education of potential users and their families.
                Education of health care workers, teachers, barangay officials.
                Research in the process of addiction and rehabilitation.
                Get adolescents occupied in healthy activities.

              • Joe America says:

                Superb “to do” steps, any and all better than Filipinos executing Filipinos about 10 per day.

              • josephivo says:

                Notice that killing is not on my list. It is proven that increasing the punishment is one of the least effective measures. Killing is the ultimate punishment, the most infective countermeasure.

              • Joe America says:

                Another outcome of the crackdown on drugs. Prison population.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Nice Joseph!
                After six years when they find out that killing some and jailing many is pointless.
                Someone will finally implement these steps.

                funeral parlors are full.soon cemeteries will fill up.
                jails are full.
                Rehab centers are full.
                It might take less than six years to make them realize it wont work.

                Without plunder all plans and proposals have more chances of success.

              • LG says:

                👍 Absolutely Karl. No plundering, perhaps more in number and ADEQUATE rehab and proactive programs for the drug problem.

  30. madlanglupa says:

    Somewhat Offtopic: Disclaimer — the following post is from a pro-administration triumphalist Facebook page (which also did much of the media operations during the election campaign) — here they find justification in having the youth curfew TRO removed:

    • madlanglupa says:

      I am worried that unless measures more concrete and humane are put in place, some may put matters in their own hands by emulating the so-called Brazilian death squads tasked to remove street children.

      • karlgarcia says:

        curfews are not wrong.
        The way they gather or herd people as shown in tv being pulled from parents
        and the possible extortion racket is totally wrong.

        • madlanglupa says:

          How it’s being implemented is something else, and how effective curfew is subject to debate.

          Still, nothing is more lasting to a child’s brain than being picked up by a patrol past 10. If the belt or the stick isn’t effective, then tanods or police have to discipline?

          • karlgarcia says:

            No ,they should send them home. they should discipline the parents. One at a time so one will watch the kids.

    • Joe America says:

      Gadzooks, this is like out of the future, where minds are filled with drugs and fed distortions, and this is not illegal.

  31. Jibril Hostalero says:

    Dear Joe, as the recent PNP statistics say: 75% of crimes committed/recorded, are drug related. Who else know how deep is this evil? We do not have statistics of people who do drugs and have money to spent on it. How many families or lives were affected because of drug abuse. We don’t do statistics of people who tried, or for once in their life smoked pot or use shabu (maybe that’s what you are referring to yourself and to some peope who chose to get high once in a while). But one thing for sure, drugs do more evil, and is a menace to the society. I’ll leave yhe argument of corruption for now – because everybody (not benefitting from it) hates it.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > But one thing for sure, drugs do more evil, and is a menace to the society.

      Right. It forces police to become more militarized, but also having short hair triggers.

      Coddling them behind bars is wasteful, so, an obscure revolutionist commands, “shooting — that is their rightful fate!” /s.

    • Joe America says:

      So you are in favor of the executions without judicial process? Also, do you have a link to the “75%” source? Thanks.

    • karlgarcia says:

      75 percent of heinous crimes.not 75 percent of all crimes.
      Citing PNP data in 2015, Lacson said 75 percent of heinous crimes were drug-related while 65 percent of inmates in prisons were either accused or convicted of drug-related crimes.

      The PNP’s Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management has documented 9,646 murder cases; 31,741 cases of robbery; and 10,298 rape cases in 2015. This means some is murdered every 54 minutes, robbed every 16 minutes and raped every 51 minutes.

      From January to May 2016, Lacson noted the PNP recorded “a staggering number” of crimes, including 3,615 murders, 3,996 rapes and 9,971 robberies


  32. Sup says:

    Plunder…Who was the one giving Mar a big mouth during/after the typhoon Yolanda?


    Tacloban misspent nearly P1B in Yolanda funds – COA

    The Commission on Audit finds millions of pesos in Yolanda recovery funds have been misspent by the Tacloban City government due to delays, contract irregularities, and rule violations
    Published 8:00 AM, July 29, 2016
    Updated 11:59 AM, July 29, 2016


    • Joe America says:

      That just goes to show how gullible people are in the era of social media truths. We are all lunatic because we are making decisions on illusions.

