Policeman shot while searching.
PICS Courtesy: Freeimages.com
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In a bizarre twist to the ongoing war on illegal drugs and crime, there are signs of a backlash from criminal elements. But, that was to be expected.
The very nature of the problem is such that even three years will not be enough to cleanse the nation. While we blame the Chinese gangs that peddled the drugs, they are only the proverbial tip of the problem.
The whole nation was entrenched in getting their share of the loot and growing rich overnight. This led to the empowerment of the local leaders who controlled the networks.
It developed into a mass movement with no thoughts for morality or the fate of the county’s future generations. Everyone who had any clout dipped into the honey pot of plenty and consolidated.
The biggest problem facing the Filipinos is of habits that they cannot let go. The Moros, the Communists and all the extortionists will not give up their sources of daily easy income.
With money came power and the acquisition of all empowering tools including armaments.
The following is the author’s summation of the events in the war against illegal drugs:
1. The first phase of the war on drugs started even before President Duterte took charge as President. All the fringe addicts and peddlers thought it wise to surrender instead of dying.
Others surrendered gradually due to motivation by friends and families and on hearing reports of deaths,
2. Then, the second phase was the searching and elimination of the tougher nuts by the police and the vigilantes. This prompted unauthenticated accusations by the US and the UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard who retreated quickly,
3. But, far from the war on drug being over, the real solid local roots of the whole problem remain. These worthies are the established local powers whom society cannot betray or uproot because of their clout and hold.
4. Therefore, the final phase is the most difficult. The hardcore addicts are difficult to find and authorities use sting operations to draw them out.
The entrenched locals are very hard to convince or dissuade from drugs racketing. The police and the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency is an executive wing of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB). It enforces compliances relating to the provisions to arrest the trading and spread of illegal drugs.
The shocking incident involved the killing of a policemen and injuries to another who tried to apprehend an addict. That the scene of the crime was near the City hall at Pasay is not significant.
What is significant however, is that this is the first time that violence took place against police doing their duty. While this may be a one-off incident, it reveals the depth of the drug problem in the country.
Enrico Domingo, PO 1 died of gunshot wounds sustained in the shoulder and the head. PO 2 Harley Garcia, however, survived the gunshot wounds since he sustained shoulder injuries only.
Both the POs belonged to the Special Operations Unit received information about the session of drugs in the evening. Hence, they rushed to Pestanas Street of Barangay 69 , the scene of the session. Tim Santos PO1 was also with them during the operation.
They met Randy Lizardo as also his living-in partner Gemma who lived there. However, during the search operations, sudden shooting from behind the curtains led to both being injured.
At this point, Santos returned the fire due to which the assailants had to flee the scene of the crime. They made good their escape by climbing the adjacent shanties.
Randy Lizard managed to escape and avoid arrest add fled along with two other associates.
The occupants were playing cards at the time the policemen raided the shanty. The shanty is home to four families who vouched for Lizardo who is a notorious criminal called Demonyo.
The neighbors stated that the occupants of the shanty were playing cards. However, the investigators at the crime scene recovered bullet shells and shabu sachets in the five room shanty.
Gemma had vanished along with her one year old son.
Lizardo is a regular jail bird and takes up robberies, hold-ups and other crimes since quite a young age.
In fact, he had sworn that he would never go behind bars again. That was probably why he chose to indulge in a shootout with the police.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Sunday, 08 January 2017