Published October 26, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Philippines always late? Not when it comes to ingenious ways to make crime pay.

On Oct. 23, a drone made its maiden flight in Toronto, Canada, to deliver human lungs for transplant to a hospital 1.2 km away. The event made headlines around the world.

Three days before that, on Oct. 20, a drone was caught with P400,000 worth of shabu intended for the Davao City jail. But for the hawk-eyed vigilance of a village kagawad, the delivery would have been a first in this country. The news hardly caused a ripple, in Davao as in Manila.

The mega billion-dollar drug industry is as creative as it is unstoppable, here, there, everywhere. In the time of a pandemic, with lockdowns and checkpoints, with an abnormally strong police presence and inhabitants trying to live as normally as they can, local and international drug lords operating within our borders are trying to outwit law enforcement agents with every trick in the book, every gadget and tool (and carriers and couriers) at their disposal.

PNP and PDEA reports of sting operations day in and day out, Sundays included, have not declined in frequency nor in the amounts confiscated. What is easily apparent is that the peso value of the contraband seized from lone wolves, drug dens, warehouses has been going up – in the millions and now billions. For example, P1.28B on Oct. 2 and P1.6B on Oct. 17, both in Cavite; P262M in Angeles, Oct.19; P62.4M in Cagayan de Oro, Oct. 21.

Drugs confiscated during the last five years carried a market value of P64B. It’s an unstoppable war.

Elmer Jamias, a retired police general, would like nothing better than to make Manila a drug-free society. And just like Mayor Fred Lim Kuan Yew, who splashed red paint on the doors of suspected dealers and pushers, Gen. Jamias believes that as Manila’s next mayor, he could keep the city safe and boost its economy. If he had his way, he’d increase the purchasing power of senior citizens by donating his salary to them! We’ve become so inured to the drug menace – and subsequently the President’s drug war – that the murder of a PDEA agent recently was just another one-day mystery. As in fighting COVID, let’s not let our guard down.