ATENEO DE NAGA UNIVERSITY
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PHILIPPINES ON THE BRINK OF BECOMING A “NARCO-STATE”
More than becoming the world’s most polluted state, the Philippines is starting to become infamous for illegal drugs. The Philippines has been lined up, together with Colombia and Mexico, as one of the centers for illegal drugs. In fact, we have been emerging into what they call “narco-state”.
Narco-state is a social condition which includes the highly efficient and profitable trade of illegal drugs coupled with the effective control of such traders of the state’s political apparatus. At present, the Philippine drug trade is brisk specially when viewed from the growing number of addicts and the rate of use of such drugs. A conservative estimate places the number of addicts to 9.5 million Filipinos. The shabu users, on the other hand, consume an average of 550 kgs./day or 200,750 kgs./year which translates to a whooping P300,425,000,000.00 ($6B). This situation occurs because of the apparent control of drug syndicates stemming from the government. Undue influence and control is exerted on the elected/appointed officials, law enforcement officers, and even on the members of the judiciary. Such undue pressure is perpetuated in a political environment marred by corruption and issues related to money laundering. It is not surprising, for example, to hear of public officials being involved or implicated in drug-related cases.
Most drugs distributed in the Philippines are shabu and marijuana. But shabu has been the favorite for it is cheaper and easier to manufacture. 90% of the shabu in the Philippines came from the mainland China. The other 10% are produced in local laboratories. Such laboratories are hidden in dumping sites and poultry/pig farms to “cover” for the bad smell being emitted in the production of such illegal drugs. The shabu coming from China is not totally consumed in the Philippines. Our country is only used as a distribution center of these illegal drugs to countries like Australia and New Zealand. The country is the favorite trading center of the drug lords in China because of our porous shoreline and our inefficient laws.
In the local market, it seems the main targets are the youth and the poor. The effects of addiction ranges from dissolution of the family, public nuisance, heinous/petty crimes, and insecurity in the society.
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