      • Sup says:

        Correct, i could not have said it better….
        The truth is not always what it seems and is very easy manipulated without repercussions in this computer age.. 😦

  33. Bill in Oz says:

    I have just found this Australian newspaper article about the war on drugs in Philippines. A pity it was published om the 15/7/16 just as my laptop died in Manila.

    But it is a very graphic account.


    • karlgarcia says:

      your laptop was a victim of extra judicial killings?

      • Bill in Oz says:

        Ha Karl !

        Completely Off topic Now …..No my laptop was infected with some malware that stopped me using it a couple of days before coming home. Whenever I used Foxfire a page would appear covering two thirds of the screen demanding that I pay my account with PLDT.There was a link to some site or other to make payments. I did not pay and repeatedly ignored it by rebooting.
        But then the mouse & trackpad stopped functioning as well. Very annoying malware !

        I had the laptop looked at when I got home. All the problems have disappeared ! My local computer expert says it was malware being fed to my computer by the server I used in Manila.

        I was mystified and still wonder how to prevent it happening when we return. So any thoughts would be appreciated.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I can only suggest not to visit porn sites,tv,movie sites,careful in clicking email attachments. Off course update anti virus definitions and scan flash drives and other input devices.
          ps re add pop ups,try clicking x before powering off, it might damage the hard drive,if you do not shut down properly.

          • Bill in Oz says:

            Thanks Karl..I do not visit porn sites etc And am careful with attachments …And I have Avast loaded on the laptop. My laptop is a Mac so i always had the capacity to shut down..

            The weird thing is it happened immediately after I visited GRP to look at it….

  34. wjarko says:

    Based o this blog, me thinks you’ve been lucky to not see the ugly heads of drug addiction; others/me, not so much. Social costs of drug addiction is clearly understated or undervalued. I think your views downplay the importance of this fighting the drug problem in addition to the other problems the country faces.

    I didnt live in poverty like to chums being shot at by police in the past weeks. I grew up in a middle income family supported by OFW money, so i wont be able talk about the relationship drugs and poverty. But Ive seen drug addiction take its tool on my family/relatives. Luckily I had the sanity and intellect to keep away.

    Drug addicts, especially from the middle income families, are usually violent and go nuts. My aunt was a battered by his husband for years, probably caused trauma on their kids. My least favorite addict uncle kept picking on me when I was a kid, and even tried to get me to use drugs. Another uncle lost his shit on the streets, he had a gun, luckily no one got hurt.

    In my observation, addicts from middle income families are unproductive and even counter productive to society. These guys usually want to work, live of their parents until their 30s. Theyre forced to work when their parents retire, but nobody will hire these guys in their late 30s and early 40s. This happened to a number of my uncles.

    I’ve seen drugs start a spiral downward that leads to poverty. Although plunder is a greater social evil, I think drugs, being the evil that it is, deserves the greater attention its been given by the new administration. Do i think the killings are justified? No, but i think I really wish the cops are telling the truth that it was to in life with duty or to defend themselves.

    • Sup says:

      First hand experience…thanks for sharing..
      So plunder it is…because without plunder the jobs will be at home, no need for OFW so the parents can be responsible for the education, attitude, progress etc of their own children..

    • Joe America says:

      There is no question that drugs can be tragic. Many countries have problems with controlling them, including the US. The question is whether or not the problems are significant enough to turn a nation inside out with sanctioned murder as the best way forward. So I would not want to argue that drugs are not a problem, but that there are better ways to deal with it than killing people, some of whom are completely innocent, and some of whom have illnesses that can be attended to. Some deserve to be locked up a long, long time.

