‘Big fish’

November 10, 2018

DESPITE launching a total war against the dreaded “drug monster,” government authorities are still bothered by the presence of drug pushers and users in various parts of the country.

Thus, concerned government offices and agencies would do well to adopt a new formula aimed at dealing those behind the illegal but highly-profitable drug business a major blow.

A brainchild of Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the strategy calls for the neutralization of the country’s “big-time” drug traders.

Instead of killing the street pushers, Lacson said the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) must exhaust efforts to arrest them, so they can lead them to the “big fish.”

A specialized agency, PDEA is the law enforcement arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), which is the policy-making body. At present, PDEA and DDB are headed by retired generals.

“Make them (pushers) lead you to the big-time (drug) suppliers, then finish the job by engaging those suppliers in a shootout. Get another street pusher and continue the cycle,” he said.

It will be recalled that when Lacson headed the country’s premier law enforcement agency from 1999 to 2001, he employed a two-pronged strategy against the drug menace.

The so-called “Lacson Formula” focused not only on the demand side but also the supply side. This meant going after not just the street pushers, but also after the suppliers of illegal drugs.

In past Philippine elections, various quarters acknowledged that illegal drugs money helped bankroll political campaigns of certain candidates, mostly local politicians, in the country.

In the view of many, the so-called “Lacson’s Formula,” which calls for the arrest of the “small fry” and the neutralization of the “big fish,” must be considered now – and fast.