A senator has accused China of waging an opium war by “turning a blind eye” toward drug smuggling into the Philippines.
Senator J V Ejercito said: “I suspect that China is turning a blind eye on this problem on purpose.
“It’s like the Opium War in the 18th Century, where Chinese battled the illegal opium shipments to China by foreign traders, mostly British.
“The situation at present is quite parallel. Only that some Chinese are possibly the major source and instigators of drug shipments to the Philippines.”
Senator Ejercito said the government should work more closely with the Chinese authorities — assuming the latter were really sincere.
“If they’re really a sincere ally, they can put a stop to the shipments of illegal drugs to the Philippines. Thereby nipping in the bud of our problem,” he said.
Victims of opium war
In May, a shipment of shabu [meth] from China, which was worth 6.4 billion pesos, slipped past the Bureau of Customs.
This prompted Congress to hold a number of inquiries into the huge shipment, the largest amount of drugs delivered to the country under the Duterte administration. During the most recent hearings, evidence has been presented that the president’s son Paolo was involved in the smuggling.
Senator Ejercito urged the government to shift its drug war focus and target criminals bringing drugs into the country.
“The campaign against illegal drugs should shift high gear by focusing on the sourced drug shipments — whether in raw or finished product forms — which from all indications come from China, and intercept them before reaching our shores,” he said.
He added that the drug war should not be confined to the streets, by killing small-time dealers and users.
“This strategy will only pile up body bags,” he said. “I’m hoping to see “big fish” being led to jail in handcuffs.”