First of all, kudos to Major Ferdinand Marcelino, PMA class ’94. You made a courageous and very credible stand which I think the people will not forget.
The so-called “Ayala Boys” case and the facts that came out exposed the subject that is usually only whispered about: the extent of and intertwining of drugs, politics, and the justice system. It points to a frightening combination that may have already undermined the very integrity of the current democratic system.
It is an open secret that drug money provides a major source for campaign money in Philippine elections, right up to the level of the campaign for national political positions. Drug, jueteng and other criminal money is expected to play a major role in the financing of many candidates in the 2010 national and local elections.
It is also an open secret that–despite the decades-old anti-drug campaigns–the drug problem not only persisted but has grown and spread to every nook and cranny of the archipelago, corrupting government officials, policemen, judges, lawyers and other components of the the whole justice system.
From time to time, there may be petty drug criminals who were convicted but by and large, major players–especially those big fishes (operators of shabu laboratories, distributors, and smugglers–are freed on technicalities, escaped, or simply had their cases dismissed. The drug syndicates’ core leaders are never caught.
The government’s anti-drug agencies are under a heavy cloud of doubt on their integrity and credibility. That is why, Major Marcelino’s actions look all the more credible. When he stepped forward, he brought with him a fresh wind of change. The other actors in the anti-drug campaign, including the politicians, have no choice but to step up to the plate or else forced to step out of the field.
However, the depth of corruption in government places the odds heavily against reformers like Major Marcelino. The political will–from the president down to to the last policeman in a remote town–to root out drug syndicates and their corrupted minions in government service is simply that weak and corroded.
The people will have to make a stand behind all the reformers–the Major Marcelinos–of this land. Drugs is a political issue.