      • wjarko says:

        In some places in the country, the drug problem is significant enough that it warrants some a particular kind brutality. I just dont think it should be all happening here in the north. From where I come from, the City/cities are run by drug lords themselves,its an open secret, its on the news. It some twisted reality – dystopic – , where police dont count for nothing, where drug busts are shams. The problems so bad there that people can carry drugs without having fear of being busted. Its the drugs fueled the rise of the schmucks to power to plunder the land.

        I think the drug problem + corruption is also to blame for the low productivity of the province as a whole. Outward diaspora of educated people to escape the drugs, which includes my family. Lowered competitiveness. Then big businesses closed up shop. Its just sad to see the place get left behind by the rest of the world.

        Try looking up Ozamis City and the dragons that rule it. These are beasts you cant tame. When you try to bring them down, you know it will cost blood. When you do manage to take capture one, look at what happened to NBP.

        • Joe America says:

          Thanks for that dose of reality, wjarko. That is very different from my own city, so one does indeed wonder why a national program is needed to clean up cities captured by the drug business.

    • LG says:

      Thank you wjarko for noting substance use among the well to do. They are there. Stats on them are scarce, as such users don’t lend themselves easily as respondents to research on the issue. After all, drug use, is usually self reported in survey research, if not conducted in an already captive sample, (where drug use is a given) as in a public drug rehab facility or facilities.

      The real well to do substance abuser is usually treated and rehabilitated privately or in an exclusive rehab facility where reasesrch is likely not conducted.

      • wjarko says:

        Its more systemic than most people think.

        Its just my relatives I was talking about, but they too have circles of friends who have families too. I grew up watching these guys waste years on nothing, feeding off other people’s hard earned money, having ‘fun’ day in, day out.When they decided they had enough, it was too late, theyre past their prime, no one wants them… then they have no choice buy to continue living their unproductive lives because they got no choice.

        I also have a friend from college who had a very promising career in showbiz but got mixed up with people doing drugs. lost his shit on drugs, went in and out of rehab, career down the drain. another buddy got buy-busted, almost got life in prison if it went public, luckily he paid of PDEA, from what i heard, it cost a fortune.

        My conclusion, drug wastes people’s potentials and fortunes. Contributes to the country’s unproductiveness.

        Do I agree with administration’s startegy? maybe…
        Do I like seeing people getting killed over it? of course not…
        Do i think these anti-drug ops and drug dealers getting killed are all legit? No..
        Do I think their strategy is working? Yes.. people need to see that cops are doing their jobs and will deter kids from even thinking of getting into drugs…

  35. Bill in Oz says:

    There is a Youtube site called Philippine Dreams. The most recent video is about this issue of drugs. As well there are about 150 comments by various individuals responding to the video..Most are by expats living in the Philippines. There are some interesting perspective and some equally interesting questions and expressions of views.

  36. Francis says:

    Random thought:

    What if the criticism towards the drug war was less “moral” and more “pragmatic” in focus. What if critics of the drug war tried to appeal to the pragmatic side of our very no-nonsense President. What if the critics of the drug were to convince our non-nonsense President to look at the very real and tangible results of humane drug policies in Europe.

    “Mr President, look at America! It’s a First World country—yet all that money can’t eradicate the drugs! Look at Mexico! They’re not rich like us and they even use the military to fight drugs—yet all the guns couldn’t eradicate the cartels! But look Mr. President at the results in Europe! Maybe we can make kopya, sir…”

    Maybe the critics of the drug war can convince the President to set up an experimental extrajudicial and extralegal area where Europe-like drug policies are undertaken with full funding and support. Now a nice and law-abiding government would have to go through years to convince the Filipino people of the even “possibility” of such policies. That and such a nice government would have to wade through much legislative (The anti-drug laws forbidding such?) and societal (The vested interests such as the narco-police? Anti-addict prejudice? ) inertia. At best—you set the legal framework and atmosphere for the next administration to actually do the reformed drug policy?

    But you know—we do live in a special time. With a strongman who could give barely a damn about what law and convention could say if they stood in the way of results. And the silver lining of such is that Duterte can simply railroad radical—even extralegal and extrajudicial—policies as he virtually sees fit.

