Rooting out the addictive drug problem beyond simple police actions

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The Coronacion Chiva “Waling-waling” Command denies involvement in the burning of the Melvin taxi in Oton town recently as speculated to by media. We, the NPA in Panay, do not, as yet, operate in Metro-Iloilo and go after properties of drug lords in the said area.

This is not to say that the NPA do not campaign against addictive drug trafficking. The NPA and the people’s organs of political power in the countrysides have always been against addictive drugs and the disastrous impact it has on individuals, families and society itself. We view the spread of addictive drugs as a part of ruling class decadence and escapism, encouraged because it diverts the people, especially the youth, from questioning their current impoverished lives and uncertain future. It corrupts many in society so as to enable it to spread inspite of being banned and enrich some drug lords and their protectors in government and their law-enforcement agencies.

The NPA specially combat the spread of drug addiction instigated and protected by the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) not only for its money-enriching ‘benefits.’ The AFP and PNP also use addictive drugs as incentive for their agents doing intelligence work against revolutionaries. The AFP intelligence death squads in the RPA-ABB are known to be addicted to and allowed to pushed drugs by their intelligence handlers.

We do not say that the NPA will not conduct pursuit operations of drug traffickers to the cities when they are operating, extending or transferring their addictive drug trade and network, laboratories in the guerrilla fronts and area of operation in the countrysides of Panay. The NPA is developing the capacity in police work, running after drug lords that could extend to the cities especially after President Duterte himself called on the NPA to run after drug lords.

Even as we welcome President Duterte’s encouragement, the revolutionary movement has long been, fighting addictive drugs, ever since its establishment as part of the revolutionary struggle. It especially became intense when addictive drugs began to penetrate the revolutionary ranks where revisionist rode roughshod over revolutionary principles during the 1980s. Only the thorough second rectification movement eradicated any trace of addictive drug use corrupting the revolution.

Since then a steady campaign to root out the spread of addictive drugs in the area of operation of the NPA was pursued. A few years back, a few marijuana plantation was uprooted by the NPA in Baranggay Buloc, Tubungan town. Two years ago, a certain Celiz was arrested and disarmed of his Baby Armalite and short-arms after delivering addictive drugs in Carataya, Cuartero, Capiz and warned never to step inside the NPA’s area of operation.

Last April, the Napoleon Tumagtang Command launched a campaign in lower Tubungan in baranggays surrounding the town. Many drug pushers and users were detained and questioned as to their role in spreading addictive drugs in baranggays and schools. While most drug pushers do it for profit, many others were set up, supplied drugs by the 82nd IB as incentive to intelligence agents spying against the revolution.

The penetration of the Provendido drug syndicate in San Joaquin, Iloilo and Dumarao, Capiz is under surveillance by the NPA. Also Odicta’s drug production facilities in areas of operation by the NPA has been monitored. Renewed efforts by drug lords to extend or tranfer their operation in the countrysides are under watch and will be dealt with accordingly. We warn these people to stop their drug trafficking in NPA areas of the countryside or else they would be hunted down.

We, however, do not have ‘kangaroo courts’ that arbitrarily hand down death sentences to suspect drug traffickers. The description fits more the vigilante campaign against suspect drug dealers launched by the PNP with its questionable results. Many comrades and leaders and followers of people’s organization had been victims of the state death squads. We abhor carelessly taking a life as life could not be restored once dead unlike when you ‘cut down banana stalks’ if you make a wrong decision. So far, drug pushers detained for questioning were either warned to stop engaging in drugs, confined in their baranggay or driven out of the NPA areas. Unlike the ‘tuktok’ campaign of the PNP, the warned traffickers either take heed or evacuate the guerrilla zones because the people are organized to prevent backsliding via rehabilitation and vigilance.

But drug addiction and trafficking could never be eradicated by just plain police work nor by vigilantism. Some lessons that we have derived from decades of anti-drug campaigning are as follows:

1. Eliminating drug use is the key to eradicating the drug problem. Many drug addicts were first of all susceptible to drugs because they lack a sense of purpose in life. This description fits a lot of our youth and impoverished worker and peasant who are benumbed by poverty and decadent culture. Drug addiction became a deadend way out.

2. Drug trafficking and producing (planting marijuana for example) has become an alternative income earner and could even enrich some folks. This desperate income generation has been stopped not only by force but by campaigning to increase production led by peasant organizations..

3. The state, while banning addictive drugs, have also provided a fertile ground for corruption for its security forces and government officials who engage in drug trafficking or protect drug traffickers. Bureaucrat capitalism or the use of state/government authority for personal profit and capital begets corruption on which drug trafficking take root and flourish. Military troops and intelligence agents had been on the receiving end of tactical offensives not only because they engage in armed attacks against the NPA. Many security forces of the state are punished for drug trafficking as well while others, especially civilian officials, are strongly warned.

Sometimes some regime may vigorously pursue the elimination of drug trafficking by forcible means but the conditions giving rise to a market for drugs and profitting from drug sales always ensure the return of widespread drug use, addiction and proliferation.

Only a revolutionary state could eliminate bureaucrat capitalism, provide revolutionary leadership and authority to eliminate the drug problem. It could solve the scourge of poverty and develop a revolutionary sense of purpose to the people, to our youth. Coupled with full employment, rapid economic construction and growth, and nation building who would find any place or use for addictive drugs.

Coronacion Chiva “Waling-waling” Command
New People’s Army—Panay
Political Department

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