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    Wednesday, September 6, 2017

    ILOILO CITY: Nest of corruption and illegal drugs?

    Manuel Mejorada, former administrator of the Iloilo Provincial Government, recently published a Facebook post reflective of his two-cents regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s previous and significant undertakings anti-drugs and corruption, especially those concerning the City of Iloilo.

    “Iloilo City still has a drug problem. But then, no other city in the country is spared from the drug problem. 

    Even Davao City where Digong was city mayor for more than two decades has a drug problem. And there are still mayors out there who are really involved in drug selling.” Mejorada started initially.

    Claiming that the drug menace in Iloilo City is a cumulative result of “years and years, decades even, of tolerance and indifference among our government, law enforcement, community and church leaders”. That is, only a minimal number of people, Ilonngos particularly, had outspokenly acknowledged the then growing drug problem in the City.

    “I was one of the few who first did. In fact, I described Iloilo City as the “bird's nest of corruption and illegal drugs" when I appeared before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on November 13, 2014. I risked my life making that bold declaration. I put the welfare of my family in jeopardy because I couldn't get a job and endured a long period of economic deprivation.” Mejorada narrated.

    The former provincial administrator then maneuvered into a more serious note addressed to President Duterte himself. In his statement, Mejorada expressed that he sees eye-to-eye with the president about the pervasiveness of drug problem in the country. Also, Mejorada gave some piece of advice for the president to ponder on.

    “Mr. President, I will reiterate my point. The illegal drugs problem has ceased to be a local problem. The root of the evil is the greed among high-ranking public officials who allow shabu to be smuggled into the country. The battleground is right in the national capital. For as long as the flow of shabu from China isn't stopped, there will be a long line of poor people ready to gamble with their lives to make a quick buck. Turn your cross-hairs on these targets.” Mejorada posited.

    He also nitpicked on the performance of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales asserting that she, after years of service as the Chief of the Ombudsman, has failed to address the problems of corruption in the country. For that, he urged the president to work on the removal of Carpio-Morales from her post.

    “Also work on the removal of Conchita Carpio-Morales as Ombudsman. Corruption is at the very core of the drugs problem. A culture of impunity has become entrenched in our culture, and our law enforcement officers and customs officers and government officials are not afraid to take shabu money to get rich. This could be attributed to the failure of Carpio-Morales to do her job.”

    On his last note, Mejorada expressed a bit sense of disagreement to one of the President’s undertakings. This is regarding the recent announcement of Duterte to assign Espenido as Chief of Police in Iloilo City. That according to Mejorada, will put the progressing and developing City of Iloilo into jeopardy and disadvantage.

    “Finally, Mr. President, I object to your public pronouncements on the assignment of Espenido in Iloilo City. You are making it appear Iloilo City continues to be a hotbed of illegal drugs when it has long ceased to be one. It is sending a wrong message to investors who are now flowing into Iloilo City...Perhaps you are not aware you are killing the hopes and aspirations of Ilonggos for a better quality of life from the influx of jobs this surge investments have started to bring. It is not Mabilog you are trying to kill. It is Iloilo City itself.” Mejorada ended.

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