    And just because those extrajudicial policies can be radically harsh doesn’t mean they can’t be radically humane too. Lincoln abolished slavery. FDR went through radical trial and error to produce the iconic social compact that is the New Deal.

    They didn’t give a damn about what was legal in their day. They just did what they thought was right—convention be damned and by all means necessary. Duterte can—and judging by their inclusion in his speech—does admire that. Duterte—and I think on this point, the critics and supporters can agree—is a no-nonsense guy. Appealing to that pragmatic side of him might make him open to workable humane policies, me thinks.

    Surely no one will mind the President ignoring law and official policy to set up a little area to experiment a bit…

    • karlgarcia says:

      The way killings were jump started,will a change in policy also put a stop to the killings of non police people?

      • It would probably stop the killings by non-police people. But the catch is: It’ll probably happen by the killings of these non-police people that kill people.

        I can imagine the Irony: A cardboard plaque that says: “Vigilante killer ako. Wag tularan.”

        So if we really do want to avoid it, I do think that bringing back the death penalty will help with minimizing this. Judicial killings vs. Extra-judicial killings? At least they with judicial killings, they will gain the chance to defend themselves.

        • karlgarcia says:

          yes,I meant by the non police people.Thanks.
          Still want to hear more debates on the death penalty.
          Lacson in the senate and Biazon in the house of rep filed for death penalty for drug related crimes.

    • Given the sheer magnitude of the war on drugs, I think convincing the Filipino will be easier compared to if we didn’t have it in the first place. From the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, the problem is now forced into the people’s view so that they would have no choice but to learn about it and then do something about it ASAP. An example of that would be the spearheading of rehabilitation and drug awareness efforts right now. To copy paste my reply on another post :

      “…on the war on drugs, though I don’t condone it, I can’t help but think it somewhat necessary and the best we could probably do now is try to minimize the impact of it. So why this kind of mindset? Well, from what I’ve observed, I think the saying “out of sight, out of mind” comes into play. As I’ve mentioned in another post, we usually have to make things huge so that Filipinos will realize that there is a problem. As for making them move into action, it’s a completely different thing altogether as we don’t have just to make it huge, we actually have to make it *stupidly* huge for that to happen. ”

      And I think none can deny that things right now had become stupidly huge.

      As for convincing Duterte for a change of stance via pragmatism, well, it could work. But to add to that, I think would be better if this will come from a group of experts concerned with the said issue so that there would also be significant pressure. PDuts does seem to respond to that. But what would probably still happen is that they’ll meet half-way via some sort of compromise. Still better than nothing I suppose.

      And a bit off-topic:

      It is just that I can’t help but entertain the idea that what is happening now, the constant barrage of a wide array of issues constantly developing into something more, is being done deliberately so the that Filipinos would be kept on their toes. Because given the ‘ningas cogon’ mentality of the Filipino, I guess continually adding fuel to the fire will be needed so that they can actually accomplish something concrete for once and not just stop midway. A lot of antagonizing, yes, but it does seem to work. And as you’ve said, everything that is happening now will surely set the framework and the atmosphere for the next administration.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Out of sight out of mind mentality?You mean boiling frog effect myth watchamacolit.
        You are suggesting for these to carry on for it to sustain momentum.

        it is already unsustainable for the funeral parlors and the rehab centers and prisons.
        Pduterte suggested military facilities.what facilities ?housing or barracks or offices???

        • @karlgarcia

          Out of sight, out of mind = if you don’t see it, it didn’t/doesn’t happen.
          Boiling frog effect = gradual increase in danger is not noticed until it is already too late to get out of it.

          As for suggesting that things should carry on, well, for this war on drugs, I really hope that It’ll end ASAP. The boiling frog effect is actually a possible scenario in the future.

          However, when I said that issues are needed to maintain momentum, it isn’t just for the war on drugs but also with the others. Like the issue with CCP-NPA, and the shift to federalism, etc. I think I won’t be surprised if Duterte will backtrack. Again. But to reiterate, it does keep the people on their toes.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I hope ningas cogon is not in our genes and only in the jeans we wear.

