Leni’s circumspection?

Published January 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by Erik Espina



Erik Espina
Erik Espina

If the incumbency of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs” is to be point of reckoning, the 1972 Dangerous Drug’s Act, RA 6425, principally authored by my late father, Cebu Senator Rene Espina (Senate version was adopted by the Lower House), was visionary, foretelling by 44 years the necessity to pass a law addressing a future menace to Philippine society in particular, expected spikes in violent crimes, with dreadful after-effects on the Filipino home.

Flipping the narrative on what was a political dig by the second highest office in the land, calling President Duterte’s anti-drug program a dismal “failure” (“1 over 100 rating”), the good lady may have “yellowed over” the Aquino administration’s eerie silence in exposing the existence of the lucrative narcotics trade in our country. In six years of “Daang Matuwid,” no paragraph, no sentence, no phrase, nary a word, was dedicated in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the evil of this real threat to law, order, our family, and its nefarious effects on our democracy, with punctuation on national security.

Dismal “failure” in many words is equated with “pitifully, disgracefully, gloomy, depressing, dreary, grim, etc.” Madam Leni, may I guide you on another word  – “circumspection.” Meaning “watchfulness, full attention to all circumstances.” As you were co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs for only 18 days, yours were sweeping conclusions, compared to the 1,095 days of intervention under Digong. Your assessment was a snap shot, a confined perspective, in a greater panorama. It is not the entire picture or story. What is dismal in 14 shabu labs dismantled, 419 drug dens demolished? An estimated 5.1 tons of shabu, 2.2 tons of marijuana, 500 kgs of cocaine, 42,473 ecstasy pills confiscated, worth P40.39 billion, 220,728 arrests (HVT 8,185) for drug violations, 16,706 drug-cleared barangays, etc.