Time was when the illicit drug use in the Philippines was mainly an indulgence of the fringe literati, the burgis, the artists and entertainment circle, far removed from the masa and rural culture with its isolated social pockets of marijuana users. None of the hard drugs and the intravenous drug users; none of varied countercultural movements that was requisite or fuel to the growth of the drug culture. It seemed almost possible that while the drug problem raged in most developed countries, the Philippines would be saved from the scourge of illicit drugs. But, alas, slowly and surely, the illicit drug market has successfully gained inroads into subcultures of users, into collegiate life, and deep into the bowels of Philippine rural life, burgeoning into a raging epidemic of drug addiction.
Today, “Shabu” poses a problem as serious, as frightening, as formidable, as any present day issue confronting the Filipino society. How can a country and a system mired in corruption fare against the commerce of drug trade so empowered by its bottomless coffers and consequent political clout? Many powerful nations have succumbed; the fanfares of their drug wars muffled, their policies inevitably compromised, shifting from prevention into containment.
Sadly, I think the Filipino society confronts an impossible task. The problem is past prevention. Is containment still possible?
Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887 in Germany. Initially called phenylisopropylamine, it was, for a long time, a drug in search of use, trying to find application from decongestion to depression. In the 1930s , it was initially marketed as Benzedrine, as an over-the-counter inhaler to treat nasal congestion and asthma.
Methamphetamine was discovered in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection. In the late 30s, it found use for narcolepsy and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is still legally produced in the U.S., sold under the trade name Desoxyn (Abbott. PDR 2001) with indications for ADHD and for short-term therapy in exogenous obesity.
During World War II, amphetamines were widely used as stimulants to keep the fighting men going (during the Viet Nam war, American soldiers used more amphetamines than the rest of the world did during WWII). And after World War II, when military surplus became available to the public, methamphetamine abuse became epidemic.
LESS than two months since we elected a new President, there is no day that I do not reel from the change that has come, for good, better, worse—depending on where you stand on issues.
Sass Rogando Sasot
When questioned about his conflict of interest about the Reed Bank, Albert del Rosario said:
I think that’s unfair. I was working for the country. If Manny benefited from that, we’ll benefit from that. It’s not something that will be out of the ordinary.
Albert del Rosario is evading the issue and is not being truthful to the Filipino people. The question isn’t unfair; it’s valid, urgent, and must be throughly investigated. And Dick Cheney was also working for his country when he advocated for the Iraq War. Mainstream media aren’t doing their job. They are not asking the right questions and they aren’t gathering facts.
Albert del Rosario was director of Philex Mining Corporation when its partner Forum Energy Plc was granted by the Philippine government the right to explore oil and gas in Reed Bank in February 2010.
I CERTAINLY hope we won’t, or President Duterte’s term will see an economic downturn, a year or so after what this overexcited Solicitor General Jose Calida called the country’s “crowning glory,” our victory in the UNCLOS case we filed against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It’s a real possibility, though, that Calida’s crown of glory could be our crown of thorns.Read on…
Part 1: The real problem of Filipino fishermen operating in the South China Sea: dwindling fish stocks
In May 2016, Filipino fishermen were arrested by the Malaysian navy near the waters around Commodore Reef, one of the disputed features in the South China Sea. These fishermen are from Zambales. Why did they go as far as that? The same reason Chinese fishermen can now be found near Indonesia: dwindling fish stocks. Every coastal community in the South China Sea has been overfishing and engaging in destructive fishing practices (see Boom or Bust: The Future of Fish in the South China Sea)