            I think his pretending to be mad at the human rights lawyers,because if he is serious with dealing with the left high chiefs,the reason those high chiefs are still alive is because of human rights lawyers.

            when dealing with peace he must expect saboteurs like third party ambushes ( watched it or read it somewhere) and the internal saboteurs from both sides.

            The magnitude of drugs and heinous has been in the daily tabloids and am radio and both provincial and national through the years,so it is more of the boiling frog than out of sight and out of mind.

            The minority in the lower house is composed of the real and fake minority so things would be interesting if the real minority will be a fiscalizer,or a road blocker.

            • I think I see where you are getting at. I concede that it may be a boiling frog scenario. But then again, I think the two metaphors are not actually mutually exclusive? Hmm… How about I rephrase it and try to avoid the use metaphors so the points will not fly over our heads? haha

              So the drug problem has been a long time coming and we really can’t afford to be passive about it because it will surely grow bigger if we continue as usual.

              But as of present, we changed this supposed passivity. But then again, the same could be said with the killings that are happening now as it does seem to be growing out of proportion. Given this, we also can’t afford to be passive about it because it may also grow into something bigger.

              So with these said, some sort of balance should probably be found?

        • At McDonald’s: boiled frog meal please…

          sorry that is not fast food.

      • Francis says:

        Thanks for the response. If I may offer my own:

        “…the problem is now forced into the people’s view so that they would have no choice but to learn about it and then do something about it ASAP.”


        “It is just that I can’t help but entertain the idea that what is happening now, the constant barrage of a wide array of issues constantly developing into something more, is being done deliberately so the that Filipinos would be kept on their toes.”

        Agree. The greatest nations in the world often went through the greatest crises; their greatness—and their uniqueness—lay in the distinct ways they overcame those crises. Crisis is a harsh—but an effective—teacher. Sad to admit, but young nations need to play rough like young kids to end up well.

        “Because given the ‘ningas cogon’ mentality of the Filipino, I guess continually adding fuel to the fire will be needed so that they can actually accomplish something concrete for once and not just stop midway.”

        Pardon. I mean no offense—but a part of me always feels a bit annoyed when people bring up “mentality” as a thing. Not that I fully deny the possibility of such a thing existing—but I find that “mentalities” are more suited to describing individuals and not as effective in describing societies, and that where they exist, they must be linked to the fuller context.

        I mean—what drives my optimism in the Philippines despite my own skepticism and cynicism is that all reports of our terrible-ness are overblown. Is it bad? Yes. Is it the worst in the world? No. Now—I’ve had the blessing of being raised in a relatively well-off household so I acknowledge that I may be just ranting from an ivory tower right now.

        Was the West really all that good always? Not an expert—but me thinks the Philippines has more than a few similarities with early 20th century “machine politics-dominated/robber-baron-dominated” 20s America. And that was less than a hundred years ago. The wonders of history.

        My optimism is not that “everything’s gonna be alright” though. It’s the “if they can do it—so can we” sort of optimism. That “ningas-cugon” mentality should be recognized as a problem, yes. But it shouldn’t be seen as this weird thing peculiar (and implicitly: inherent) to Filipinos. It should be seen as this adaptation to a particular environment, with causes that should be properly understood in order to grasp at the solution.

        Pardon for my somewhat harsh tone. I just feel a bit touchy when it comes to this stuff.

        • No offense taken. I do get what you mean. But still, though I know that could’ve phrased it as “Given the tendency of ningas cogon with most Filipinos… ” for conciseness, I find it a bit of a mouthful. lol.

          Nevertheless, yes, it is indeed a bit of a generalization. But then again, as you’ve said, it isn’t exactly unfounded as a significant number of individuals do have it. So given this, I seemed to have assumed that the context is usually apparent, which is that this is with these individuals rather than for their society as a whole. But then again AGAIN, I think generalizing does seem to contribute in “enforcing” the said attitude as it is somewhat being perceived by some as being inherent to them because of the lack of explicit context. And that does seem detrimental. I’ll take note of that. =D

          • Francis says:

            Noted. I agree though to be honest I could have phrased my own statements better too myself. Nevertheless I am relieved. Cheers to the spirit of polite discourse! 🙂 😉

  37. I post this because we need a website for this. If this continues I will put up one.

    I honor the mistakenly killed.


