Why the Illegal Drug trade is the Perfect Bogeyman for the President

1. Anyone who disagrees with the campaign against it is automatically evil.
2. It’s the perfect distraction from the other ills our country is facing.
3. You can take down your political opponents one by one just by tagging them as purveyors or protectors of it. *Cue the persecution of the Legit 8 after De Lima. Heck, Agot Isidro is now fair game!
4. Obedience from the public is gained more easily because who wants a narco-state?
5. The war against it is never-ending. His 6-year term will be over but he will still be asking for an extension.
6. If his presidency fails, it can all be blamed on the perfect bogeymen – the illegal drug trade, the oligarchs, the biased media, the undiscerning haters. None of it will be his fault. Everyone was against him from the start. Never mind the 91% approval rating.

A Primer on Political Bogeymen

An often used strategy in politics to gain support which would then later translate into votes is to invent a bogeyman, a scapegoat or a fall guy. The thing to which all of society’s problems and ills originate from. That thing usually has no voice, no political power, and no way to defend itself. Inventing a bogeyman and focusing people’s attention on it is so convenient because it removes all the hard analysis needed to identify a problem. It simplifies everything to a single common enemy. Something which the public can easily rally against.

Throughout history, regimes have invented bogeymen to distract the public, keep itself in power, manipulate public perception, and garner obedience from the public. From communism to fascism, to socialism, to terrorism, to yes, illegal drugs.

There is one aspect of this “war on drugs,” which supporters fail to realize. With demand shrinking, prices are rising. Someone, somehow, someway, that void will be filled. It’s just a logical consequence of a money-hungry world. I always point out the Prohibition, as the greatest example of why banning an addictive substance will never succeed. But people “wiser” than me refused to heed the lessons of history. So let them learn it the hard way.

I had a disturbing thought that what if we woke up one day and realize we were conned big time? What if instead of wanting to eradicate it, they just wanted to increase the price, monopolize the market, and control everything?

Where did the President say the drugs are coming from? China?

Maybe that’s why our dear President is going there next week. Maybe he’s finally bringing the war to them.

Meanwhile, all I want is faster internet speeds and less traffic. A few trains on the MRT might be good too. I know these are all his campaign promises which may “take time.” But is it too much to ask what happened to the “No more Pork Barrel or I will close Congress if it refuses” promise?

But maybe I am asking too much. When you believe in a man who says he will not run but runs anyway, you’re bound to get heartbroken. One time a liar, twice incorrigible, thrice pathological.

But never fear, our attention is here: War on Drugs.

 

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Self-regulating greed, SC authority, and PNOY wasting PEOPLE POWER

Self -regulation is an oxymoron where profits are concerned. Wall street has proven it, banks have proven it, and now media, too. Self-regulation cannot work when greed is in the equation. So let me ask the network executives: how do you propose you’ll regulate your –own greed? Right. Didn’t think so.


hurrah for this commentary The Church, demonization and democratic debate


Raul Pangalanan pointed out something very important regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to issue a status quo order on the impeachment proceedings against Merceditas Guttierez in his column The Constitution as political football

If the problem is the constitutional bar on the second impeachment proceeding, then the worst scenario—in other words, the alleged irreparable injury that the injunctive relief is supposed to prevent—is that that second complaint will proceed. There is absolutely no danger that the first complaint could be invalid, because there is no constitutional ban on a first impeachment proceeding. The freeze-order could have limited itself to the second complaint. After all, the two complaints had been separately voted upon and separately adopted by the House committee on justice. It’s not as if these had been conjoined together as one and were inseparable.

I wonder how the Supreme Court plans to explain its way out of this bind.

First, it breaches separation of powers by interfering in a case where its decision isn’t needed. Guttierez’ right isn’t in any way being violated. She’s still free to defend herself, she’s still free to clear her name. No grave abuse of power in the part of Congress. I thought you only go to the Supreme Court as a “last resort” when all legal remedies have failed. Not as a first resort to hide from a perfectly legal proceeding being initiated against you.

Second, it now threatens contempt against Congress if Congress ignores the status quo order. It has the gall to threaten contempt acting as if the Supreme Court ranks higher than Congress, a “co-equal branch.”

Third, but perhaps the most important, the Supreme Court does not realize that it has NO POWER AT ALL from which it can draw it’s authority when a constitutional crisis occurs except for the moral authority it possesses which only the people can confer. The Supreme Court loses that, it becomes nothing but a court composed of 15 asses possessing no authority people will follow. It doesn’t even have the might of arms to enforce its decisions.

You provoke a constitutional crisis, who do you think people will follow? Your decisions are meaningless if it cannot be enforced. Enforcement is only possible with arms. Between the Supreme Court or the President, who do you think police and military will follow? At least some congressmen can boast of private armies. Justices would be lucky to have a couple of bodyguards.


PNOY still does not get it. He cannot govern effectively if he will not tap PEOPLE POWER. The people  are all itching to fight the good fight. All of us are screaming inside ourselves to be rid of this putrid culture of corruption eating away the very fabric of our society. And what does he do? He plays pansy. Every move he makes is as if he fears being overthrown by the forces of evil and corruption still in power. You won by over a fucking 5.7 million votes! Do you know what that means? Do you?

