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The Anti-illegal Drugs War Claims A 13-Year-Old Victim (2nd Update)

July 20, 2009


It was in mid-January that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo installed herself as anti-illegal drugs Czarina.

After the headlines however the immensity of the problem has not really changed except perhaps when the husband and wife operators of the that shabu flea market in Pasig City were convicted two weeks ago and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Now we have Malacanang again shouting “this is war” in reaction to the horrible report that the 13-year-old daughter of an government agent pursuing the drug war had been abducted, raped and left drugged by suspected members of a drug ring.

Now congressmen and even Pres. Arroyo are reportedly considering the return of the death penalty.

But the truth is even if the penalty is restored it will only be a leader with political will who can enforce it.

I doubt if such situation is present.

Big deal.

As the victim remains traumatized for life what real hope is there that she and other victims of crimes committed by drug-crazed malefactors will gain justice?

So much for Mrs. Arroyo being anti drug Czarina.

Even this blogpost will matter little with Philippine society in the grip of an ineffectual government and bludgeoned by criminal elements operating with impunity.

The measure of the non-success of the war against illegal drugs is the fate that befell the 13-year-old daughter of the PDEA agent.

But don’t expect Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Tito Sotto or his boss to take responsibility and offer to resign.


When a controversial story breaks and a major news organization carries the report as an exclusive the follow-up report shead more light on the confirmatory details.

But I am now starting to scratch my head if in this instance the story has been turned on its head with police officials saying there was no abduction noir rape and the alleged victims had simply been out on a drinking spree with friends.

Or is there a cover-up in progress?

This is now GMA Network News is reporting it:

Was she really abducted and raped, or did the daughter of an anti-drug operative just have a drinking spree with friends last weekend?

The supposed abduction drew outrage Monday from anti-narcotics and other public officials, but the Cordillera Autonomous Region police, citing testimonies by the girl’s acquaintances, said Tuesday the girl was neither abducted nor raped.

“If we base [sa] testimony ng kasama na teenager, walang abduction, walang rape at saka yun po walang sinabing sinaksakan ng droga [If we base our findings on the testimonies of the teenagers seen with her before she was supposedly kidnapped, there was no abduction and no rape, and she was not forced to take drugs],” Cordillera regional police head Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestaño said in an interview on dzXL radio.

On Monday, a national broadsheet’s banner story said the girl was abducted and raped, triggering outrage among government officials.

While Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) head Dionisio Santiago vowed a Mexico-style war against drug rings, lawmakers found reason to push harder moves to revive capital punishment for drug traffickers.

But Pestaño said that even if there was no abduction or rape, this does not mean the government should take back its all-out war against drugs.

“Wala namang masama roon if (tuluy-tuloy na ipatutupad ang) total war … we in the law enforcement agencies gusto ang masinsinang kampanya laban sa drugs. Pero yung basehan ng incident na yan, we’re just very objective about it, yan ang tinitignan natin,” he said.

[We see nothing wrong with a total war on drugs. We in the law enforcement agencies want a total campaign against drugs. It’s just that we are very objective about this particular incident.]

Pestaño said a reconstruction of events based on the regional police’s findings showed the girl knocked off school after finishing a make-up class at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Some friends fetched her and they had a drinking spree at the house of another friend.

“Mga bandang 7 p.m., nalasing ang dalagita. At pagka lasing, di nila ma-control dahil patumba-tumba sa sala set, patayo, parang… walang control sa sarili niya, so they decided to bring her home [At about 7 p.m. the girl got drunk. When she could not control herself and repeatedly collapsed, her friends decided to bring her home],” Pestaño said.

“Samakatuwid if we base all the facts sa salaysay ng 4 [na] teenager na kasama niya roon wala talagang kidnapping, walang rape [If we base our findings on these, there was no kidnapping or rape],” he added.

He said the local Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency office had requested the girl’s parents for the girl to undergo drug test procedure.

The Inquirer’s on-line site has not picked the Cordillera police angle as of 6:30 this evening. We will continue to track this.


The official line of PDEA chief Dionisio Santiago is carefully refusing to confirm the Inquirer report outright  with police now being reported as saying the rape angle might be incorrect.

Santiago, however, has an ominous parting shot:

We might end up becoming another Mexico, we will slug it out, it will be a who-will-be-wiped-out-first battle (unahan ng ubusan). If they (the drug syndicates) think they can stop us by attacking our families, they are committing a mistake.It has happened before that when [the authorities] got back at the families of terrorists, they stopped their activities.

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