    We will not be silent.

  38. NHerrera says:


    Which is the greater social evil plundering of people’s money or drug addiction. May I look at this from the lens of “convenient” truth or “inconvenient” truth.

    If there is nominally 1.3 Million drug users as reported by the Dangerous Drug Board at the Office of the President and say one-fourth of those are honest-to-goodness addicts, that is about 300,000. If we need to give realistic rehab to those alone (although the approach may be debatable — why not the 1.0 Million who are more easily rehabbed rather than the 0.3 more difficult ones?) and assume each needs P10k per month (in staff and facilitates, etc) for 5 years to rehab then we are talking of P180 Billion. Now let me relax my assumption and say the whole 1.3 Million needs to be taken cared of, but since the others are more easily rehabbed, the total number of P780B is used also for the needed corollary — EDUCATION and REALISTIC police and Judiciary efforts to go after drug pushers/lords.

    Then here is where the inconvenient truth comes in:

    * At this time 2016, because of its effect overall on the economy (mind you the average profile of drug users from DDB statistics are employed male HS graduates and thus has impact on the economy) and psychological-sociological impact, its evil is probably more or at par with the prevailing plunder numbers and its associated impact at the very least.

    * Back off 15 years and at the rate of 10% growth (drug use and its business is a high-growth industry), then we have a 4.2 divisor factor (= 1.10 raised to 15). Thus P780B reduces to P185B, a more manageable number for use in a combination of education, rehab, police efforts.

    * And thus, without doubt, by the numbers, plunder is the bigger social evil 15 years ago.

    * But AT THIS TIME to be fair I may say both are, with the drug problem the likely winner in scale of evil to society.

    As Joe is fond of stating — TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCE.

    • Joe America says:

      Brilliant. Financially speaking, drugs are a bigger threat and drain. I would only offer that, in terms of human pain, both are incalculable.

    • edgar lores says:


      Far be it from me to question the calculations of the Numbers Man.

      But are you calculating the cost of the solution to the drug problem? And not the cost of the problem itself? And how would one cost that? Bill has a point… and I would not know.

      As to costing plunder, I would not invoke the legal definition of plunder. I would equate plunder with all corruption committed and induced by government officials in general.

  39. edgar lores says:

    1. Is there a commonality between drugs and plunder?

    2. The common perception is that plunder is rooted in greed and drugs in escape. Escape from problems, escape from reality into altered states of perception, or escape from boredom as Joseph would have it.

    3. The fruit of plunder, which is wealth, and the fruit of drugs, which is feeling good (or feeling nothing), are attachments. In plunder, simple reality is not enough; and in drugs, reality is also not enough… or too much.

    4. Psychologically speaking, both are brain diseases and conditions of abnormal functioning. Physiologically speaking, drugs pose a greater effect than plunder in that the structure and the function of the brain are changed. With plunder, one can afford to surgically improve the structure of one’s features (although not the brain), but functionality is seldom affected.

    5. Which is the greater social evil? I would say it depends on the magnitude of their social impact. Right now, I would say plunder is the greater evil in our country. However, conceivably drugs (and alcohol consumption) can be the bigger problem in narco states and in countries where substance abuse is prevalent, such as the US (recreational and prescription drugs) and Russia (vodka). Both plunder and drugs are individual and social corruptions.

    5.1. (I have inhaled. Funnily enough, I have never been able to achieve a buzz. The superego is too strong.)

    5.2. From what I have read here, the Netherland solution seems to be best practice — way above and over the Dutertian alternative.