That means that you cannot just simply be overthrown unless you lose the support of those millions who voted for you. Even Congress cannot just force impeachment down people’s throat especially if it does so for the very obvious reason that you will be taking away its pork barrel.

But you did not do it. Even during your inaugural speech, the “explosive” statement I was waiting to hear from you was the fighting words: I will remove the pork barrel even if this costs me my presidency. I expect Congress will try to impeach me. But let them try. I know that the very same people who voted me into power will protect me from these selfish congressmen who will try to impeach me so that they can hold on to their pork barrel.

PNOY, you are not traversing the straight road which you spoke of in your campaign. You’re walking the ambiguous road by playing it safe, electing to compromise instead of going all out against corruption.

What you should realize is that in politics, public perception is everything. By compromising with known crooks and bending rules to gain some imagined political advantage, you slowly lose all the political capital you had when you won. If the public starts to think you’re not what you promised you’d be, that massive base of support that catapulted you to power will slowly whither away, like a fog being blown by the wind.

Don’t be a pansy PNOY. Fight the good fight – or lose the fight altogether.

A confluence of events

Barrack Obama won the White House, inheriting everything lousy that Bush Jr. and the Republicans did to the US. Now, he’s earning the rap for all the bad things happening which was the result of Republican management. The American people gave Bush and the Neo-cons eight years to undo the budget surplus left by Clinton, a Democrat. 4 years for the first term, and another 4 years in re-election. Now, they can’t even wait 4 years to say enough of Obama.

Noynoy Aquino won the Philippine Presidency on the wings of a broad base of support from all classes. Like Obama, he is inheriting a gigantic can of worms left by Arroyo and her ilk. Not even yet 100 days into his Presidency, Aquino is immediately confronted by an ugly incident that marred the start of his administration. The question is, like the Americans, how long will our patience last before we become disillusioned?

That’s what happens when a President inherits a government from a lousy previous administration. You spend your entire term of office just trying to undo all the bad things done to the country that by the end of your term, you realize you haven’t got around to doing what you really promised you’d do.


If you hate religious extremism, then why the hell are you burning the Koran? (or announcing you’re gonna burn it). Aren’t you just displaying religious extremism yourself? History lesson Pastor Jones: Christianity had its Crusades. We have more blood on our religion’s hands than our Muslim brothers have on theirs. And Christianity didn’t just had the Crusades, it also had the Inquisition. More innocent men and women were burned at the stake for charges of devil worship and witchcraft than there are people who died at the Twin Towers. Just putting some perspective into your skewed mind.

And how do you get off with that? Professing faith for Jesus and preaching a gospel of hate?


We have a very big chance to have a clean government. Don’t fuck it up PNOY – and Pinoys. Get involved. Speak up.

I say this now, but if PNOY removes Robredo from his cabinet, he will be effectively turning away a large base of his supporters. They’re the same people who campaigned and voted for him and now are clamoring for him to retain Robredo as DILG secretary.

You just look and see what’s on Robredo’s agenda as DILG Secretary to see that he means to follow PNOY’s “tuwid na daan.” I just wonder if PNOY’s other choices of cabinet secretaries has the same thing in mind.

I have talked with TRAPOS. I have interviewed them. And I know personally that Jesse Robredo is not a TRAPO. He treated me exactly how I expected good politicians to treat a reporter. And for that, he earned my respect.


Perhaps the greatest legacy that the 15th Congress can bequeath us is passing the FOI (Freedom of Information) Bill. This bill has languished long enough in the halls of past congresses. It’s time to make this bill into a law and give the citizens the tool to fight corruption. And I hope this version doesn’t get watered down so much that penalties for refusing access to information is somehow lessened to such a degree it can be considered a walk in the park.

Another proposed bill I support is Escudero’s Senate Bill 2187 – which aims to make it illegal for politicians to name a government project after themselves. I’ve never been an Escudero fan (though my wife is) but I give him credit for proposing this bill. Though I feel this is just another popularity move by Escudero, making him look good to voters (many expect Escudero to run for President next election), I still say: we’ll take whatever good we can out of this, pa-pogi move or not. Thanks Chiz!

and lest I forget, the RH bill too needs to pass before PNOY’s term is over. Damn the church and their protests against the bill. It’s clear they have lost their flock over this debate.


Jueteng issues. walang katapusang Jueteng issue.

Here’s my take on the subject. What’s the difference between Lotto and Jueteng (aside from the mode and way of betting)? Taxes. That’s it. Lotto is taxed and Jueteng is not. It’s the only reason why Lotto is legal. You take Jueteng away from the control of kingpins and gang lords and put it into the hands of the PCSO and you take away the corrupting effect of Jueteng.

It’s the same story as the US Prohibition on alcohol. Prohibition drove the industry undergound and created a black market. Bootlegging ran and flourished because there was a great demand for it. As bootleggers grew in power, they corrupted law enforcement agencies more and more. With the repeal of the Prohibition law, the need to corrupt law enforcement agencies for protection ceased to exist.

I rest my case.