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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, November 14, 2019
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with Benjamin Calderon


Rock & Refuge

The Vice President stated “I accepted the challenge against the advice of everyone, including my children” explaining her decision to accept the responsibility in serving as co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) before the Women Today forum. “I needed to do this sacrifice for the greater good,” she added. Her decision is consistent with her bravery, commitment to public service, and a very deep sense of responsibility.

I think, her decision was a pleasant surprise for many of us. It would be humorous to imagine that personalities who advised the President to offer the opportunity of service and leadership had in the back of their mind that the Vice President would not accept the challenge.

She started her work very carefully amidst a lot of criticism and fake news. These is expected as there are dark forces who do not wish the Vice-President (VP) to succeed in any way for interests, these detractors only know. The approach that d rugs not only is a crime but a social and public health issue widens enlarges the scope of the drug problem and makes available more solutions that can complement each other.

Interestingly, the vice president’s ICAD approach, has been criticized by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) as mere rhetoric. She has just started to work on the assignment and the expected soon-to-step-down House Speaker has already concluded on the outcome. In my opinion, it is too early to pass judgment on the VP’s work or inappropriate. In addition, it can be entertaining to think that the House Speaker political well-being is threatened by the possible success of the VP.

The VP has already met with a representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime which elicited Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to post on Twitter “Thank you Leni. I’ve been trying without success to get us engaged with Vienna’s UNODC which is focused on fighting drug trafficking and dealing, not coddling them like Geneva,”. This from on who once called the VP as “bobo” (dumb) now appreciating her “superb” move.

We are informed that is Robredo’s refocus from demand- to the supply-end of the drug menace, as agreed with Sen. Panfilo Lacson, will mean annihilating bulk makers-distributors, not just street pushers. By choking the supply, drug prices will become so prohibitive for peddlers to retail and users to buy. The four million addicts’ drug of choice is shabu (meth). By conservative estimate, they each snort half a gram of the white powder a month. That adds up to two million grams – or two tons – per month. Obviously, the drug lords would head the list of the VP’s enemies and we all they will protect their business with murder is need be. On this note, we can begin helping the VP by praying for Leni’s safety, enduring strength and success.

Let us end with an encouragement to remember that miracles do happen with the following anecdote. A trooper pulls over a priest and immediately smells alcohol on his breath. The next thing he notices is an empty wine bottle lying on the passenger seat. “Have you been drinking?” the officer asks. “Just water,” says the priest. “Then why do I smell wine?” The priest looks at the bottle and shouts, “Good Lord! He’s done it again!”*

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