The drug war and its menace!

The drug menace in this country is worse than what one can imagine and what is appearing in the media. It is like an itch in one’s body that the more one scratches it the more it becomes itchy – and is expanding.

Will this not effectively put the future of this country in bleak condition? The answer is certainly a “yes”.

The problem with addiction is that once it is embedded in the blood it stays there forever. And suppose the head of the state is a drug dependent or was once, what can we expect of him as our leader? Nothing! Surely, only wrong or dangerous decision that can put the country and people in harm’s way. In this country, that possibility is not remote, because of the power of the three Gs (gold, guns, and goons). Many people vote a candidate because of material, emotional, and personal considerations.

 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is right in making the war on drugs as a priority of his administration. Despite of the criticisms, rightly or wrongly, he is succeeding. We feel the   positive impact at least in our areas.

 President Duterte needs the support or at least encouragement of the people. But when the campaign oversteps what is legally or morally forbidden, he must be told. And the excesses, if there are, must stop immediately and the guilty must be brought to justice.

Frankly, the MILF has always wanted to check and stop this evil practice and trade long time ago. This is the reason that despite our limitations, the MILF had created the task force in 2015 to address the worsening drug addiction and trafficking among Moros. We may not have achieved so much in this undertaking but at least we have done something.

Like water seeking its own level, the common dislike for drug resulted in signing by the government and MILF of a protocol on anti-drug trafficking in June his year. The agreement regulates the manner of their joint operation against drug users and trafficking in MILF areas and communities.

By the way, the MILF had also banned cigarettes especially inside its camps and communities since 1987 when the late MILF Chair Salamat Hashim came home from abroad. The government had banned the same in public places only recently.

 However, the bases of their decisions differ. For government, it is based mainly on health reasons, while the MILF looks at it not only on health consideration but more on moral or religious grounds. Anything that intoxicates like alcohol and drugs is haram or forbidden in Islam, because it is harmful (to the brain) and in the Day of Judgment the doer is punished for it.

 Moreover, the seriousness of this drug problem encompasses not only in the number of dugs confiscated, burned or destroyed or deaths, directly or indirectly, attributed to this campaign, but more so in the manner of conducting it.  Leaders are highly divided on the approach.

 But minding all, there is no such thing as perfect approach. The most important thing is to build on the gains of every undertaking and always stand ready to rectify any shortcoming.