DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Gen. Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the
Philippine National Police, knows the value of a public display of
remorse. He has been forced to apologize more than once.
He was wrong, he acknowledged before the Philippine Senate as TV
cameras rolled, to have trusted undisciplined policemen who killed a
small-town mayor suspected of dealing drugs, as the mayor lay
defenseless on a jail-cell floor.
"I cannot blame the public if they're losing their trust and
confidence in their police," he told the Senate panel, accepting a
tissue from the mayor's son to wipe away his tears.
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There's always been something a bit odd about the great marijuana
legalization crusade. Supporters, eager to avoid being seen as a bunch
of frustrated pot-heads who just wanted easier access, put forward
solid, practical arguments.
They pointed out that the war against drugs wasn't working: anyone
could see that. People who wanted pot would find a way to get it, no
matter how illegal it might be. Police time was wasted chasing kids
with a few grams of marijuana, and branding young people as criminals
for a bit of pot was a crime in itself. Criminalization just paved the
way for organized crime to peddle the stuff to kids, with no controls
and huge profits. It made no sense.
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Canada's organized-crime groups and gangs are much less likely to
produce and traffic marijuana than they are other illicit drugs such
as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, according to a new federal
study that tracked drug violations from police forces in four cities
across three provinces.
The new report from Statistics Canada analyzed all drug-related
violations over a two-year period in Victoria, Vancouver, Regina and
Waterloo, Ont., and found that police linked organized crime to 39 per
cent of all cannabis-trafficking charges and 6 per cent of cases
involving the production of marijuana.
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[photo] In this Nov. 26, 2016 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as
he delivers his keynote address during the San Beda College of Law Alumni
Homecoming at the Shangri-La Hotel in Taguig City. (PPD/King Rodriguez)
MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday dug up old
controversies including the so-called Pajero scandal and clergy sexual
abuse in his latest tirade against the Catholic Church, which has been
raising concerns over the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs.
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MANILA, Philippines - After confronting mayors with alleged ties to the
narcotics trade, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to meet with governors to
discuss the drug problem as he stressed that he would not back down on his
campaign even if it costs him his position.
"I'd be calling the governors next week. I'd really tell them. You tell
your barangay captains, you have supervisory powers cities under you,
those that are not yet charter cities, you tell the mayors," the president
told businessmen in Davao City Saturday night.
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As of the end of November, 755 people had died of drug overdoses in B.C.
Prescription heroin could greatly reduce this toll.
One of the principal reasons for the large number of overdose deaths has
been the increasing presence of fentanyl, an opioid 100 times more
powerful than heroin. Fentanyl is often substituted for, or added to,
other illegal drugs.
A single envelope of pure fentanyl is enough to produce thousands of pills
and tens of thousands of dollars in profit. One kilogram of fentanyl,
which can be purchased online for less than $100,000, is enough to produce
one million pills that can be sold for $20 each.
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No matter how the questions were rephrased, the President stuck to his
guns in his replies on his much criticized campaign against illegal drugs.
For a man who made a campaign vow to bring genuine change in the country,
it may come strange. For his new year's resolution, President Rodrigo
Duterte promises no change in his administration's offensive campaign
against illegal drugs.
President Duterte though already publicly declared "sorry for the
unintended" killing of innocent by-standers in his administration's deadly
war against illegal drugs. But President Duterte vows to continue the
anti-drug campaign despite the alleged extra-judicial killing
controversies that hounded him in his first six months into office.
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At 4:50 a.m., the stragglers dashed through Manila's darkened streets,
hoping for a spot in the pews.
But they were too late. Hundreds of worshipers had already packed the
Sto. Nino de Paz Community Greenbelt Chapel, a low, white dome in a
sprawling outdoor shopping complex, for Friday's Simbang Gabi
So at least 100 more crowded on the pavement outside, singing "Glory
to God" beneath a crisp crescent moon.
Christmas in the Philippines is a long, spirited and, to many,
exhausting affair. About 90% of Filipinos are Christian, and they take
the holiday seriously. Stores start playing Christmas music as early
as September and don't stop until early January. Christmas trees
spring up in malls and public parks. Carolers go door to door singing
"Jingle Bells," "Silent Night" and "Ang Pasko Ay Sumapit", a lively
Tagalog tune celebrating Jesus' birth. The holiday delicacy is lechon
- -- whole suckling pig, a Filipino delicacy.
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B.C.'s top court says officer lied about being under threat to help
Invoking a rarely used investigative procedure, B.C.'s top court has
caught and hammered an airport security officer-turned-drug trafficker
who pulled the wool over the eyes of his trial judge.
The Court of Appeal said the offender sold Provincial Court judge
James Bahen a load of hokum about a mysterious, threatening "Mr. X"
and the extent of his own regret.
Having set about to "deceive the sentencing judge, his assertion of
genuine remorse rings hollow," it found, concluding Gurvinder Singh
Pahl hadn't received his just desserts.
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MANILA - Rayzabell Bongol, an 18-year-old mother and methamphetamine
user, was afraid to die in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs
in the Philippines. So she turned herself in to the police. They made
her sign a pledge that she would never take illegal drugs again, then
sent her home.
Once a week now, she is expected to attend a police-sponsored Zumba
dance workout, where she gets a health check and a meal. Mr. Duterte
"promised change," she said at a recent class as three dozen other
recovering addicts bopped and swayed to a blaring Latin beat. "As you
can see, I am changing."
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IT'S EASY: Start with semantics.
Step 1: Establish a consensual value system to shape a receptive
audience. A consensual value system is composed of a repertoire of
values everyone is willing to accept. It aims to be universal as well
as encompassing by differentiating a set of favorable values from
those unpalatable to the audience. We desire a drugfree Philippines.
Values legitimize a political action (be it human rights intervention
or extrajudicial killing) by leading their audience to perceive
coherence in their binary arrangement.
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As the casualties in the government's war on drugs continue to pile
up, the Philippines faces a "human rights calamity," according to
Human Rights Watch.
Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia deputy director, said at
an ABS-CBN News Channel forum on human rights Tuesday night that the
number of suspects killed in the hands of police in the first eight
weeks of the Duterte administration is 10 times higher than those who
died in the first six months of the year.
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DID "The Punisher" just own up to the killing of druggies?
President Duterte has admitted the government's lack of funds for the
rehabilitation of drug dependents had led to the deaths of suspected
Since he assumed the presidency on June 30, almost 2,000 alleged drug
pushers and users had died in police operations and vigilante killings.
Speaking before members of the Volunteers Against Crime and
Corruption (VACC) in Malacanang Monday night, the President said his
administration did not have the money to finance recovery programs
for some 700,000 drug users who had turned themselves in to police.
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Nobody, not even the poor, can justify getting into illegal drugs,
President Duterte stressed, and there must be an "eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth" principle of retributive justice to finally end the menace.
As this developed, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a
prayer for the healing of the nation amid the rising number of
killings related to the war on drugs.
"They know that is prohibited, whether you are poor or rich," Duterte
said Monday night as he reiterated his heart would never bleed for
families of those killed in government operations, even if some of
them were supposedly forced to become drug pushers to earn a living.
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WE, THE members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in
the Philippines, acknowledge our active role as a visible force and
prophetic voice in social life, in working for the common good. A
role embraced by the Lord Jesus himself when he quoted the prophet
Isaiah as he began his ministry: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has
sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the
blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year
acceptable to the Lord." (Luke 4:18 19)
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THE narcotics trade provides the financial basis for almost every
other form of organised criminality in this country and abroad. The
scale is staggering: the global drugs market is worth UKP375 billion
every year, and an estimated UKP7 billion a year in Britain alone.
Britain spends a further UKP7 billion policing the drugs problem -
and that's without the associated costs of imprisonment and public
health and everything else.
It might not seem visible to the majority of ordinary, law abiding
citizens, yet drugs and the gangsters who deal in them blight our
towns and cities and dominate our criminal system. More than half the
inmates in British prisons are there for drug-related offences.
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(AP) - On the day he was sworn into office, President Rodrigo Duterte
went to a Manila slum and exhorted residents who knew any drug
addicts to "go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents
to do it would be too painful."
Two months later, nearly 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users lay
dead as morgues continue to fill up. Faced with criticism of his
actions by rights activists, international bodies and outspoken
Filipinos, including the top judge, Duterte has stuck to his guns and
threatened to declare martial law if the Supreme Court meddles in his work.
[continues 447 words]
Families of People WHO 'Disappeared' Amid Mexico's Violent Drug Wars
Are Forced to Continue the Search for Truth and Justice on Their Own,
As Authorities Often Refuse to Help
QUERETARO, MEXICO - Socorro Arias unlocks the door to her son's
bedroom. A faintly musty smell wafts out. Other than a layer of dust,
everything is just as Raymundo Isaac Rico Arias left it on Feb. 12,
2012, the day the 27-year-old teacher disappeared.
A stack of Valentine's Day hearts - cut from red construction paper -
lies on Rico's bed, intended as gifts for his students. Clothes are
piled in the corner, along with shoes and leather belts. Marilyn
Monroe smiles seductively from one wall, while a Virgin Mary statue
sits on the bureau, gazing pensively in front of the mirror.
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It is obvious that Duterte's reforms are being blocked by his
enemies. Their objective is to blacken his image and make his
campaign against drug lords difficult and frustrate government
reform. They are not bothered that if the drug lords and their
backers (politicians mostly) are not stopped the drugs will
proliferate and the problem will be impossible to solve. It is a war
between criminals and their victims. Before that happens Filipinos
must stop them or it will go out of hand. I am reprinting here the
post of BayanKo's adviser Jose Alejandrino which is now viralling in
social media. We should not waste time with so-called congressional
investigations from the very senators accused of protecting drug
lords. Instead we should mobilize as we did in Duterte's Luneta rally
to spare our country, the poor and especially the young, from the
evil that confronts us.
[continues 945 words]
When Philippine National Police officials report with a hint of pride
that some 1,800 people have been killed in the drug war within less
than two months, and some senators say the figure is still small
considering the number of drug "personalities" in the country, this
nation has lost its soul.
President Duterte has amply shown that the drug menace is real and
alarming in its scale. Whether the pervasiveness of the problem
deserves those 1,800 deaths - more than half of which, the PNP
stressed, were perpetrated by vigilantes - is debatable. But the
debate at this point is lopsided and heavily in favor of the
executioners. Many Filipinos seem to go along with Dirty Rody's
Machiavellian belief about the end justifying the means.
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