NO WITNESS: what to do, then

It is on record that Dumaguete city in its category is among the lowest in terms of people responding to the call for self confession if not admission in the use of prohibited drugs. In short Dumaguete has among the lowest turnout of surenderees in the campaign against the drug menace.

As of last count by the police , Dumaguete has only turned in 622 users and 58 self confessed drug pushers. Which is way below to the estimate of leaders in the city’s most drug infested barangays who estimate that Dumaguete has no less than 5000 drug users and no less than 150 drug pushers to be conservative about it. Our neighbor small town of Sibulan has even turned out 1029 users and 8 pushers.

ALL OVER NEGROS ORIENTAL there are now 1,875 surrenderees as of 12 August, of them 509 pushers and 10,458 self - confessed users. No charges filed, but recidivists will have no mercy according to the police. These are the police figures as of the middle of August.

But we lose no confidence in our city leadership who was just given the police chief he wanted: Jovey Atanacio who is now full fledge C.O.P. whom we believe can flex his muscles more freely now that he is given full responsibility. The ball is in their hands.

Most importantly, on close watch are those policemen who allegedly report the wrong haul of shabu and secretly re-sell the rest of caught shabu, back to the market, thru their own police assets. These are people who can boil the blood pressures of Chief Cop BATO and Commander in chief DIGONG.

Now comes the campaign against drug addiction inside government offices and schools. In city hall, no less than the city mayor is leading the way together with his department heads in submitting for voluntary drug testing if only to encourage city hall workers to follow and submit to random drug testing.

Drug testing may not be mandatory but voluntary and at random. A drug user may submit for voluntary drug testing when drug effects have expired in his body. Random drug test is best because the user will not know when he or she will be examined.

Finally the summary killing of those who “resist” arrest during drug operations. The big question is, how true is the resistance when there are no witnesses? Suppose the perpetrators of summary killings are drug suppliers themselves who need to silence their own pushers so as to save their own necks?

Our two cents worth suggestion is to secure a barangay captain and an impartial witness preferably from the church, or women rights groups, human rights people, or the like, to witness every drug bust operation so that whatever the outcome the people have a witness. WE believe this will solve the doubt problem on the “name shame” syndrome.

Otherwise summary killings on drugs will always be suspect of a rubout or vigilantism.

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