    6. If I were to pinpoint a common cause for drugs and plunder, it would have to be insecurity. We steal because we are insecure in our possessions. We abuse drugs because we are insecure in our reality.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      Edgar, N’hererra..I suggest that ‘plundering’ can be measured in terms of the amount stole or misallocated per year…However the drug problem ( while it has a financial aspect ) cannot be conclusively measured in pesos.

      An example : We cannot measure the costs of the consequences. of drug use on family members or local communities.
      Let’s think : a dad spends money on drugs..the kids lose out; schooling becomes erratic; the dad is violent around or to kids & there is long term psychological damage. Ditto the female partners subject to violence & simple ignoring….

      But all these costs are important to families and local communities..And have an impact of the way that locals in baranguays rate the drug problem…For them it is of major importance. Whereas plunder is something far away & beyond their ken..Something that involves the powerful and important…..the elites..

      Duterte has touched something that resonates with the mass of ordinary people…Where the very concept of ‘human rights’ is foreign and alien and again of the elites…

      • josephivo says:

        Did you ever consider the amount of rice all Filipino families could have bought with the money the Marcos family plundered… and consequently his cronies? The affect of malnutrition of so many babies? Malnutrition hinders brain development, especially the pre-frontal cortex is at risk, just what we need to resist drugs when ate sends money home from Saudi Arabia.

        • josephivo says:

          (The 10 billion dollar stolen equal 100kg premium rice for each Filipino, or 400kg from each poor Filipino, more than enough to feed the pregnant women and their babies during the important first 2 years)

    • Joe America says:

      Maybe you are on a buzz, full time, from endorphins generated by high falutin’ thinking, and that is why it is called HIGH falutin’.

      6. Insecurity . . . hmmm, I have a hard time seeing big time plunderers as insecure, or even drug addicts. Needy, yes, in a way that they can never get enough of something. So if that is your definition of insecure, okay. Plunderers can not get enough money and ability to lord it over the next powerful guy, and drug addicts can never get enough happiness or satisfaction.

      • edgar lores says:

        Heh heh.

      • josephivo says:

        We are all onions, and often deep inside is a layer of insecurity. Trumps little hands might be the ultimate cause of his aggressive behavior. A typical expression of insecurity feeling is “what will daddy think?” or “will I be as strong as daddy?”

        But psychology is a meta-science, better to stick to behavior, actions we can observe, qualify and quantify.

    • NHerrera says:

      Edgar, Bill, Joe:

      The above, including the comments to my post — without responding specifically to the comments, I say, are relevant nuances to the subject of plunder versus the illegal drug menace.

      That is why Joe’s current blog touched a big nerve in all of us. I too have to do deep inhale-exhale as I think about the subject.

      When I was a young dad I was so scared about drugs on my two daughters that I kept repeating this to them: you will undoubtedly make many mistakes in life, but if you respect me at all don’t do drugs; you may never get out of it whole again.

    • madlanglupa says:

      Suddenly I remembered watching The Wolf of Wall Street — despite the characters having earned astronomical amounts of money, it gets spent mostly on cocaine, pills, etc, of course mostly on recreational drugs because they feel successful, they made it, and want to burn the money in any way they wanted as long as the world didn’t care.

      The flipside is that many of those in the lower classes who are also drug users often have to use because either they have to work longer (hence the prevalence of shabu usage among certain fishermen or heavy vehicle drivers), or they find their life so bleak that getting their fix is the only escape from reality.

    • chempo says:

      Edgar your (2) failed to address the supply side of drugs, which is driven by greed.

      • edgar lores says:

        Chempo, thanks. That was at the back of my mind. My perspective was from that of the performer, the doer.

  40. edgar lores says:

    I have just received an email from a friend that one of the victims of this killing madness is his niece. Possibly a collateral damage.


    I did not expect to have a personal connection with any of the killings. This is two degrees of separation.

    Lauren Rosales: requiescat in pace.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Which is the greater social evil? Drugs or plunder? – Here, I’d like to go to a Jim Paredes concert and do the same thing, letting the artistry of the music join with the gentle buzz of the medicine to generate something called complete happiness. But I would be a threat to … […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: