A very eventful week indeed-A A +A
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
EVENTS which do not happen every day were experienced by the people in Davao. March 24 the citizens were shocked when they heard about the discovery of a large shipment of high grade cocaine in a shipping crate at Sumifru Wharf in Tibungco, Davao City. Initially 11 bricks of high grade cocaine weighing a kilo each were found when a portion of the ceiling of a storage room fell off. This alone was enough to alarm the dispensing personnel.
After inspecting the broken ceiling they discovered more to their amazement. The tell- tale markings on the styrofoam used as a concealer for the contraband showed 53 brick marks. Some ship personnel were held for questioning but were proven innocent about the contraband so they were released. The puzzles came to mind. Where did the shipment originate? Where are the missing bricks? Is there a syndicate maneuvering this high level crime? Is this haul just passing our ports in transit for receiving countries? A lot of sleuthing must be planned by the PDEA (Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency).
These criminals are sly and fully trained to perpetuate this crime. If apprehended and proven guilty they are netted a life - long sentence and a fine from 500,000 pesos to 10 million depending on the amount of the smuggled drugs. A worst scenario will happen if in an act of double jeopardy is committed if some PDEA personnel will hide the confiscated drug to be sold by their accomplices in the crime. The PDEA officer in charge warned all persons who will hide the drugs will be in jail. Mayor Duterte has offered 100,000 pesos reward for every brick that will be returned to him.
We, peace-loving citizens, shudder at the fatal effects of addiction to this drug, called "rocks" in the drug dens. Let it not suffer the fate of numerous crimes gathering cobwebs in the courts begging for attention. Imagine one brick of cocaine sold piece-meal in milligrams in tiny plastic bags with a high price from pushers taken from distributors in drug dens.
March 27, the Signing of the peace agreement between the CAB (Comprehensive Agreement with the Bangsamoro) and the GPB (Government Peace Body) was held in an unprecedented heart- warming affair. My emotions had a roller-coaster ride. After the upsetting drug smuggling case, I am elated by this peace-seeking endeavor which I witnessed from morning till evening on television. I was glued to my TV set eagerly listening to the different personalities who spoke on the merits of such an agreement. Since my childhood ,I have associated the word moro to violence, wars using the 'kris' that sword- like weapon with two- sided curving blade. I was always afraid when I saw movies of moros fighting with enemies of different ideologies. They fought with Christians, the Spaniards, the Americans, even the Japanese. This is one quality we can positively see them. They are tenacious in preserving their own ethnicity.
Until now there are apparent conflicts of interests among Moros, themselves. They have the MNLF, Biff, the Abu Sayyaf. Then there are the indigenous people, the Lumads, who have to be considered. They also have the patrimony to this domain. I was surprised to hear them calling the Christians settlers in their domain. They should realize that all of them are Filipinos, all citizens in the same degree of this nation, the Philippine Republic under a Democratic regime. In fact this is a term of the peace agreement. Come 2016 theirs will be a Parliament under the Philippine Republic Government.
This was the" fly in the ointment" while the peace agreement was being signed. There were vocal "cons" among the parties which are not willing to join. The plebiscite will decide this.
Now, I will center my views on all the positive inspiring speeches of the main speakers. Secretary Ging Deles' speech was heart-rending. She spoke of the plight of so many innocent children (the bakwits) separated from their parents who had to fight to defend themselves from the bitter reality of Filipinos fighting with Filipinos for supremacy. Sec. Deles ended her speech in the dialect after a litany of all the tribulations the children suffered all along. She said with passion and sincerity, "Tama na, sobra na."
The speech of the spokesperson of the MI LF Ebrahim al HIadj Murad in English was also inspiring. I appreciate the idea that speakers spoke in our second lingua franca, English, so there was no need for translators. In very clear chronological order, he expounded on the 17 or so years which they took to reach this moment. The principal guest for the signing of the peace agreement was His Excellency the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. His country was the principal conduit for this endeavor to become a success. We are especially grateful for his attendance notwithstanding the great tragedy in his homeland about the fatal crash of the Malaysian Airlines in the Indian Oceans where all passengers, are assumed dead. The dignified prime minister told the audience that he will not miss this chance to meet the Filipinos and tell them that the success of this peace agreement signing ceremony is due to the efficient and whole hearted cooperation of all the individuals who untiringly participated in the long range plan which had its blueprint some 17 years ago. His eloquent talk did not leave anything untold. Gratitude for everyone who helped.
The president cautioned all opposing groups planning to derail the peace agreement to be careful because this will not succeed.
After the program and the photo ops the group returned to the palace for the farewell party because the Prime Minister's entourage was scheduled to fly back to Malaysia that night. This was one day that I will long remember. Peace is a guaranteed road to prosperity, unity, and progress.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 01, 2014.