This is from the newspaper Malaya.
As usual Malaya does not treat poor Arroyo kindly! It is not clear how making herself the anti-drug czar will boost her ratings. She could do that best by resigning! As the article notes Arroyo herself can hardly evade responsibility for the failings of her drug enforcers in the first place.
‘They are not funny and are not meant to be.’
Gloria Arroyo has named herself as anti-drug following allegations that state prosecutors have accepted bribes from arrested drug traffickers. It is a gesture signifying nothing or of it means anything at all, an admission of her very own failure.
We cannot but suspect it is a PR stunt intended to shore up her approval ratings which have been long searching for the bottom. Gloria clearly wants to ride the wave of outrage over the coddling of traffickers by the very officials sworn to lead the fight against the drug scourge. At the same time, she is seeking to absolve herself of responsibility for her administration’s sorry record in the war against drugs.
In naming herself anti-drug czar, she said: "We should not allow this menace to spread its tentacles, ruin our youth and gnaw on the integrity of our law enforcement institutions and our judicial systems. No other criminal activity does a better and faster job of tearing apart the social and security fabric of a nation than the trade of illegal drugs."
Well said. But where has she been all these years when agencies mandated with waging the war of drugs have been sleeping on the job or, worse, playing footsies with the enemy if we are to believe the latest accusations against policemen, narcotics operatives, prosecutors and judges?
As president, she has control of all the executive departments, bureaus and offices. She appoints all the heads of offices as well as the members of the court. In the case of the Department of Justice and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the two agencies now at the center of the controversy, she personally picked the people leading these agencies.
Take Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez. It is no secret his health has been failing, precisely the reason the Palace has packed sub-Cabinet DOJ positions with its own men. The failure of leadership ultimately should be blamed on Arroyo.
The PDEA? It has become a sinecure for Gloria’s favorite retired generals who also have the habit of bringing their own sets of favorites with them. It is no wonder that PDEA operatives – if we are to believe prosecutors – hardly have any idea on how to conduct arrests and searches that would stand up in court.
We can already hear the jokes about Gloria as anti-drug czar. They have something to do with the sharing of the reputed billions at the drug lords’ liberal disposal. They are not funny and are not meant to be.